Marvell isn't the highest profile chip manufacturer out there, but the company's been getting more traction as of late, introducing its silicon into high-profile products like the Microsoft Kinect, OnLive Microconsole, and a host of speedy solid state drives, A/V receivers, and even a few tablets and phones you might have heard of. Well, Marvell's about to introduce a product that could give it more traction than ever: it's designed an reference board around a new Armada 1500 chip, designed specifically for all those new Google TVs that Eric Schmidt promised. The dual-core 1.2GHz silicon can be used for other things, of course, including standard Android and Linux platforms — Marvell's Gaurav Shah told us OnLive won't be the only cloud gaming platform to use its Armada processors, for instance — but the company's hinting that smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players and set-top boxes are the meal of choice and Google TV is the main course.
To that end, the Armada 1500 SoC has a host of built-in goodies, including one dedicated processor that can decode two HD video streams simultaneously and handle a variety of codecs, another dedicated to DRM (hello there, content providers), a graphics engine for image quality enhancements, a surround sound audio DSP, and a 3D graphics core for games and applications. It's hard to say how the chip will hold up in Google TV apps against the likes of, say, a Tegra 3, but Marvell insists it's "definitely much more powerful than anything out there on the market today." Armada 1500 products will be on sale in the first half of 2012, and you can take a peek at the block diagram and reference platform at our source links.