Marvell flaunts its Armada 1500-mini CPU powering Chromecast, lists codecs

Ever since Google TV made the move from Intel to ARM processors, Marvell has been there with its Armada 1500 CPU, providing decoding, power management and wireless support. As recent FCC documents showed, that arrangement hasn't changed, and Marvell has just formally introduced its Armada 1500-mini processor at the heart of Chromecast. The scaled-down chip provides it (and other USB-powered devices) with 1080p decoding along with features like DRM support and access to TV-centric applications like YouTube and Netflix. Marvell also filled us in on what kind of video decoding the hardware is capable of: it supports most H.264 profiles, MPEG2/4, WMV9, VP6/8, DivX-HD and most digital audio formats (see the PR for a complete list). The high-profile Google connection aside, Marvell also said the chip will work great for other laptop, smartphone and Smart TV streaming applications. On top of that, Mountain View wants to get Chromecast tech natively into Smart TVs and other devices through its Google Cast SDK -- no doubt putting Marvell on the ground floor.

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Marvell Unveils Game-Changing ARMADA 1500-mini Solution for Chromecast

Marvell's leadership in Smart TVs continues to drive innovation in performance, power and cost optimization delivering a ground-breaking, multi-screen user experience in accessing live streaming content

Santa Clara, California (July 30, 2013) – Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) today unveiled a game-changing ARMADA® 1500-mini (88DE3005) solution for Chromecast®. As a part of the award-winning ARMADA 1500 product family, the ARMADA 1500-mini is optimized to support low-power applications such as TV dongles. It 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.

"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. I am very proud of Google's leadership in driving the ecosystem partners to deliver more powerful and very affordable solutions to serve the world of consumers for better lives," said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. "2013 has been a phenomenal year for bringing online entertainment to TV. I am so thankful for and proud of the joint hard work and innovation by the Marvell team, the Google team and other partners in the ecosystem."

Marvell's latest ARMADA 1500-mini platform is designed to enable sophisticated high quality audio, video, and graphics capabilities, while being extremely energy efficient. The platform facilitates form factors – such as a dongle – that are USB powered. It supports 1080p decode and has a high security grade enabling multiple DRM solutions like Widevine and Playready. With Marvell's advanced Wi-Fi solution, it provides an easy set up and plugs straight into a TV HDMI port. This much anticipated platform reinforces Marvell's leading position in the Smart TV ecosystem, including TVs, set-top boxes, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and TV dongles.

Multi-standard audio and video decoding

-H.264 high profile @ Level 4.1, 4.2 and 5
-VP6/8 SD & HD

-Dolby Digital (AC3)
-Dolby Digital Plus
-Dolby TrueHD
-DTS digital surround
-MPEG1 Layer 1/2/3, MPEG2 Layer 2, AC3, E-AC3, HE-AAC v1L2 & v2L4, MPEG2-LC
-MP3, MPEG audio
-AC3 & DTS encode over SPDIF

About Marvell

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is a global leader in providing complete silicon solutions enabling the digital connected lifestyle. From mobile communications to storage, cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment and in-home content delivery, Marvell's diverse product portfolio aligns complete platform designs with industry-leading performance, security, reliability and efficiency. At the core of the world's most powerful consumer, network and enterprise systems, Marvell empowers partners and their customers to always stand at the forefront of innovation, performance and mass appeal. By providing people around the world with mobility and ease of access to services adding value to their social, private and work lives, Marvell is committed to enhancing the human experience.