ST Micro unveils mobile CPU with AMD graphics

Posted on Thursday, Feb 14 2008 @ 06:18 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
ST Microelectronics unveiled a new cell phone processor with an AMD graphics engine:
By itself, the Nomadik STn8820 cellphone processor simply is an evolution of cellphone application processors out there and just another cellphone CPU that was announced today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. What makes this chip interesting, however, is that it uses virtually the same core as Nvidia in its APX 2500 SoC as well as graphics technology licensed from AMD.

Like the APX 2500, the STn8820 runs on an ARM11 core (with 32 KB instruction cache, 32 KB L1 and 256 KB L2 cache), which can be clocked at up to 528 MHz, according to ST Microelectronics. We don’t know much about the graphics engine, besides the fact that it is based on AMD technology that is covered by a licensing agreement that was signed by the ST Microelectronics and AMD about one year ago. This agreement included AMD’s 2D and 3D and vector graphics core engines, as well as related software compliant with OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.0 standards.

Like the APX 2500, the STn8820 also supports video encoding and decoding at a resolution of 720p at 30 fps, but the two CPUs support different video formats. Nvidia went with H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1 and WMV9 and ST Microelectronics with H264, VC1, MPEG-2 and Divx. Nvidia supports imaging sensors with a resolution of up to 12 megapixels, the AMD engine up to 8 megapixels. The graphics horsepower is shown off with the AMD-developed Pinball-demo, which, according to ST Microelectronics, includes advanced per pixel shader effects such as cube map reflections and "phong specular" highlights.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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