How Apple's A7 64-bit chip gives iOS plenty of headroom for the future

2013-Sep-16 | Tags: applearmiphone

Start64!Much has been made of Apple's A7 processor's 64-bit support, and if it's built around ARM's latest architecture as that seems to imply, then there's a lot there's a lot more to the next generation Apple processor than we're seeing.

Because when you drill down into the silicon, ARM's v8 architecture does a lot more than just increasing the addressable memory. Perhaps the most significant change in ARMv8 is support for Type-1 hypervisors — something that's essential as it uses a virtual machine to run 32-bit code.

Like Intel's and AMD's x64 processors, a Type-1 Hypervisor lets you run virtual machines directly on the silicon, with separate partitions for each VM and no need for resource-hogging emulation layers. There's also support for common cryptographic algorithms in silicon, with instruction set calls that speed up access to the functions needed to deliver secure encrypted file systems.

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