Windows

Razer announces what may be the most kicks ass gaming laptop in the world

General News

Snapdragon 805 hands-on at CES, the processor in your next smartphone

Software

NVIDIA and ATI release new beta drivers for Windows 8.1

Microsoft News

Nokia Lumia 2520 has 'clear advantage' over Microsoft's Surface 2, says Qualcomm

Windows

Nvidia CEO: Next-generation Microsoft Surface will be powered by Nvidia

Microsoft News

Acer updates the Aspire S7 with Haswell; introduces the Aspire S3

Contests

Announcing our Winners in the 'Spring into TEGRA' Contest!

Contests

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!

Windows Phone News

Demonstration of a NVIDIA Tegra powered Windows RT tablet running Unreal 3 engine. Coming to Windows Phone 8?

Windows Phone News

Lumia 900 torn apart to reveal the magical kingdom inside

Windows Phone News

NVIDIA in talks with Microsoft to power Windows 8 tablets with Tegra quad-core

Windows Phone News

Qualcomm working with Nokia on a Windows Phone road map

Windows Phone News

ST-Ericsson gets deal with Nokia to supply chipsets, breaks Qualcomm's hold on Windows Phone

Windows Phone News

Microsoft aims to halve production costs with Windows Phone, only works with Qualcomm

Windows Phone News

Nvidia Tegra chipsets finally coming for Windows Phone in 2013?

Windows Phone News

Nokia's Windows Phones to sport dual-core ST-Ericsson U8500

Windows Phone News

LG switching to NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU for Optimus series; WP7 too?

Windows Phone News

Nvidia CEO talks smack about Windows 7 on tablets; backs Android. Where's WP7?

Windows Phone News

NVIDIA Tegra 2 coming to CES in January; Smartphone rollout 2nd half 2010

Windows Phone News

Nvidia Tegra has 8 processors in Zune HD, no kitchen sink

30

Qualcomm it is for Windows Phone as ST-Ericsson fizzles away

Turning to other matters today, it looks like the silicon maker ST-Ericsson will soon be a thing of the past, or at least significantly de-fanged.  The company is now set to be broken up with employee layoffs and the remaining legacy continuing as STMicro.

This is relevant only because back in 2011, ST-Ericsson publicly claimed a deal with Nokia to help supply their chipsets on their emerging line of low-cost Windows Phones. Indeed, their NovaThor chipset was supposed to rival that of Qualcomm, who has had a dominant role with Windows Phones from its inception.

The idea that ST-Ericsson would compete with Qualcomm (and eventually NVIDIA) is enticing only because competition is good for the platform. But evidently that deal between Nokia and ST-Ericsson was either over-hyped or never materialized, because the company is now no more.

NVIDIA roadmap
Where art thou, Windows Phone? (NVIDIA)

Speaking of NVIDIA, the last we heard from them on Windows Phone was a leaked roadmap (that eventually went public) noting that they were on board for 2013 with their Tegra/Icera combo "Grey" chipset. But that was two years ago and we have heard not a single bit of information regarding that chipset nor NVIDIA making any SoC for Windows Phone OEMs. Indeed, at this point, we’d be very doubtful of that coming to fruition.

With ST-Ericsson out and NVIDIA still MIA that only leaves Qualcomm to continue to dominate the SoC that powers Windows Phones.

Source: Reuters

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

Comments

There are 30 comments. Sign in to comment

prestonalan says:

I'm completely cool with Qualcomm chipsets. They do awesome work.

I used to dig on Qualcomm back in the day (especially with the aGPS/GPS thing) but for the last 2 years, they have been dominating the mobile industry and in a good way. I'm constantly impressed with what they're working on and where they are going.

Still, competition would be nice.

prestonalan says:

I completely agree. While it's good to have the best game in town, they're not exactly being challenged to deliver features which may be specific to WinRT/WP8.

L0gic Bom8 says:

Can't argue your words, Daniel. But if they did come to WP, then it'd be Android all over.

Micfur says:

It a shame that they're the only game in town for the foreseeable future:(

Prodigy11 says:

Intel is still a possibility, isn't it?

theflew says:

I agree. I think Intel will probably be the "Other" guy.

I like Intel, so I hope.

