64 bit iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c / iOS7

I watched the keynote for the Apple iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS7 last night.

I laughed when they announced it contained a 64 bit chip. I laughed not because I thought this was insane, it actually makes sense, but because it reminded me of something my microprocessor lecturer said on my Computing degree at Loughborough University back in late 1990. He said “there will never be a need for 64 bit PCs”. Even then I thought that was a silly statement to make. Clearly he had not learnt the lessons of people predicting nobody would ever need more than 640KB. Back then PCs were just moving to a 32 bit architecture, running Windows 3.x and had approx 1 – 4 MB RAM.

If there is one thing I have learnt it is we should never predict the maximum hardware we will ever need. Needs known and unknown will arise to use that computing capacity.

Within a few years the majority of smartphones we carry will be 64 bit. Dr L you got it so badly wrong!

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