Google’s 2nd-gen Chromecast has 802.11ac WiFi for faster wireless connection than the original Chromecast media streamer that Google launched in 2013. But it turns out that’s not the only hardware difference.
The original Chromecast was powered by a Marvell Armada 1500 Mini 88DE3005 processor, while the 2nd-gen Chromecast has an Armada 1500 min Plus 88DE3006 chip.
According to the chip maker, the new processor offers 2.5 better CPU performance.
The new processor is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with support for 1080p HD video playback and multiple DRM technologies. It’s paired with a Marvell Avastar 88W8887 wireless chip, which supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 (although it’s not clear if there’s a Bluetooth antenna in the Chromecast).
That’s upgrade from the single-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor found in the original Chromecast.
It’s interesting that Google is only really talking about the improved WiFi performance of the new Chromecast, suggesting there’s not much reason to upgrade if you’re happy with the WiFi speed and reliability of your first-gen Chromecast. Pretty much any video, games, or other content you want to stream to a Chromecast should currently work on either model.
But since the updated Chromecast does have a more powerful CPU, it could open the door to new games or other apps that only work on the new model in the future.
The connectivity (wifi, BT) is not provided by that chip as suggested by the article. it’s provided by the Avastar 88W8887.
Good point. Interestingly, that chip should also support NFC and FM radio, but I doubt the Chromecast has the hardware to support those features.
The increase in CPU power is noticeable. It’s much quicker at swapping apps than the original. I’d be curious to know what’s in the Chromecast Audio.
Thanks, that’s exactly what I was wondering about *upgrades*
I clicked the link in the article and found this.
“Chromecast 2.0 and Chromecast Audio powered by Marvell’s ARMADA® 1500 Mini Plus (88DE3006) and advanced Avastar® 88W8887 solutions”
Interesting. I was expecting the Chromecast Audio to have a different lower power processor, but it seems a little over-powered for the job. I wonder if it will get features to impove the device over time. Not that it needs it, but it would future proof it quite a bit.
Economies of scale and share development and design costs, I guess.
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