The dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based U8500 system-on-chip will be the first to power Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone devices.  (Source:
U8500 will be first chip to be used on Nokia's Windows smartphones

Until now, Windows Phone 7 devices have all employed Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor as a result of Microsoft's strict uniformity standards. But at least one new chipmaker will join the fold when Nokia begins manufacturing Windows Phone-based devices as part of its strategic partnership with Microsoft.

Elizabeth Woyke writes on her Mobilized blog at Forbes that ST-Ericsson, a joint venture of STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, will provide chips for Nokia Windows Phone devices. 

"ST’s former wireless business (ST-NXP Wireless) was a key chip supplier to Nokia before it was folded into ST-Ericsson in 2009," Woyke writes. The new partnership grew somewhat out of that past familiarity.

STMicroelectronics CEO Carlo Bozotti told Woyke that ST-Ericsson would be one of two chip suppliers for Nokia's Windows Phone devices, beginning with WP8. The initial chipset to be used will be the U8500, a dual-core processor currently found on T-Mobile's Sidekick 4G and AT&T's Samsung Infuse 4G. Later devices, of the 12 Nokia plans to launch in 2012, will run on an future version of the U8500, Bozotti told Woyke.

The news comes at a time when ST-Ericsson is in need of positive momentum. The company reported a 33-percent drop in first-quarter revenues from last year and a $179 million net loss, Woyke reports. But it aims to break even during Q2 2012, thanks to collaborations with seven of the top nine handset manufacturers.

"The bad news is that ST-Ericsson’s legacy products are dropping off faster than expected," Bozotti tells Woyke. "The good news is that it is gaining traction with customers, which gives it the means to succeed."

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