While Google is promoting the software aspect of Google TV 2.0, the Marvell Armada 1500 HD is the hardware that has been selected by to power Google TV 2.0 at CES. Although Google TV made its debuts on the Intel X86 architecture, Google has decided to open its options to ARM-based architecture that it knows very well from the smartphone and tablet worlds.
Chip providers like Marvell bring tremendous multimedia capabilities for a system like Google TV, and may also offer opportunities to further reduce the cost and the power consumption of those entertainment systems. This is a very potent argument in a market where set top boxes are sold anywhere between $100 and $200, are required to use as little power as possible, and are often designed without a fan in order to keep them quiet.The Marvell Armada 1500 HD is built around a dual-core processor, and on the graphics side, it has a Vivente GC1000 GPU that accelerates OpenGL ES 2.0. The video operations are offloaded to two specialized units within the SoC. There are two versions of the Armada HD 1500: one running at 630Mhz and another at 1200Mhz. It seems that a set top box could tolerate the higher power and heat from the 1.2GHz version.
Most Google TV Systems powered by the Marvell Armada 1500 HD should feature 1GB of RAM (DDR2) and 4GB to 8GB of local storage (for apps, mainly), but it is really up to each manufacturer to decide. It’s a nice (and high-profile) design-win for Marvell.