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ST-Ericsson new quad-core NovaThor SoC uses 50% less power than the competition

Posted: , by Michael H.

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ST-Ericsson new quad-core NovaThor SoC uses 50% less power than the competition
There are a lot of processor options for manufacturers to choose from when building mobile hardware. The competition between Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Samsung has been so fierce that Texas Instruments actually dropped out of the race. But, ST-Ericsson wants to boost its market share with a new version of its NovaThor SoC, which supposedly uses 50% less power than the competition.

This CES has already had the unveiling of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, the NVIDIA Tegra 4, and the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, but ST-Ericsson thinks its new NovaThor L8580 can take them all on. The L8580 has four Cortex-A9 cores which can each be clocked up to 2.5GHz, and still only consume as little as 0.6V of power while performing most day-to-day tasks. ST-Ericsson says that thanks to this low-power mode, the chip will use 50% less power than the competition. 

The SoC uses the PowerVR SGX544 graphics from Imagination Technologies running at 600 MHz, which can power displays with resolutions up to 1920×1200. And, the other big selling point to the new NovaThor is that it is one of the few SoCs that comes with LTE built-in. 

As you would expect from a chip built on Cortex-A9, and the GPU, this is not an SoC that is intended to compete with the other top-of-the-line offerings. More likely, it is aiming to capture the market of devices just below the Tegra 4 level, which is still on the higher end, but don't expect this to be in a flagship device from any of the top manufacturers. 

12 Comments
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posted on 10 Jan 2013, 18:26 1

1. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


processors are so cheap dont see the point of this. Unless its like 5-15 bucks

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 18:39 4

3. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2682; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The power consumption and integrated LTE could be key factors for a manufacturer looking for a mid-high range SoC, but doesn't want to use an older chip.

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 18:38 4

2. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


This is insane overclocked Gpu and 2.5Ghz Wtf .

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 19:18 3

4. chasetorres125 (Posts: 22; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


Both quadcore At 2.5 ghz A9 it can at least cope up with 1.5 ghz A15 believe me,so many choices good news for us consumers,competion r great:-D

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 23:59 1

10. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Somewhat late in the game but this should do ok for tablets and awesome for phones with that power.
Less power consumption is an always welcome thing.

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 19:23

5. smallworld (Posts: 438; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


Don't underestimate that GPU...

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 20:10 2

6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2682; Member since: 26 May 2011)


My hesitation with it is that it can only push up to 1920×1200, which will be fine for smartphones, but it may not be enough the way tablet displays are going.

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 20:41 1

7. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2478; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


I was thinking the same. With tablets on the market already at 2560x1600, this processor hops out the gate with a handicap.

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 21:01

8. Obie-Wan (Posts: 36; Member since: 24 May 2012)


However i still believe this chip will have it's own market, mid - end tablet usually offer resolution like the N7. And on emerging country, they offer a loooooot of those mid-end tablet...

It's a fresh offering for mid-high phones n tablets :)

posted on 10 Jan 2013, 22:01 3

9. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 635; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


But it should be fine in the 7" Tablet market considering those things run well below that resolution and no one is really making a stink about those visuals. I see this would work out well in 7" and possibly make a killing if the battery life is as good as they are going on about. Nexus 7 redux with this chip and a 1080p display would go hand in hand with looks and performance yes? LTE enabled would be icing on the cake.

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 03:19

12. smallworld (Posts: 438; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


True, but NovaThor chipsets are primarily aimed at smartphones.

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 00:48 1

11. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)


Hopefully Mid-Range Sony phones will use it and take advantage of LTE.

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