ST-Ericsson Dual Core Chips to Power Sons of Nokia Lumia 800

Nokia has selected ST-Ericsson's NovaThor family of chipsets to power some of its future Windows Phone devices alongside Qualcomm. The win is a major opportunity for ST-Ericsson to finally enter the mainstream and top-end of the smartphone market.

Three chipsets, the U5500, the U8500 and the U9500, are on offer, all of them dual core chips. We saw the U8500 back in February at Mobile World Congress with two Cortex A9 cores running at 1GHz coupled with an ARM Mali-400 GPU clocked at 400MHz.

ST-Ericsson said that the platform will "enable Nokia to extend Windows Phone devices to new price points and geographies", hinting at a potential chipset price war and more affordable Windows Phone handsets in the near future.

The Nokia Lumia 800 costs £399 in the UK, nearly twice as much as Android-based handsets that have monopolised the mainstream smartphone market.

We suspect that both HTC and Sony Ericsson - both using Qualcomm exclusively for their current range of handsets - may seek solace elsewhere.

As for the chips, the U9500 appears to be the more likely candidate to power top of the range Windows Phone handsets. It is likely to be a higher clocked part compared to the U8500 and combines a HSPA+ modem, HDMI Out, GPS, Bluetooth, dual camera support, dual display support and display support up to WXGA.