Processor firm ST-Ericsson to split after failure to find buyer, future of NovaThor platform unclear

ST Ericsson NovaThor eQuadST-Ericsson, the joint venture chip manufacturer known for powering hardware from Sony, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei, plus it produces a range of modems, is to split up. The news comes after a buyer couldn’t be found for the venture, following a search which began at the start of 2013, and included discussions with companies such as Samsung.

Now, the firm will be split into three parts, with Ericsson committing to take over design, development and sales of all modems. Ericsson already has a strong presence in the infrastructure market, and wants to make a go of the modem side of the business, aiming to eventually become one of the top three players.

STMicroelectronics will handle all other ST-Ericsson products. This includes two facilities in France and Italy, with around 950 employees, although it’s not stated exactly what it’ll be doing in either one. Anything not covered will be included in the third section of the split and shut down, which sadly means 1,600 employees will lose their jobs.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, STMicroelectronics CEO ruminated on the ambitions with which the company started out with in 2009. He said, “We had all indications that this would have been a good business, with a great business with certain European customers.” “Things change,” he concluded.

What’s not clear in all this is the fate of the NovaThor platform, of which the impressive L8580 eQuad chip is the most recent incarnation, as it’s not mentioned in the official documentation. In the Wall Street Journal piece, it’s stated STMicroelectronics will be dedicated to general purpose chips for use in the automotive industry, suggesting the mobile arm will be in the third part of the deal, and therefore one of the casualties. If the switch to the auto business tactic sounds familiar, it’s the same one chosen by Texas Instruments late last year, when it decided to leave the mobile processing business.

It’s estimated the process of splitting up the company will be completed sometime after summer, but before the end of the year.


Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.