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Nokia & ST-Ericsson To Partner On Windows Phone 8 Handsets

ST-Ericsson is set to join Broadcom as the supplier of system on chips for Nokia's high end handsets, as the latter committed its future to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 at the expense of Intel's Meego and Atom platforms.

Fortune's Elizabeth Woyke reports that the CEO of STMicroelectronics, which owns half of ST-Ericsson, confirmed that at least some of the new Nokia handsets that will be powered by Windows Phone 8, will use ST-Ericsson SoCs.

Smartphones that have been built on Windows Phone 7 until now have been using a single core Qualcomm Snapdragon system on chip clocked at 1GHz, but it looks likely that Qualcomm will be joined by ST-Ericsson initially with Microsoft very likely to soften its very rigid design guidelines.

The first chip that will run Windows Phone 8 is the U8500, a chip that we discovered earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is based on a dual core Cortex A9 running at 1GHz with a Mali 400 GPU clocked at 400MHz.

We initially thought that the N9 would be the first Nokia handset to use the U8500 but we're likely to be wrong.

Expect the U8500 to be significantly more powerful than the current Snapdragon range; its successor though is likely to be the one which will get heads turning. The Nova A9600 packs two Cortex A15 cores clocked at 2.5GHz with the all new Power VR Series6 "Rogue" GPU.