For every developer looking to deliver a superior mobile experience end users, worth investigating about 64-bit computing.
With a powerful 64-bit architecture to hand, developers of smartphones and electronic tablets reap the benefits of large increases in performance, more addressable memory of 4 GB and enhanced security.
You’ve come a long way, baby
Since its appearance in the Cray-1 supercomputer in 1975, the architecture of 64-bit computing has been considered the pinnacle of computing power. Over the next two decades, this technology began to join the class servers microcomputers, workstations and high-end desktop in the mid-1990s.
Currently, 64-bit processors are some of the most common and will soon be standard in smartphones and tablets. With the 64-bit architecture to hand, developers of smartphones and electronic tablets reap the benefits of large increases in performance, more addressable memory of 4 GB and data sets larger memory.
In addition, this architecture protects more data devices and enterprise networks against security threats. According to a Nielsen report of July 2014, users of iPhone and Android of at least 18 years spent more than 30 hours per month to use mobile applications during 2013, an increase of 65% compared to 2012.
Mobile devices are also entering the workplace, where more complex and greater security calculations are required. Symantec identified in 2012 over 200 million virus definitions, an amount to which he identified in total between 1991 and 2011.
Furthermore, it is increasingly common that smartphones and tablets are used as electronic wallets or keep identity data personal; the hardware of mobile devices should also be updated to protect the user and provide a better experience.
Intel and Android
Intel Software and Services has been helping since 2004 to make progress in the Linux kernel and enable the use of 64-bit computing.
Intel is involved in the development of all open source browsers (including Chromium and Blink) and collaborates with the GCC compilers, commercial compilers, hypervisors, the SLC controllers and “virtually everything it touches the system,” he said Joe Daly, director of Engineering Technology Center Open Source (Open Source Technology Center, OTC), which is part of Intel’s Software and Services.
This group created a main line of Android in order to provide a common starting point from which groups of hardware platforms Intel can make their programming to access the ability of silicon.
This main line is also used as a reference for Android variations that require implementation of clean Android references.
Much of the group’s efforts focus on Android L and Android runtime (ART) of 64 bits. While Intel has worked with previous versions of the operating system and runtime, this year’s version makes use of the functionality and performance that offers 64-bit hardware. Take advantage of packaged instructions and writing runtime compilers to optimize code for Intel hardware.
Mobile benefits of 64-bit platform
Shiv Kumar, chief engineer and architect Intel performance Dalvik runtimes for 32-bit and 64-bit ART said that a number of benefits received by the user of the mobile platforms of 64 bits. “With 64 bits could improve many things perceived by the user,” said Shiv.
The most obvious examples include cycles encrypting and decrypting secure applications, and patterns of encoding and decoding media playback. When many logic operations are performed in large streams of bits, 64 bits work is a big advantage.
“Some sophisticated algorithms only work on 64-bit systems because the 32-bit would be too slow. For complex mathematical operations is indispensable 64-bit technology, “said Shiv.
In his cell references, Intel provides a full implementation of Android, including best practices for security and privacy procedures.
The Linux operating system itself also contains security features that only work in mode 64-bit processor, features that protect the lowest level of attack. “And Android, no verification boot credential management, content protection and other advantages that make Android phones and tablets in a secure path to the cloud,” said Daly.
Now that the world is opening its arms to the era of the macro data (or big data), security can be achieved with 64-bit computing will become necessary on mobile devices. “From the point of view of the devices of the Internet of things, that’s the biggest concern,” Shiv said. “These devices have all our personal data and it’s all on the Internet. It is necessary to make these devices as safe as possible. ”
Digital photography and effects that make heavy use of graphics also benefit from 64-bit platforms. According to Daly, “Now, smartphones are also cameras. Edit two or three photos at a time, working with high dynamic range (HDR) and extract scenes requires a lot of memory. “With this platform, it could enhance the shooting and editing capability on mobile devices.
Even general purpose applications could take advantage of 64-bit platforms. Based on his observations of migrating to 64-bit versions of enterprise Linux and Windows * in the 2000s, Daly said the applications may have performance improvements of 15% when independent software vendors to make the switch 64-bit platforms.
If we drew a line to mark the average, there are things that would fall below and others above that line. Encryption, image processing and all you can use packed data instructions would benefit the 64 bits.
The applications optimized for 32-bit so maybe they would have nothing to gain. “There may be highly optimized for 32-bit applications that could perhaps work slightly worse in the short term,” said Daly.
A change in the code is coming?
A key positive point of the emergence of 64-bit devices is that pure Java applications will run unchanged on Dalvik runtime of 32-bit and 64-bit ART question whether a device or based on ARM architecture Intel.
But if the application contains native or calls via the Java Native Interface (JNI) code, you will need to be compiled. If developers want to use the 64-bit architecture, should create multiple binary.
For native code developers who plan to transition, the process will be different. “If a developer wants his application only works on Android L, simply recompile and retest the application. But if you want to switch to 64 bits, this means carrying and also need to recompile the native parts with new NDK “explained Daly.
NDK is the Native Development Kit Android R10. Secondly, now available, it is the Android SDK, which provides API libraries and tools for compiling, testing and debugging applications for Android. Also it provides packaged with the Eclipse IDE and work with all tools integrated experience of Native Development (Intel® INDE, in beta).
The third part is Android L (sometimes “Android L-dessert” calls him by the name convention platform). Intel itself offers the best tools in the industry for development in 64 bits, including compilers, optimizers and a full program Collaboration Software .
“When the power is by far the responsibility is great”
As developers prepare for the impending wave of 64 bits, you should produce a harmonious synchronization in which hardware and software are balanced. “We expect that most applications work well, but could be developed that does not have good performance due to physical memory available; it is likely that the devices take them a while to catch up with the 64 bits in terms of memory capacity is concerned. ” Perhaps developers should offer 32- and 64-bit applications for a while.
The long history of Intel 64 hardware combined with its experience in the field of optimization and collaboration software for creating bits have paved the way towards changing platform in tablets and smartphones. Without the above limitations of memory and speed, designed for mobile devices now it depends on the imagination of developers and decide how to use that power.