64-bit Nexus 8 could be set for Google I/O next month


A new Nexus 8 powered by a 64-bit Tegra processor could make a surprise appearance at Google I/O next month. Mentions of the device, which is codenamed “Flounder” internally, have been spotted numerous times in Android source code — despite Google’s attempts to keep the new tablet a closely-guarded secret.

We know very little about the Nexus 8 at this point, but as its name suggests, it will sport an 8-inch display and could replace the slightly smaller Nexus 7. The device was first spotted in a change log for the unreleased Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, and although Google has been working hard to remove any traces of the device, it is still appearing in the company’s code.

Myce has discovered a new reference to “Flounder” — and it could be the most exciting one yet. It appears to confirm that the new slate will be Google’s first Android-powered device with a 64-bit processor. If that is indeed the case, the Nexus 8 could become the first tablet to go head to head with the iPad in processing prowess.

Apple announced its own 64-bit A7 chip — the world’s first for mobile — last September, and it made its debut inside the iPhone 5s before gracing both the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display. It’s now the processor to beat, and although rivals like Qualcomm have announced their own 64-bit competitors, we’re yet to see an Android-powered device with 64-bit architecture.

Google’s supposed decision to offer a 64-bit chip in the Nexus 8 could be an effort to push others to do the same — though we’re likely to see 64-bit devices from the likes Samsung, HTC, and LG before the end of the year either way.

Both the first- and second-generation Nexus 7 tablets made their debut at Google I/O events, so we had been expecting another slate at this year’s event — despite rumors claiming that Google is set to ditch its Nexus lineup. This year’s conference kicks off on June 25.