ST Ericsson’s NovaThor U8500 shown off running Ice Cream Sandwich

st ericsson ST Ericssons NovaThor U8500 shown off running Ice Cream Sandwich

Despite its expertise in the radio components that goes into smartphones, ST Ericsson hasn't had any real wins when it comes to its ARM processors that go hand in hand with its baseband components. That looks set to change soon as apparently Sony Ericsson is planning on building at least one handset based on the NovaThor U8500 and the good news is that ST Ericsson has already got Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich if you prefer, up and running on its platform.

Despite its expertise in the radio components that goes into smartphones, ST Ericsson hasn't had any real wins when it comes to its ARM processors that go hand in hand with its baseband components. That looks set to change soon as apparently Sony Ericsson is planning on building at least one handset based on the NovaThor U8500 and the good news is that ST Ericsson has already got Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich if you prefer, up and running on its platform.

The NovaThor U8500 consists of the DB8500 dual core ARM Cortex-A9 SoC with Mali-400MP graphics and a built in HSPA modem, as well as a few peripheral chips like the AB8500 which handles things like audio, USB, power and the SIM card. Sadly we don't know what clock speeds to expect, but we're guessing around the 1GHz mark, as its bigger brother the A9500 is clocked at 1.2GHz.

According to the Xperia blog, the NovaThor U8500 is destined for a new handset from Sony Ericsson currently codenamed Nypon (rosehip in Swedish) or LT22i which should be is best described as an entry-level high-end model by the time it launches if the leaked specs prove to be right. The handset is said to have a qHD (960×540 pixels) resolution display and of course the ST Ericsson NovaThor U8500 SoC. This would make it the first Android handset from Sony Ericsson that isn't based on a Qualcomm chip.

Co-incidentally, ST Ericsson happened to post no less than four videos of its development platform running Android 4.0 on the NovaThor U8500 paired with 512MB of RAM. It should be pointed out that not a lot of optimization was done here and Sony Ericsson is likely to be tweaking the OS anyhow. Take this as a proof of concept that the software and hardware works together and as a sign of things to come. If nothing else it's also bringing further proof that dual core is the way forward in the smartphone market space. We'll have to wait until next year to see what actually comes out of Sony Ericsson, which by then will have lost the Ericsson part of its name.

Source: Xperia blog, ST Ericsson blog

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