Feature packed SoC with plenty of connectivity
is the name behind the new Google TV reference platform and since there’s a pretty good chance quite a few of us will have it in our next TV set, we should get properly acquainted.
The ForeSight platform is based on a dual-core ARM processor, namely the Marvell Armada 1500, or Marvell 88DE3100 SoC. The chip includes two ARMv7 PJ4B processors and at this point Marvell is promising clocks in excess of 1GHz. The first version will be clocked at 1.2GHz. Since power consumption is not a major concern, we could probably see a bit more performance than we are used to from ARM chips in tablets and smartphones.
One of the key aspects of the chip is a dedicated, secure DRM processor that supports various DRM schemes and multiple crypto accelerators, which is obviously a must for the new platform. On the graphics side of things, the platform features a video post processing system with 3D noise reduction, 3D de-interlacing, adaptive contrast enhancement and a host of other features. Of course, Blu-ray 3D support is on board and the chip can cope with two simultaneous 1080p streams.
In terms of connectivity, the ARMADA 1500 boasts USB, Ethernet, SATA, HDMI and SDIO support. The reference board with a Marvell 88DE6010 DTV analog front-end companion chip also supports legacy formats, including terrestrial/cable, composite video, component video and VGA, along with four HDMI v1.4 ports. Analog and digital audio are also covered, Wifi is also on board, along with pretty much every connector imaginable.
Basically it is an all-round platform, with a customizable UI, video-on-demand support, Google Marketplace support and a comprehensive software suit that should enable TV makers to quickly roll out new models, so Google and Marvell seem to have everything covered. All we can do now is sit back and wait for the first TVs to show up in retail, or better yet, in our living rooms.