ARM to announce its first 64-bit processor

ARM is set to announce major plans for a CPU that will fully support 64-bit computing within the next few weeks.

The news, which came from an ARM conference in Taipei, will see the release of a 64-bit processor from ARM, finally rivalling the major players, Intel and AMD who already have 64-bit processors out on the market, based on the x86 architecture.

ARM recently released its Cortex-A15 processor, but that was another 32-bit core. The company has mainly found success in the mobile and embedded chip market which requires less processing power, but the rapid advances in smartphone, netbook and tablet specifications may be pushing the company to get in the 64-bit game.

32-bit computing is still the norm for many with less than 4GB of RAM. 64-bit is used in supercomputers, servers and gaming systems, but it’s also becoming more widespread for general use because 32-bit is unable to manage higher quantities of memory. And RAM prices have dropped considerably over the past few years.

It’s unclear if ARM is hoping to compete directly with Intel and AMD for the PC market or if it will remain focused on mobile and embedded chips where companies are pushing out faster and more powerful devices. We see the latter as more likely.

While details are scarce about ARM’s planned 64-bit processor, some sources at the conference revealed to IDG News Service that the official announcement could come as early as next week.