"It is a creation of ST-Ericsson – a joint venture between Ericsson, whose wireless chips are found in more than half of the cell phones worldwide, and STMicroelectronics. The chipset is called U8500, supports up to 1.2GHz dual-core CPUs and, similarly to OMAP4, takes advantage of the rich SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) functionality that Cortex-A9 has to offer.
Considering all design awards U8500 received from Nokia, it might end up powering its Symbian^4 devices, but has been tested on Android and Linux too. The dual-core Snapdragons are said to be very similar in features to the U8500, which is rated for 12 hours of full HD video playback on a single charge of a standard 1000mAh battery, so hopefully this would be achieved in the latest Snapdragon chipsets as well. An advantage of the platform is that it integrates the baseband modem as Qualcomm's solution does.", is what we specified about the U8500 platform then.
Well, it didn't materialize exactly as predicted regarding Symbian, since Nokia went Windows Phone, but ST-Ericsson is now offering its U8500 dual-core Cortex-A9 based SoC to the Nokia-Microsoft joint venture to utilize in their upcoming handsets, as well as other Windows phones. Nokia promised 1GHz+ Symbian phones are in the works too, so it wouldn't be surprising to see it in such a device either at some point.
The platform should be about as fast as Samsung's Exynos, used in the Samsung Galaxy S II, since it has the same quad-core ARM Mali GPU inside, but it has one big advantage. Similar to the Snapdragon SoCs by Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson U8500 has an integrated baseband radio inside, of the 21Mbps HSPA+ kind, so Nokia needn't worry sourcing separate wireless connectivity chips.
The CEO of ST-Ericsson said that they will be ready for mass producing the chip when Nokia is ready to ramp up production, and that they are moving focus to Windows Phone now. "A lot of new Tier 1 customers are using our products", he said, which might mean other WP7 manufacturers could move to the U8500 dual-core chipset as well, instead of relying only on Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform as it was until now.
Have a look at a short promo video about the platform below.