ARM Powered Google TV, how soon?

Posted by Charbax – August 20, 2010

Google needs to announce the ARM Powered Google TV to compete with the rumored Apple iTV. Google TV could be sold for less than $99 using ARM instead of $299 using Intel.

Here's a recent demonstration of Google TV showing its integration with Dish Networks services as reported by Engadget.com:

What hardware requirements will the ARM Powered Google TV have? ARM cortex A9 with DDR3 at the minimum for fast HD 1080p resolution browsing and interfaces? HDMI input and output (pass-through)? IR-blaster?

My guess is that there could be 2 different versions of Google TV for ARM Powered devices:

1. The full version: with full integration with existing cable/satellite box (HDMI in/out and IR blaster) plus same functions as the basic version.

2. The basic version: that only does the IPTV, Internet-only and media streaming features.

Using ARM, the Internet-only basic Google TV version could be sold at or below $49 while the fully backwards compatible with cable/satellite channels Google TV experience could be sold at or below $99.

I don't think Google has signed any "exclusive" partnerships with Intel, they have a partnership for sure, just as Google has a partnership with Intel powering the more than a million Google servers that are out there. Intel feels left out of the whole Android ecosystem, so they are the ones who have been most desperate to at least be a part of the Google TV initiative. I think it's more about Google waiting for the next generation ARM Cortex A9 to be ready to support full HD 1080p interfaces smoothly before they announce ARM support. Early next year, Google TV will be open sourced anyways, so by that time all the ARM vendors will have it.