Apple's 64-bit A7 SoC 'set off panic' for chipmakers

In a report from Dan Lyons' blog HubSpot, an unnamed source at chipmaking giant Qualcomm said Apple's A7 "hit us in the gut," referring to the silicon's support for 64-bit processing.

"Not just us, but everyone, really," the person said of the surprise Apple's chip caused. "We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It's not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won't benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it's like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it."

Apple's A7 SoC holds the distinction of being the first 64-bit application processor to be used in a smartphone. Up until the iPhone 5s was unveiled, companies didn't see the need to include such an advanced processor in a handheld mobile device as apps were not able to take advantage of the extra horsepower. Even now, only a few programs outside of Apple's own stable are capable of addressing the technology.