Smartphone Makers Eager To Adopt 64-Bit Version Of Android L

Google is getting ready to unveil Android L (or Lemon Meringue Pie or Lollipop or Licorice or whatever tasty treat will serve as the next build's namesake), and one of the big features is that it will optionally support 64-bit processors. Of course, it will be up to smartphone and tablet makers to take advantage of the 64-bit opportunity that's about to be laid before them, and the good news they seem just as anxious as their customers.

Citing those always-chatty "industry sources," Digitimes is reporting that Android-based smartphone vendors will speed up the migration to Android L's 64-bit architecture, thereby making 64-bit processors mainstream technology for handsets in the second half of 2015.

Samsung Exynos

There are already a few 64-bit mobile chips out there, including the Snapdragon 810, 808, 610, 614, and 410 chips from Qualcomm. In addition, MediaTek and Samsung have also built 64-bit CPUs, with MediaTek's parts already found in the supply chain for China's handset vendors. As for Samsung, it's not clear if it will sell its parts to third-parties or keep its 64-bit chips strictly for its own phones for awhile.

It will be interesting to see what impact the 64-bit movement has on smartphones. They have the potential to improve performance, especially in applications like games and technologies like speech recognition, but hardware is only half of the equation.

Nevertheless, with smartphone makers interested in accelerating the move to 64-bit handsets, a potential side effect is that it could also speed up the adoption rate of Android L. Typically it takes around a year for a new version of Android to claim significant market share -- for example, nearly a year after its release, Android 4.4 KitKat is installed on 24.5 percent of all Android devices, compared to Jelly Bean, which is on 53.8 percent of Android gadgets.