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GoogleTV Officially Switching to New Marvell Armada ARM 1500 CPU

Discussion in 'Google TV News' started by dgstorm, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Moderator Staff Member

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    It looks like GoogleTV is now officially moving away from the Intel platform to an ARM based architecture. Marvell just announced that their Foresight platform will power the next generation of GoogleTV hardware. The technology in this solution is the Armada 1500 dual-core CPU, which promises to have PC level performance, but with even better power management. It will support Blu-ray 3D, video encoding / decoding and upscaling, and its power management features will enable fanless smart TV products.

    Interestingly, some of the tech in this design is also some of the the same stuff that is in the OnLive cloud gaming console. The above pic is a diagram of the chipset technology, and below is the full press release:

     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a Blu-ray/HD DVD player using Marvell Qdeo for about 4 years and been happy with it. I would be interested in seeing the processing power compared to the current Intel Atom chips in detail.
     
  3. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Probably the most revealing part of this information is in the Armada 1500's Software & Standards page.

     
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the chart. I noticed that they support Hulu-Plus. Thus if Google was telling the truth about Hulu wanting to add Hulu-Plus to Google TV - it would probably be easier to accomplish on the ARM platform.

    Also I noticed about the Tru2Way cable cards. This could be a possibility if Google manufactures their own GTV box through Motorola.
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the processor is an obstacle to adding Hulu+, the only big obstacle is attaining rights from all programming owners along with making sure the copy protection security requirements are met. Before being blocked, Hulu ran fine on Google TV. Of course if this Marvell SoC is a big improvement over the Intel Atom processor, that could sure mean a lot of other possibilities for Google TV.
     
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  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Marvell replaces Intel in Google's TV push - MarketWatch (click for full article)

    I found this information from the article interesting (Marvell doesn't have an exclusive agreement with GTV):

    "Much like Google's partnership with smartphone and tablet chip makers, its TV agreement with Marvell isn't exclusive. Other semiconductor companies will also be able to provide processors for the products, though Marvell said it has a lead over its rivals.

    "Our intent all along for Android on TV devices was for Google TV to be ported to multiple [chips] as we've done with mobile phones," Mario Queiroz, head of Google TV, said in an interview."
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Marvell (click for full article)

    "Product Marketing Manager Edward Silva didn't reveal any details about the actual products in a phone conversation Wednesday, but reports indicate we could see new Google TV devices from Vizio, Samsung and LG.


    Silva did, however, share a few interesting technical details about the ARMADA 1500 SoC: The chip comes with a dual-core CPU clocking 1.2 GHz per core and is capable of decoding two 1080p video streams at the same time, which will enable picture-in-picture applications as well as widget overlays for Google TV. Silva said the overall experience will be "snappier" when compared to the first generation of Google TV devices, which are powered by Intel's C4100 Atom processor.



    Other improvements will include better power management, which should cut energy requirements compared to current Google TV set-top boxes, and support more video codecs. Also worth noting is that the new generation of Google TVs will be able to natively decode VP8, which is at the core of Google's open source WebM video format. The addition of VP8 to Google TV could help the format gain much-needed traction, and possibly convince Google itself to stream the WebM versions of its YouTube videos to Google TV devices.



    Finally, the biggest selling point for consumers: ARM-based Google TV devices will be considerably cheaper than their Intel predecessors. "
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  8. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    LOL. The CE4100 was also capable of decoding two 1080p video streams at the same time as well. In fact, it could handle Dual MPEG-2 MP@HL/MP@ML, Dual VC1/WM9*-AP@L1-L3, and 2x H.264-HP@L4.1. The only architectural improvement which I see so far is the second core. And that doesn't necessarily mean it will be "snappier" but that more than one thread can be executed consecutively. Making it a better multi-tasking processor.

    Multi-threading however is not necessarily easy to coordinate and depends heavily on the optimized code. This is so it doesn't create things like a stale wait or blocked state. This is the reason when the Tivo Premieres were released with the second core disabled. It took them over a year and a half to optimize their source code for multi-threading and enable the second core. Luckily for us, there have been various Android devices with multiple cores for quite sometime and java has been designed to be multi-threaded from inception. So, we probably won't have wait like the Tivo Premiere owners did.

    I think this is an assumption that everyone has because Logitech and Sony originally released their products with significantly bloated profit margins. Plus, looking at the subsidized prices for Android phones might lead them to believe that ARM devices are much less expensive. I don't think the average journalist or consumer understands that there's a general price to performance ratio that is associated with processors. After the Revues sold at $99 which Guerrino De Luca describes as "a breakeven proposition", it is not going to leave much room for profitability for the next generation of ARM based Google TV products.
     
  9. drhill

    drhill Member

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    Thanks for that chart eferz.

    The one thing you should have also highlighted was RVU. It is a DLNA based protocal for cable/satellite tv streams. Comcast, DirectTV, and most of the other providers have thrown their hat behind it though the only company who seems to be very public about it is DirectTV. Maybe this is why Google bought SageTV. :fingers crossed:

    The second core could make a huge difference in the right situation with the right software. In other occasions it will just be a night improvement for background system operations. The old intel hardware was very good and probably only limited by sotware not being optimized. But I am worried about codec support (and the fact the chart has Google TV on it twice). As long as it matches the old hardware I'm happy.

    The other interesting highlight is ICS support being listed. I put a ICS rom on my Xoom and it made a huge difference. Everything is snappier and the browser is a different beast all together. Much closer to a desktop browser. ICS is also quite nice on my Galaxy Nexus. ;)
     
  10. drhill

    drhill Member

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  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/8/26...-1500-reference-design-for-google-tv-hands-on (Marvell's Armada 1500 Reference Design For Google TV Hands-On)

    I'm wondering if the pictures of this Marvell set-top box (from the linked article above) is just a prototype they will be displaying at CES (in order to promote their new GTV chip to prospective GTV manufacturers) - or is Marvell actually thinking of offering a GTV box? Any thoughts about this?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  12. rokuxdsstreamingplayer

    rokuxdsstreamingplayer New Member

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    thanks for the share...its really helpful.:rolleyes:
     

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