Google (News - Alert) is looking to resuscitate its oft-maligned and poor-selling set-top box, Google TV, by jumping into bed with a new chip maker. California-based Marvell announced on Thursday that its new ARMADA-based Foresight Platform will power the next-generation of Google TVs, set to be teased next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Marvell is replacing Google's former partner Intel (News - Alert), whose chips powered the first-generation of Google TV products. Intel recently said that it no longer has any interest in designing chips for the Web-enabled TV market, which hasn't been nearly as explosive as many first thought.
Although Google TV didn't get off to a hot start – mostly due to its price point and its lack of content – Marvell (News - Alert) believes that it can help make the second-generation devices a huge success.
The company said that its platform's advanced video processing capabilities can enable state-of-the-art HD and 3D video, and can provide the processing power that is necessary for Google TV to run multiple applications at a reasonable price point. Marvell said that the new ARM chip in its Foresight Platform will enable "PC-like" processing power to support Web browsing.
Google will hope that its new partnership with Marvell – along with its updated software and the fresh deals that it made with device makers – will help elevate Google TV past mere relevance. Former partner Logitech (News - Alert), which made the Revue set-top box powered by Google TV, has already left the market, and said that it has no plans to work with the second-generation product.
In fact, the company told the Wall Street Journal that its decision to produce the Google TV-powered set-top box was "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature."
Hopefully for Google and device manufacturer partners, the second effort is more successful than the first. Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf told the Journal that the updated software offers a "big improvement" over the previous version, "giving a much more graphically rich version of the user interface."
Google has reportedly simplified the product and improved its search capabilities. Many analysts expect that Google TV 2.0 will also offer more streaming content and access to today's hottest Web apps.
Look for the new Google TV sometime in the first half of 2012.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves