It is highly likely that Google will drop ARM for a 64-bit Intel Moorefield SoC in the long-rumored Nexus 8. This according to a report from AndroidPit, which points out that the device’s alleged release month – July – would both conveniently coincide with Intel’s chip shipment schedule, and come after the potential introduction of a 64-bit compatible version of Android.
Moorefield has some interesting specs. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress last month, the Atom processor has four cores clocked up to 2.3GHz, supports LTE-Advanced (a virtual must-have now) wireless, and features “an enhanced GPU and support for faster memory.” Speaking of the GPU, Moorefield may come paired with a PowerVR G6430, which some reports suggest is up to 20 times faster and five times more efficient than its Series 5 predecessor. Why is GPU so important? Well, it’s typically been the Achilles heel for x86 processors running Android. Not having a flagship device running this architecture certainly hasn’t helped, but the debut of a Nexus tablet with Intel hardware could very well spur developers to release compatible versions of their apps.
I expect Google I/O 2014 in June will shed more light, if not announce the impending release. Time for the OS and the devices to evolve to 64-bit, provided the value-add is there. (No offense, Apple)