Marvell unveils ARMADA, the high-def media chip in Chromecast

The processor enables high-quality audio, video and graphics

Marvell today unveiled a high-performance, high-definition (HD) media processor, the ARMADA 1500-mini chip, which it said is the hardware behind Google's new streaming TV platform, Chromecast.

ARMADA 1500-mini chip
Marvell's ARMADA 1500-mini chip

Chromecast, announced last week, is a $35 stream-to-TV device that works through a two-inch long dongle that plugs into the HDMI port in a high-definition television.

The Chromecast dongle connects to a user's Wi-Fi network and allows a consumer to stream content from the cloud or from an open tab in Google's Chrome browser.

Marvell said its ARMADA 1500-mini chip is the brain behind Chromecast. The ARMADA 1500-mini platform is designed to enable high quality audio, video, and graphics, while being energy efficient.

"It is designed to provide instantaneous 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," Marvell said in its product release.

The hardware platform supports 1080p decode and "has a high security grade" enabling multiple DRM solutions like Widevine and Playready.

"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," Weili Dai, president and co-founder of Marvell, said in a statement. "2013 has been a phenomenal year for bringing online entertainment to TV."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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