ST-Ericsson and ARM Enable Support for Android on Next-Generation Multicore Mobile Platforms

15 February 2010

The cooperation will enable enhanced performance and battery life for smartphones

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND AND CAMBRIDGE UK - Feb. 15, 2010 - ST-Ericsson and ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq:ARMH)] announced today at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona,  their ongoing joint development to optimize Android to take advantage of Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) when executing on the high-performance and power-efficient ST-Ericsson U8500 platform, which uses a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ processor. This next-generation platform improves the multitasking capability and peak performance of Android handsets, while maintaining the lowest power consumption profile. Support for SMP within Android will enable the next level of performance and capabilities for Android handsets.  This includes combining access to rich web content and multimedia, the latest location-based services and social networking, and a compelling user interface.

Consumer demand for advanced multimedia applications and an always-on, full web experience on their handsets is putting unprecedented pressure on the battery life of devices.  ARM MPCore technology provides improvements over the multicore architectures which are now widely used in personal computers and servers to maximize the performance and power-efficiency of a device by enabling power management techniques that significantly reduce dynamic and static power consumption.  This joint optimization from the ST-Ericsson and ARM effort will be fed back into the Android Open Source community for all to use.

“Using mobile phones solely to make phone calls and send short messages is becoming a thing of the past,” said Ronan de Renesse, senior analyst, head of Mobile Media, Screen Digest. “Revenues from mobile data services and applications are set to double in the next four years to reach Euro 100bn. For the market to reach its full potential, new mobile devices must become more versatile. With Web browsing being the most popular application on smartphones, it is also therefore critical for manufacturers to offer the best browsing experience.”  

By optimizing Android for SMP on the Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, ST-Ericsson and ARM will help device manufacturers meet the growing demand for advanced smartphones with the cost and power consumption characteristics of a traditional feature phone.

Among the very first chipsets to integrate the ARM multicore Cortex-A9 MPCore application processor and the Mali-400™ graphic processor, ST-Ericsson’s U8500 platform can provide peak application performance while also being able to support 120 hours of audio playback or 12 hours of full HD video playback on one battery charge.

“Being strong supporters of Open Source, we have already started to contribute optimizations for ARM multicore technology to Android and  look forward to bringing more to the Open source community, enabling consumers innovative user experiences,” said Teppo Hemia, vice president, 3G Multimedia Platforms Business Unit of ST-Ericsson. “Our work with ARM will accelerate the shift of Android and the mobile industry to advanced multicore processors, significantly improving performance scalability while maintaining low levels of power consumption.”

“Our partnership with ST-Ericsson will bring about a step change in the performance and capabilities of Android handsets enabling a richer and more sophisticated mobile web experience,” said Ian Drew, executive vice president, Marketing, ARM. “By providing an on-demand use of device resources, the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processor is quickly becoming the defacto technology in the handset market, where low-power consumption with on-demand performance is critical.”

Notes to Editors: Symmetric Multi Processing enables multicore processors such as the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, to operate at lower voltages and frequencies, allowing consumers to do much more on a single battery charge.  Instead of a single processor running at full capacity to complete a task, multiple cores can work concurrently and at a reduced rate: this causes the entire chip to operate at a lower temperature, which contributes to a reduction in power leakage. This allows an SMP system to deliver the same level of performance that might be expected from a larger and faster single-core processor, while consuming considerably less power. The ability to distribute parallel loads to different cores ensures that users will enjoy a much richer mobile experience through higher reactivity and faster execution of concurrent Web widgets, multimedia and communication functions, without compromising battery life.

About ST-Ericsson
ST-Ericsson is a world leader in developing and delivering a complete portfolio of innovative mobile platforms and cutting-edge wireless semiconductor solutions across the broad spectrum of mobile technologies.  The company is a leading supplier to the top handset manufacturers and ST-Ericsson’s products and technologies enable more than half of all phones in use today.  The company generated pro-forma sales of about USD 2.7 billion in 2009.  ST-Ericsson was established as a 50/50 joint venture by STMicroelectronics and Ericsson in February 2009, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  More information on ST-Ericsson is available at www.stericsson.com.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available here:


ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited. Cortex, Mali-400 and MPCore are trademarks of ARM Limited.  All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM Inc.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Limited.; ARM Taiwan Limited; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; ARM Germany GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; ARM Norway, AS and ARM Sweden AB


Media Relations

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Email: media.relations@stericsson.com

Investor Relations
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Email: investor.relations@stericsson.com

Michelle Spencer
Phone: +44 1628 427780
Email: michelle.spencer@arm.com


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