Up until now, if you wanted a Windows Phone, it'd implicitly come with a Qualcomm SoC inside. The Windows Phone platform started out with QSD8x50 (first generation Snapdragon), and has recently moved to MSM7x30 and MSM8x55 (second generation) SoCs, all single core. Today, ST-Ericsson has announced that it too is joining the fray with its dual core NovaThor SoCs inside future Nokia Windows Phone smartphones. We haven't seen much of NovaThor since its arrival, but its U5500, U8500 and U9500 SoCs bring dual core Cortex A9 CPUs and ARM Mali-400 GPUs alongside some onboard cellular connectivity. 

U9500 Block Diagram (Source: ST-E)

As we discussed previously, Nokia's initial Windows Phone lineup (consisting of the Lumia 800 and 710) is based on 1.4 GHz MSM8255 SoCs. This announcement from ST-E appears to be directed at the next iteration of Windows Phones up Nokia's sleeves. We look forward to Windows Phone heating (and speeding) way up with this move to dual core in the near future.

Source: ST-Ericsson

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • jjj - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    Nokia would be doing too little if they go with those SoCs, so lets hope we'll see A9540 and/or A9600 being used.
  • mwarner1 - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    At least the GPU will be pretty good if it is using the Mali-400.
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    Assuming ST Ericssin can build a SoC as well as Samsung can, performance will be in the ballpark if the Exynos SoC used in the Galaxy S 2 line!
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    I always figured there must be something wrong with Ericsson's SoCs, since Ericsson didn't use them in their own phones.
  • Penti - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    The ST-E SoCs are actually products from ST not Ericsson so it's not exactly a mystery why they didn't use them, they simply didn't have any partnership with the main part of the JV previously and had already made binding agreements with other vendors at the time. The Ericsson Mobile Platforms previously used TI OMAP and other application processors in their platforms. Baseband tech is from NXP and EMP. EMP itself was made independent and freestanding from Ericsson mobile/Sony Ericsson in 2001 so there wasn't no definite relation there any how, they did supply other companies.

    At the time they started to produce Android handsets there was no ST-E products on the market while Qualcomm had good support for Android. Nova, NovaThor etc wasn't even launched on paper until feb 2010. They couldn't really get development boards for those until they were already launching their Android phones. Another explanation could be that their smartphone team had previously worked with other other vendors closely.
  • Spivonious - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure how dual-core would help WP7 much, as it's heavily reliant on the GPU.
  • a5cent - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    Web page rendering and java script compilation are two examples that will instantly benefit from two cores assuming mobile IE is the same is desktop IE 9 (take a look how much faster iOS' Safari Browser got going from one to two cores). Obviously WP7 can't make use of two cores, but a mobile phone does offer ample opportunities to make use of them given the OS is capable enough.
  • a5cent - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    From what I've heard, Microsoft intended for Qualcomm to be the ONLY SoC supplier (S2 for WP7 and S4 for WP8). This is certainly something Microsoft didn't want, but that Nokia pushed for. Assuming Microsoft is still planing to deliver WP8 on Qualcomm's Krait, then we are witnessing the beginning of Hardware fragmentation for WP8. As a developer targeting WP8, you would no longer have a precisely defined hardware spec to program against. Damn you Nokia!
  • chocoberry - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    According to Anandtech, this AP uses Mali-400 MP1, not MP4 like Exynos... then graphic performance would be significantly lower.
  • fdfsxcvdcfdh - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    2011 NEW and BIG ON SALE NOW:

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now