ST Ericsson Demonstrates NovaThor L8580 Multi Cortex A9 SoC @ 2.8 GHz

ST_Ericsson_eQuadWe’ve first heard about ST Ericsson NovaThor L8580 in July 2012, and the company demonstrated their new processor at CES 2013. This SoC features 4 (or is it 2?) Cortex A9 cores, and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU, but the real advantage of this processor is the new process technology called FD-SOI (Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator) which, combined with some other power and performance optimization techniques,  allows some fun stuffs such as:

  • 2.8 GHz dual core operation
  • 1 GHz operation at 0.63V instead of 1.1V when using bulk CMOS technology.

You can see those 2 use cases in the video demo. In the first demo, a phone prototype based on L8580 @ 2.8Ghz is clearly faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3 based on Exynos 4412, and the second demo shows power measurement of the prototype when ran at 1GHz.

Other key features of L8580:

  • Low-power eQuad processor clocked at up to 2.5Ghz based on ARM Cortex-A9 processor
  • Imagination Technologies POWERVR SGX544 GPU
  • Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
  • High-bandwidth Dual LP-DDR2 interface
  • Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4), 3D HD video capture and display
  • High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to WUXGA
  • Simultaneous dual display support up to dual qHD
  • Dual camera support up to 20 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GNSS (GPS+GLONASS), FM and NFC enabled platform
  • LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE with rdio supporting up to 10 LTE/WCDMA/GSM bands.
  • Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
  • Optional support for mobile TV standards
L8580 Block Diagram
L8580 Block Diagram

You can find more information on ST Ericsson Novathor L8580 page.

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8 Replies to “ST Ericsson Demonstrates NovaThor L8580 Multi Cortex A9 SoC @ 2.8 GHz”

  1. misko :
    Anybody know why all SOC makers move to POWERVR GPU ?
    prev. model of ST SOC use Mali GPU
    same Samsung SOCs

    I noticed that too … I’d say they were won over by the drivers and the Linux support for which PowerVR is well renowned from their Intel colaboration 😀

  2. Speaking of Intel chipzilla will kill them all when it releases some of its serious x86 low power stuff. A9s even at 2.5 GHz are just too weak even for A15s.

    Right… I changed the date :). Last July, they announced it was a dual core, but with the recent announcement it’s very confusing as they don’t explicitly give the number of cores. But they call the cpu part “eQuad” which let us believe it’s a quad core, and most sites report it’s a quad core.

    For cortex A9, PowerVR GPU series 5xt are usually more powerful than Mali or Vivante, so I guess that’s one reason. With A15 cores they could also use one of the Mali-T6xx, so I don’t know why Samsung chose s PowerVR GPU for the Octa.

  4. Samsung probably used Power VR for the Octa since Power VR is a lot more power efficient than Mali. Mali cores just use too much power to be used when all Octa cores are running.

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