Hot off the heels of three other new mobile processor announcements at CES 2013 from NVidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung, ST-Ericsson has announced its own new processor. ST-Ericsson claims that the quad-core NovaThor L8580 will be the fastest mobile processor that includes LTE built in. In addition, they say it uses half the power than other processors at the same performance level.
Unlike other new high-end mobile processors being announced, the NovaThor L8580 isn’t based on the ARM Cortex-A15 architecture. Instead, it contains four Cortex-A9 cores. The four cores can be clocked up to 2.5 GHz while using only .6 V of power, an impressive achievement indeed. The integrated modem will support up to ten LTE/HSPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM bands, so it will be easy for manufacturers to use the processor to support devices globally. The NovaThor L8580 provides connectivity support for GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, and just about any other connectivity option you could think of.
While the performance claims of the NovaThor L8580 are impressive, since it isn’t using the top-of-the-line Cortex-A15 architecture, it remains to be seen whether top manufacturers will choose this processor for flagship phones. At the very least expect to see it on some of the better mid-range phones and a few higher higher-end devices.
After all of the announcements at CES it’s certainly clear that the chipset arms race is in full gear, which is always a good thing for consumers.