Nokia/Microsoft to use ST-Ericsson U8500 ARM Cortex-A9 in Windows Phone 8

Posted by Charbax – May 20, 2011

Forbes reports from Carlo Bozotti, the Chief Executive of European semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics, that Nokia will use the ST-Ericsson U8500 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with Mali-400 in at least some of its upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices to be released as soon as Nokia and Microsoft are able to make them ready. Here's a video I filmed with ST-Ericsson showing this processor platform:

The move marks a major shift for Windows Phone devices, which up to now have used chips from wireless technology giant Qualcomm. Even the HTC Trophy, which Verizon Wireless announced today — making it the latest Windows Phone to launch in the U.S. — has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The uniformity is the result of Microsoft’s precise design guidelines for Windows Phone manufacturers. In the run-up to its big Windows Phone launch in the fall of 2010, Microsoft asked handset makers including HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell to utilize the same chipsets, display size and number of camera megapixels to give users a consistent experience across devices.

Earlier this year, however, Microsoft indicated it planned to open up Windows Phone development to other chipmakers. It now appears that ST-Ericsson, a joint venture between Geneva-based STMicroelectronics and Swedish telecom equipment and services supplier Ericsson, has been admitted to the Windows Phone ecosystem.

Another crazy rumor from Eldar Murtazin (who has been right before..) has been suggesting that Microsoft may be in talks to try buy Nokia's Mobile Phone business flat out, probably for a bunch of tens of billions of dollars. Can you believe that?

My opinion is that Microsoft knows the ARM Powered mobile device space is where the future of technology is at, so short of yet releasing a Windroid fork of Linux based Android (that could launch Bing, own apps store etc..), Microsoft is probably going to do everything that they can to try to remain relevant in the smartphone and tablet space. Even if that might mean a $40 Billion buy-out of Nokia. Should the Finnish Nokia owners sell out to Redmond?