ST-Ericsson touts new quad-core mobile processor that uses half the power of the competition

by: Shea HarrisJanuary 10, 2013

novathor st ericsson chip soc processor

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.

  • Good for battery life… i would take this processor over any new Octo Core that drains the crap out of my mobile device that’s for sure! Even with today’s mobile devices the battery life can be somewhat limited, so I can see manufacturers using this over the power hungry others.

    • gega

      It seems that you’re not that well informed…

      • cycad007

        gega…it seems that you didn’t read Gary’s post.

        Gary prioritizes battery life over performance and it a makes sense that this processor would be more power efficient than the Octo. This wouldn’t beat the Octo in terms of performance but it will beat the Octo in terms of battery-life since it uses the A-9 cores.

        • hxsg

          Oh I read it well enough. The Octo uses A-15 cores at 28nm, which is power-efficient enough on it’s own, and and extra set of A-7 cores which will run less demanding workloads. So, only when the phone demands heavy processing power does it switch to the A-15 cores. So, it’s safe to say that the Octo is, if not equal, more power efficient than this.

          • hitechmob

            It actualy isnt. Because the chip from stericsson is not 28nm… It is 28FDSOI, that is making all the difference.

          • hitechmob

            I meant not 28nm bulk. It’s 28nm FDSOI .

          • dexternepo

            That’s the theory part. But it remains to be seen if it’s going to be really power efficient. Even Nvidia clamied that their Tegra 3 processors have a fifth core that reduces the workload… but Tegra 3 drains the battery.

  • MasterMuffin

    If that’s true, that’s amazing! It would actually be wise for OEMs to put this in their phones for many reasons:
    1) if it’s really as powerful as they say, it will be ideal flagship SoC that’s probably not as expensive as competition
    2) if it really is as power efficient as they say, it’s obviosly wonderful thing that has real life benefits and also OEMs can market it as “the most power efficient superphone” or something similar
    3) it’s quad core and OEMs can clock it to whopping 2,5Ghz and that’s also great and really great for marketing
    4) all those connection things :)

    • Random Guy

      It’s actually just dual A9, there are no four A9 CPUs in this ASIC.

      • MasterMuffin

        This article clearly says many times that it’s quad…

        • Anony Mouse

          This article is wrong.

          • MasterMuffin

            Hard time admitting that you’re wrong? Well it will come, and I’ll be here… waiting…

          • Az

            Read the original press release on the ST-Ericsson website and tell me where it says there are 4 cores.

          • MasterMuffin

            I don’t know, I haven’t got the time to read that blaa blaa text :)

  • Rancho

    We would have to wait for the Benchmark tests to reveal the true story.If it makes its way to the top, it would definitely give the stifling competition

    a run for its money……