Chromecast is based on Marvell's Armada 1500-Mini.
We already knew that Marvell supplied the SoC for Google's supposed plug-and-play media streamer, Chromecast. Images taken during FCC testing revealed the 88DE3005 "Armada" chip that was presumably a single-core version of Marvell's Armada 1500, aka the 88DE3100. Now we know the actual name of Marvell's solution: the Armada 1500-Mini.
Marvell said that the new platform is designed to support low-power applications such as TV dongles while also delivering high quality audio and 1080p video in multi-screen experiences across mobile devices, laptops and HDTVs. It has a high security grade, enabling multiple DRM solutions like Widevine and Playready, the company said.
When combined with Marvell's Wi-Fi chip, the Armada 1500-Mini SoC provides an easy setup, and plugs straight into a TV's HDMI port. The product page shows a full, dongle-sized solution with Marvell's logo stamped on the shell and an HDMI plug protruding from the front. That said, the company seems to be offering the stand-alone chip to be used in third-party solutions, and a fully enclosed solution that's ready for a customer's operating system.
"I am very excited to see the brilliance of the tiny and beautiful Chromecast. I believe this is truly a game-changing solution to drive the new era of the 'Connected Lifestyle' by enabling easy access to online entertainment for an immersive, interactive multi-screen experience across any smartphone, tablet, laptop and big screen," said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell.
As a reference, the Armada 1500 chip features two Marvell SMP cores clocked at 1.2 GHz, a GC1000 core for 3D graphics, Qdeo video processing, an integrated security engine supporting various DRM schemes, support for HDMI 1.4, and a full suite of integrated peripherals such as USB, Ethernet, SATA and more. An integrated audio post-processor enables advanced audio algorithms such as Dolby, DTS, and AEC for high-quality, multi-channel, and stereo audio output.
"[The Armada 1500-mini] is designed to provide instantaneous and seamless access to applications such as YouTube, Netflix and other cloud-based content, and deliver a ground-breaking multi-screen experience across smart mobile devices, laptops and HDTVs transforming any big screen into a smart and immersive entertainment device," the company said.
Consumers will likely see additional Chromecast-like products on the market using the Armada 1500-mini solution in the near future.