LONDON – Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) is in discussions with Google Inc. about ARM processors being used for the GoogleTV initiative, according to a Dow Jones report that quotes ARM president Tudor Brown.
At the roll out for the initiative in May 2010 Google had said its internet-connected TV software would be powered by the Intel Atom processor.
Speaking at a conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday (Nov. 18) Brown said he thought Google decided to use Intel processors in GoogleTV to get the product to market quickly, according to the report. "If Google is to meet the mainstream needs of the market, its televisions will need to be made with lower energy and lower cost processors," the report quoted Brown as saying.
The GoogleTV software to run on an internet-connected set top box or some internet-connectable televisions from Sony was scheduled to launch before the end of the year.
Brown declined to comment on the nature of the discussions being held with Google but did say that ARM's 30 percent market share in digital television host processors is growing something the company is focused on.
Agreed! Google and ARM are natural partners, given the way they have operated in their respective industries. Morever, ARM will offer Google width in options and community reach, which cant be matched by the ATOM as of now.
Google and ARM are more suitable bedfellows than Google and Intel. If Google have used Intel's ATOM processors, it is because of short lead times and security of supplies. Once this is secured with ARM and partners, I do not see why Google would choose Intel.
Intel chips (including Atom) are relatively power-hungry, slow vs. ARM at similar clock speeds. Most commercial embedded operating systems (QNX, Linux, et al) run pretty much identically on ARM, x86, MIPS, PPC, etc. In any case, I am very impressed with the ARM9 processors I have used. For small, embedded devices, they get my vote!
Now, this is really a foray into consumer gadgetry market where ARM trumps Intel by many factors. ARM can quickly transition its IP in GPU cores for TV apps while Intel may need to innovate, not just in products but also in positioning, marketing and catering to a sector where they don't really interface with the consumer directly (the $50 Intel Microscope with USB doesn't count! I like mine though!).
@iniewski: I see your point, Google needs to be processor agnostic. I am reminded of a famous quote by the Indian strategist and economist Chanakya (350 to 283BC): fight between equals will destroy both!
Dr. MP Divakar
It would make sense for Google to be microprocessor agnostic...no point of ousting Intel, no point of keeping exculively Intel either...ARM continues to delivery better low power technology but Intel has larger muscles so it will be very intersting to see how they battle out! Kris
good move by ARM, slowly ARM is spreading its wings from smart phones, net books to high end like grqaphics, consumer electronics & servers.
earlier it was INTEL vs AMD processor war, now its INTEL vs ARM vs AMD
Consumer market is a highly competitive market, it would always a great idea to have multiple players in the similar produce segment, when google will be there in the software it will surely swamp the market. In this case if some only for profit company is getting the entire market will be really a trouble for consumers, so ARM and Intel both using google platform will help to grow the industrial segment being discussed.
I wonder if it is more a matter of ARM protecting its 30 percent market share in digital TVs? It could also be an interesting way to push the market into asking Google for the "new" alternative. Time will tell, it could get very complicated if Intel steps up to the plate to protect its market share, or more bizarre if it doesn't.