Eddie_Lomax says:

I'm hoping that they do get voted onboard, as it seems that Microsoft are keeping the hardware specifications extremely tight so I assume MS are the impediment here as Intel seem to be keen to get any serious Phone business.
Qualcomm are definitely good, but with their profits going up by 30% I think the benefits of having a second chipset supported for WP9 would far outweigh any "fragmentation" issues.  Plus Intel would bring in some very good technology too.

eric12341 says:

I don't think so because Intel initially sold their mobile processor division to Qualcomm around 2006 I believe.

x I'm tc says:

Yeah, but they're back.  Big time.  By the end of this year/beginning of next, Intel may have the MIPS/watt advantage over all ARM vendors.  None of them really have what it takes to compete with Intel's manufacturing, and their roadmaps simply don't stack up (but you never know).  And Intel will then start looking serioiusly for some partners.  One will be Tizen, which, with Samsung's support, will become "the third ecosystem" overnight.
And you can bet, given what a sales laggard WP is, MS is going to be pretty desperate to have someone to take to the dance.  Intel, not wanting to have all their eggs in the Tizen basket, may well be just that partner.

TechAbstract says:

Stick with Qualcomm. More SoC equal fragmentation. It's ugly on Android.

a5cent says:

Not necessarily. If WP8 and WP9 both run on their own SoC families without exception and crossover, then the negative types of fragmentation most often referred to are completely avoided.

cannon#WP says:

I think Android's fragmentation has less to do with chipsets and more to do with OEM engineering teams being directed to work on future devices first, updating current high-end devices second and updating "legacy" devices (read: 9 months or older) never.

TechAbstract says:

You know how some games run like crap on high end Android phones because those phones don't have the right SoC.

user4545 says:

This from someone using a Windows product, the most hardware supporting OS ever. 

thomppa79 says:

Yes, ST-Ericsson will be discontinued. But No, the competition will not disappear since the business from ST-Ericsson will continue in the parent companies. For those who want to go for alternatives for Qualcomm can go and buy the platform from Ericsson. Ericsson will continue the development of LTE thin modems.

sri_tech says:

I think qualcomm is supplying their chips for windows phones for low prices.
That is one of the reasons for Nokia being able to deliver Lumia 520 for such low prices.
The below details are from qualcomm executive Raj Talluri: Their product portfolio for 2nd half 2013. He expects snapdragon 600 to become mid range once 800 launced in the 2nd half.
Snapdragon 800: Phones that cost $500+
Snapdragon 600: In phones that cost $300 to $500
Snapdragon 400: Phones that cost $100 to $300
Snapdragon 200: Phones that cost sub $100.
I am sure Microsoft must have made some deal to get lower prices because of exlclusiveness.
 

a5cent says:

No such special deal between Nokia and Qualcomm exists. Most of Nokia's engineering efforts for the x20 line were already recouped by the L920. Because the entire Lumia x20 line is essentially the same phone in different clothing, the L520's cost structure barely contains engineering expenses. In fact, the L520 need recoup only its own production and distribution costs to break even, which is less than $120 per device.

bilzkh says:

Not ARM, but is there a chance that Intel will jump into Windows Phone with one of their Atom designs?

x I'm tc says:

More than a chance, I would say.  Consider it likely.

a5cent says:

Intel can't jump on anything! Microsoft evaluates which SoC they like best and then ensures WP is compatible with and optimized for that one SoC. The supplier of that SoC then gets WP's business for that particular hardware cycle. End of story.

However, I agree that a future Intel SoC is a very likely pick for a future version of WP.

tissotti says:

Qualcomm is the best there is at the moment.
But something people seem to forget is that different SoCs are the root of hardware differentation. So in that i would more than welcome more options out there. 

a5cent says:

Hardware differentiation at the SoC level achieves little for consumers and makes life for developers (particularly those making games) quite a bit more complicated. Anything that is more complicated for developers will at some point filter down and also make life more complicated for consumers. It's not going to happen, because Microsoft doesn't want it to happen. For good reason.

ChMar says:

That's te purpose of an OS to make those changes transparent to the app developers so they don't have to care about hardware

a5cent says:

I am a developer. What you say is true for things like cameras and microphones, but not at all true for things like CPUs, GPUs or any of the other coprocessors that are part of the SoC. For sich core components, the OS can't hide differences in performance or features. That is why it is precisely those smartphone components which MS has rigorously standardized... MS doesn't do that just for fun.

ChMar says:

I'm a dev too. And the os can mitigate the differences. And that is what it does. You don't write in assemmbly anymore. And no one ever has writen code for gpu except from os provided apis and libs(OpenGl, DirectX, DirectCompute, AMP, OpenCL, etc). You don't write assembly code for cpu either so it's the os job to take care of those differences. Does it result in performance differences sure. Any different CPUs desktop or mobile have different performance envelope and prices

cesar ruiz1 says:

I don't know but if you combine 2 rumors it makes a big one. Surface phone+ tegra = surface phone rt.

neo_eastside says:

Intel + Lenovo = Killer Windows Phone

Bee Mon says:

Not likely so far Intel + Lenovo = mediocre Android Phones