New Smartphone Chips Pack a PC's Punch

A few years ago, who would have thought that phones would one day be running chips with PC-quality oomph? Today one such platform was announced when STEricsson, a joint venture of Ericsson and ST Microelectronics, released the U8500. It’s powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, with each processor core running at 1.2 GHz. A demo, currently being showed off at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is utilizing Google’s Android OS to show off its various capabilities. The new platform gives us a chance to peek into what awaits the Android ecosystem and what kind of Android phones we should expect over next few months.

First of all, we should assume that the raw processing power is only going to enhance Android’s performance. The 45 nm manufacturing process ensures that the chip is small enough to help build more powerful, yet slimmer, touchscreen devices. The U8500 supports a full 1080p HD camcorder, a 20-Megapixel still camera, advanced 3-D graphics as well as multichannel home theater-quality audio. The platform also has built-in support for HDMI-out. More importantly, it features very low power consumption. For instance, the new platform has 120 hours of audio playback or 12 hours of full HD video playback on one battery charge when equipped with a standard 1,000mAH battery.

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