GADGET DESIGNER Apple announced on Tuesday that its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5S, will come with its new A7 chip, a 64-bit system on chip.
Apple boasted that the iPhone 5S is the world's first 64-bit smartphone, which sees the firm getting a rare one-up on rival Samsung, having equipped its latest flagship smartphone with what it claims is a "desktop-class architecture" giving it performance previously only available on PCs and Macs. Perhaps most interestingly, furnishing the iPhone 5S with a 64-bit chip also sees the firm beating ARM, whose own 64-bit mobile chip design is still being developed.
As a result of this new chip, Apple claims that its new iPhone 5S, which also debuts Apple's long-rumoured Touch ID fingerprint scanner and an improved camera, will offer performance up to five times faster than the iPhone 5, both in terms of CPU and graphics.
To demonstrate this, Apple brought out Epic Games on stage at its San Francisco press conference on Tuesday, which showed off its upcoming Infinity Blade III iOS game, which also makes use of the new OpenGL E3 3.0 standard included on the iPhone 5S.
As well as challenging Samsung and Sony, the improved gaming capabilities of the A7 chip show Apple challenging dedicated games consoles for consumers' affections, including the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One. If Apple gets its way, this could signal a shift from game consoles to powerful mobile devices.
The firm said on Tuesday, "[The] iPhone 5S is the best mobile gaming device with access to hundreds of thousands of games from the App Store, the A7 chip's 64-bit architecture and support for OpenGL ES version 3.0. [The] iPhone 5S delivers incredibly rich and complex visual effects, previously only possible on Macs, PCs and gaming consoles."
It's not just gamers who will benefit from the new 64-bit A7 chip, as Apple boasted that iOS 7 also supports the 64-bit processor, adding that its own preloaded apps will be reengineered to support the technology. This means that, according to Apple, everything you do on the iPhone will be faster - be it opening apps or editing photos.
Apple also unveiled its new M7 motion coprocessor on Tuesday, which continuously monitors data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload workloads for improved power efficiency, and means that, while being better for performance and capturing subtle movements, the iPhone 5S should boast the battery to match.
We'll reserve judgement until we test it. µ
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