NovaThor

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The Snowball is a single-board computer in the Nano-ITX form factor using the A9500 version of the NovaThor SoC.

NovaThor was a platform consisting of integrated System on Chips (SoC) and modems for smartphones and tablets developed by ST-Ericsson, a 50/50 joint venture of Ericsson and STMicroelectronics established on February 3, 2009. ST-Ericsson also sold the SoCs (Nova) and the modems (Thor) separately.[1] The application processor portion of the system was the successor of the previous Nomadik line from STMicroelectronics.

History[edit]

In early 2009, when development had already begun on a Nomadik SoC called STn8500, it was superseded by the NovaThor family from ST-Ericsson and renamed U8500 as the ST-NXP Wireless division was merged into the ST-Ericsson joint venture.[2]

On November 2, 2011, Nokia announced that NovaThor SoCs will power Nokia's future Windows Phone based smartphones, making a deviation from the standard use of Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs in Windows Phones.[3]

On February 28, 2012, ST-Ericsson announced that they would switch to fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) transistors for upcoming products to reduce power consumption. As an example they stated that the L8540 SoC with FD-SOI transistors would consume 35% less power.[4]

On April 23, 2012, the company announced that development of application processors (such as NovaThor) was to be moved back into STMicroelectronics.[5]

On November 21, 2012, it was announced that ST-Ericsson had joined the Sailfish Alliance hence NovaThor ModAp platform would support Jolla's smartphones and Sailfish OS.[6]

On December 10, 2012, ST-Ericsson announced that STMicroelectronics will leave the joint venture after a transition period making Ericsson the full owner of the Company.[7]

On December 20, 2012, Ericsson announced that they will not buy the remaining 50% stake that STMicroelectronics held. The future for the company therefore remained uncertain.[8]

On January 30, 2013, ST-Ericsson announced as part of its quarterly result that they had shipped 10.7 million U8500 NovaThor units in the fourth quarter of 2012.[9]

On May 28, 2013, ST-Ericsson announced that they would sell the assets and intellectual property rights for its mobile connectivity Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to Intel for $90 million.[10]

On August 5, 2013, Ericsson and STMicroelectronics completed the split up of ST-Ericsson and NovaThor is since a STMicroelectronics product.[11]

List of Nova and NovaThor SoCs[edit]

Model Number Semiconductor technology CPU Instruction Set CPU GPU Memory Technology Wireless Radio Technologies Availability Utilizing Devices
NovaThor U8500[12] 45 nm ARMv7 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 ARM Mali 400 MP (single core) LP-DDR2 HSPA 2011 Motorola XT760, HTC Desire 400 dual sim[4] Ontim WP8500,[13] Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, Samsung Galaxy Beam, Samsung Galaxy S Advance,[14] Samsung Galaxy S III Mini,[15] Samsung Galaxy XCover 2, Shanda Bambook,[16] Sony Xperia go, Sony Xperia P,[17] Sony Xperia Sola, Sony Xperia U, Yulong Coolpad CP7728[18]
NovaThor U9500[19] 45 nm ARMv7 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 ARM Mali 400 MP LP-DDR2 GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA+ (HSDPA 21 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s) 2011
Nova A9500[20] 45 nm ARMv7 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 ARM Mali 400 MP LP-DDR2 None 2011 HTC Sensation Z710T (China),[21] Lenovo LePhone S899t,[22] Snowball[23]
Nova A9540[24] 32 nm[25] ARMv7 1.85 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PowerVR SGX 544 Dual-channel LP-DDR2 None Cancelled
NovaThor L9540[26] 32 nm ARMv7 1.85 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PowerVR SGX 544 Dual-channel LP-DDR2 LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE (external Thor M7400 modem) Cancelled
NovaThor L8540[27] 28 nm ARMv7 1.85 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PowerVR SGX 544 @ 500 MHz[28] Dual-channel LP-DDR2 LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE (integrated modem) Cancelled
NovaThor L8580 (eQuad)[29] 28 nm FD-SOI ARMv7 2.5-3.0 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 PowerVR SGX 544 @600 MHz Dual-channel LP-DDR2 LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE (integrated modem) Cancelled

With eQuad, the quad-core chip act as two performance cores or, at 0.6 V, two power-saving cores. "e" for electrical.

Similar platforms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NOVA TM - Highest performance application processors
  2. ^ "Source tree for STn8500". 
  3. ^ Toor, Amar (2011-11-02). "ST-Ericsson's NovaThor to power Nokia's Windows Phone devices, loosens Qualcomm's grip". Engadget. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  4. ^ a b http://www.stericsson.com/investors/ST%20Investor%20Day%20-%20ST-Ericsson%20plenary%20session%20presentation.pdf
  5. ^ "ST-Ericsson announces new strategic direction and partnership". 2012-04-23. Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  6. ^ "ST-Ericsson is ready to support Jolla’s Sailfish OS | mobile technology, mobile architecture | ST-Ericsson Technology Blog". Blog.stericsson.com. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  7. ^ http://stericsson.com/press_releases/confirms_strategic_direction.jsp
  8. ^ http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/it_telekom/mobiltele/article3608010.ece
  9. ^ ST-Ericsson reports fourth quarter 2012 financial results
  10. ^ http://www.stericsson.com/press_releases/ST-Ericsson_selling_connectivity.jsp
  11. ^ "Ericsson and STMicroelectronics complete transaction to split up ST-Ericsson". 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  12. ^ NovaThor U8500 Product Webpage; ST Ericsson.
  13. ^ ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 powers new tablet from Ontim
  14. ^ ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 powers new Samsung GALAXY S Advance
  15. ^ ST-ERICSSON NOVATHOR MODAP POWERS NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY S III MINI
  16. ^ "ST-Ericsson Continues to Expand Presence in China by Powering First Smartphone from Shanda". Stericsson.com. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  17. ^ "Specifications - Sony Smartphones (Global UK English)". Sonymobile.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  18. ^ "ST-Ericsson Adds China Unicom and Yulong as NovaThor Customer". Stericsson.com. 2012-05-28. Retrieved 2013-07-10. ,
  19. ^ NovaThor U9500 Product Webpage; ST Ericsson.
  20. ^ Changing the game: ST-Ericsson Unveils NovaThor™ Family of Smartphone Platforms Combining its Most Advanced Application Processors with the Latest Generation of Modems
  21. ^ Powerful New ST-Ericsson Platform makes Debut in HTC Sensation
  22. ^ "Latest smartphone from Lenovo and China Mobile powered by ST-Ericsson". Stericsson.com. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  23. ^ Snowball is a low power, low cost Single Board Computer based on the ST-Ericsson Nova A9500 processor (Dual Cortex A9 + Mali 400 GPU)
  24. ^ Nova™ A9540
  25. ^ "Changing the game: ST-Ericsson Unveils NovaThor™ Family of Smartphone Platforms Combining its Most Advanced Application Processors with the Latest Generation of Modems". Stericsson.com. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  26. ^ NOVATHOR™ L9540
  27. ^ NOVATHOR™ L8540
  28. ^ ST-Ericsson announces new highly integrated LTE NovaThor platform
  29. ^ "NOVATHOR™ L8580". Stericsson.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 

External links[edit]