ST-Ericsson has seen its revenues squeeze significantly in the recent years, and the company is eager to bring back its positions. The newly announced ST-Ericsson NovaThor L8540 system-on-a-chip is a step in that direction. The NovaThor L8540 is made using 28nm manufacturing technology and it’s based on ARM’s Cortex A9. It also comes with integrated LTE which makes it more power efficient.
The L8540 comes with a dual-core Cortex A9 setup with each of the cores running at as much as 1.85GHz. Graphics are handled by a PowerVR SGX 544 chip with the clock set at 500MHz. Also, there’s dual-channel LDPPR2 memory.
This falls well in line with the current high to mid end offerings by other companies, and ST-Ericsson is aiming for the golden middle - not too premium, nor too affordable devices.
When it comes to connectivity the integrated LTE offers speeds of 100Mbps down/50Mbps up, and there’s also support for HSPA+ at 42Mbps on the downlink and China’s TD-SCDMA standard. The chip is packed with connectivity options and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM radio, NFC and GNSS are all integrated as well.
Now, ST-E projects all of this integration to result in a 10% more power efficient chip when compared to previous 40nm+ architectures with separate LTE baseband. We’re definitely looking forward to finally see what the battery life gain is on the NovaThor L8540, as well as on other 28nm chips with integrated LTE (cough, Snapdragon S4, cough). The L8540 will sample to vendors in Q3 2012.