Nokia's debut Windows Phone 7 smartphones look set to come packing ST-Ericsson processors when they land later this year, an exec on the board of the chip-maker has claimed.
Speaking to Forbes, STMicroelectronics CEO Carlo Bozotti – who also sits on the ST-Ericsson board – reckons Nokia has given the company the nod as one of its two chip suppliers of choice for its WinPho offerings.
So far Microsoft's close control over the hardware spec involved in Windows Phone 7 handsets has made Qualcomm's ubiquitous Snapdragon chips the de facto silicon found inside phones released on the platform.
However Microsoft has said it will be less strict on the components used inside WinPho devices going forward, and it looks like ST-Ericsson, a joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson, will be one of the players to feature.
Bozotti reckons the partnership with Nokia grew out of an existing familiarity between the firms, with ST's former wireless business (ST-NXP Wireless) having provided silicon to Nokia until its amalgamation into ST-Ericsson in 2009.
The first chipset Nokia will be making use of is the U8500, a dual-core system-on-a-chip that Forbes says compares “favourably” to the Snapdragon chip as it offers multiple wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and a fast, built-in HSPA+ modem on board.
Bozotti added that a future update to the U8500 is already being lined up to feature on some of Nokia's second-gen Windows Phone devices, set to appear before the end of 2012.