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Google TV Getting ARM Compatibility?

Google TV Getting ARM Compatibility?

Google TV is reportedly going to support ARM chips, as well as Intel's Atom.

Intel's most recent earnings call may have claimed several platform wins over low-power chip rivals ARM and MIPS, but it looks as though the semiconductor giant has lost ground in at least one area: Google is reportedly planning to develop its Google TV platform for ARM chips, as well as Atom CPUs.

The long-rumoured move has been confirmed by ARM watcher ARMdevices.net, which cites an anonymous source at Google as confirming that future Google TV implementations will give manufacturers the choice of using Intel or ARM processors.

Current Google TV devices are restricted to using x86 processors, with the vast majority of designs plumping for Intel's Atom CE4100 low-power processor. However, the C4100 is more expensive to produce compared to similar ARM-based chips, and draws significantly more power.

More importantly, however, the use of Intel chips means that OEMs such as Samsung have to order the parts especially, despite having their own ARM licences and producing their own ARM-based processors.

A move to support ARM on Google TV would free the OEMs that produce their own ARM-based processors from having to order chips from a third party, while giving other manufacturers the a choice of processor architecture.

While sales of Google TV products haven't exactly been brisk - and thus don't represent a major profit line for Intel - it's another blow for a company that is finding itself beset on all sides by the ARM architecture, which was originally developed by pioneering British computer manufacturer Acorn for its Archimedes computers.

So far, neither Google nor ARM Holdings have officially confirmed the deal. However, if the rumour is true, then it could contribute to putting the future of Intel's Atom chips into question.

Do you think Intel should be worried about ARM's increasing popularity, or is the chip giant safe for now? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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Snips 14th January 2011, 14:23 Quote
Not interested in Google TV so not sure why this would effect me or many others. Intels profits way above forecast anyway, especially in the areas ARM, AMD were supposed to be gaining ground which was the Server market.
mi1ez 14th January 2011, 14:24 Quote
This would definitely be a good thing, especially with how much more powerful ARM is becoming!
mike87d 14th January 2011, 17:13 Quote
Well, the switch would mean quicker adoption of the Google TV platform among the masses which is something I support. I remember when I was first exposed to Google TV at work (DISH Network) back in September... I instantly fell in love and realized that this would be the future of TV.It's been almost 3 months since I bought mine and the simplicity of how it converges the entire internet and my DISH Network programming and DVR contents into one seamless interface amazes me. Like I said, this is the future and I think Google TV will end up being the platform everyone uses.
l3v1ck 14th January 2011, 17:34 Quote
When I buy a new TV in the next year or two, it'll need to be 1080HD, LED and have iPlayer.
I couldn't care less about Google TV.
HourBeforeDawn 14th January 2011, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
When I buy a new TV in the next year or two, it'll need to be 1080HD, LED and have iPlayer.
I couldn't care less about Google TV.

in a year or two the next standard of Hi-Def will be out... 1600P unless the roadmap for Blu-Ray changed as it said something like 2012.

anyhow ARM is cheaper and well its not like it has to support a full OS so it makes sense.
TWeaK 14th January 2011, 18:11 Quote
Weren't Intel reportedly distancing themselves from Google TV recently? I guess now we know why..
frontline 14th January 2011, 18:47 Quote
Atom is on borrowed time anyway.
ssj12 14th January 2011, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Not interested in Google TV so not sure why this would effect me or many others. Intels profits way above forecast anyway, especially in the areas ARM, AMD were supposed to be gaining ground which was the Server market.

Profits doesn't equal market share. And ARM is just starting in the server market.
Snips 14th January 2011, 20:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Not interested in Google TV so not sure why this would effect me or many others. Intels profits way above forecast anyway, especially in the areas ARM, AMD were supposed to be gaining ground which was the Server market.

Profits doesn't equal market share. And ARM is just starting in the server market.

Actual on these reports it does. Intel have put their huge increase in revenue on the server market.
Yoy0YO 16th January 2011, 12:09 Quote
Sorry, I'm a bit confused at what ARM is. Sometimes I read x86 thrown around with google tv, now nVidia are on the ARM bandwagon with tegra 2 and all.
Is ARM another type of processor thats not compatible with x86? something in laymans terms would be wonderful.

I think it'd be great to get google TV linked with ARM though. That new Motorola Atrix with the dock thing allows for a linux sort of PC interface, but what they should include is a dock with your TV with HDMI out and then your phone will instantly become a Google TV interface.
The dock comes with a USB port and a Mini HDMI port and a cradle and a wireless keyboard. The dock/keyboard combo could be sold as a universal google tv dock too. Neat.

Man, google should intergrate chromeOS with android. Instead of the Atrix going into linux, it should boot into something more alike to ChromeOS, and Google TV with a TV set.

So many possibilities.
thetrashcanman 16th January 2011, 13:37 Quote
I'm not really bothered about goggle tv, but assuming this is true I am glad someone is giving intel a run for there money
Bauul 17th January 2011, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoy0YO
Sorry, I'm a bit confused at what ARM is. Sometimes I read x86 thrown around with google tv, now nVidia are on the ARM bandwagon with tegra 2 and all.
Is ARM another type of processor thats not compatible with x86? something in laymans terms would be wonderful.

In a nutshell (feel free to correct me on this):

ARM produce designs for chips that are not compatible with x86, they're a whole different way of doing things. Typically they are used for low-power devices like smartphones.

Point of note: ARM don't actually make the chips, they just liscence out the architecture for others to manufacturer. So the likes of Samsung can manufacturer their own chips for their devices, which is much more preferable than having to buy them in from Intel.
Th3Maverick 18th January 2011, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoy0YO
Sorry, I'm a bit confused at what ARM is. Sometimes I read x86 thrown around with google tv, now nVidia are on the ARM bandwagon with tegra 2 and all.
Is ARM another type of processor thats not compatible with x86? something in laymans terms would be wonderful.

Most basic difference is that ARM is RISC and x86 is CISC. But for real details:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture
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