ST-Ericsson Reveals 2.5GHz NovaThor L8580 Smartphone Chip
CES 2013 was very fruitful when it came to new chipsets, ST-Ericsson followed the footsteps of Samsung, Qualcomm and NVIDIA to introduce the new NovaThor SoC.
ST-Ericsson confirmed the trend for better, faster, and smaller chipsets, when the manufacturer introduced its brand new NovaThor chipset at CES 2013 – the L8580. The announcement followed the new chipsets by Samsung, Qualcomm and NVIDIA.
[quote]”Building on the architecture of our first generation NovaThor L8540 LTE ModAp announced last year, we believe our new platform represents a real industry breakthrough,” said president and CEO Didier Lamouche in a statement announcing the new NovaThor L8580 LTE ModAp.[/quote]
The NovaThor L8580 shares much in common with the earlier L8540, but there are significant differences, as well. On the things-in-common side, both are based on two ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores and an Imagination PowerVR SGX544 GPU, which share the same die with a modem that supports LTE FDD/TDD (Cat.3), 42Mbps HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and EDGE along with support for 1080p video at up to 60fps and a 10-megapixel camera.
That’s where the major similarities end, however – and that’s where the L8580 becomes more interesting. For one thing, the L8540 topped out at 1.85GHz, while the new L8580 is capable of speeds up to 2.5GHz.
The company claims that although the L8580’s CPU cores are 35 per cent faster than tha L8540’s and its GPU and multimedia accelerators are 20 per cent faster, it runs runs cooler when running at 2.5GHz and consumes up to 50 per cent less power than what the company coyly refers to as “rival architectures”.
That higher clock rate and cool, low-power performance are not the L8580’s only trick, however. It’s also the first of ST-Ericsson’s chips to employ a technology they call “eQuad,” which enables each core to not only spin at that speedy 2.5GHz, but also step down to a power-miserly 0.6-volt operation. ST-Ericsson didn’t say what clock rate that low-power mode could achieve, but they do claim that it provides “more than enough computing power for the majority of applications in everyday use.”
[The Register UK]