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New Google TV taps Marvell system-on-a-chip

The new Google TV platform taps Marvell chip but Google still has some work to do on the software side.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
Marvell gets its chip into the Google TV but Google's Android Honeycomb update left CNET Reviewers frustrated.
Marvell gets its chip into the Google TV but Google's Android Honeycomb update left CNET Reviewers frustrated. CNET Reviews

Google is tapping Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell to power its new TV, which will debut next week at CES.

Marvell's ARMADA 1500 HD Media System-on-a-Chip (SoC) has been designed into the next generation of Google TVs debuting at CES 2012, the chip supplier said Thursday. That chip is based on a design from U.K.-based ARM.

"Marvell and Google have teamed up to...[transform] the TV into the command center for our connected lifestyle," Marvell co-founder Weili Dai said in a statement.

The two companies have collaborated on software and chip technologies to grow the Google TV ecosystem of manufacturers and devices, Marvell said.

But more broadly, the Android Honeycomb update to Google TV has not impressed CNET Reviews.

"It took Google an entire year to deliver a major update to the first round of Google TV products, and it has not been worth the wait," CNET Reviews said. "While it looks and sounds good in theory, the actual user experience is pretty terrible," Reviews said.

That said, it is certainly a win for Marvell. An Intel Atom chip appeared in the first Google TV, but that platform never took off. Moreover, the Atom processor has been struggling to gain acceptance in any consumer device beyond the netbook, which itself is fading in the face of tablet competition.