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Nokia to Use ST-Ericsson ‘NovaThor’ Chip in Windows Phone Devices

Nokia will not solely use the Qualcomm chip in their planned Windows Phone 7 handsets according to reports. Business news outlet Forbes say that at least some of the new Nokia phones will ship using a chip from ST-Ericsson, a joint venture between Ericsson and STMicroelectronics.

What makes this interesting is that the use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1GHz processor has been standard across existing Windows Phone 7 handsets, and a part of Microsoft’s guidelines for the platform. While Qualcomm’s name has never explicitly been mentioned, they command more than 40% market share, and are used in the majority of devices from HTC, Samsung and LG.

The chip rumoured to be used in the forthcoming Nokia phone is the NovaThor u8500 system-on-a-chip. The dual-core processor is the first to offer 1080 progressive scan video recording and supports cameras up to 20 megapixels, which should certainly appeal to Nokia’s love of high-end camera phones. Additionally, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, plus built-in USB 2.0 and HDMI-out capabilities. The u8500 is built around the ARM Cortex A9 and has a 3D graphics accelerator.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how the u8500 performs in comparison to its Snapdragon and Tegra peers, and according to ST-Ericsson, they’re in talks with seven of the nine top smartphone manufacturers; so we could be seeing the NovaThor in other devices soon too.


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