We knew from an announcement in January that the ARM-based Armada 1500 chipset from Marvell would be at the core of new Google TV products in 2012. Today, we see the chips inside of one of the latest Google TV streaming products that went on sale last month, the Vizio Co-Star. The guys and gals over at iFixit decided to make the Co-Star its latest teardown victim, revealing the $99 set top box is powered by Marvell’s Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor, 1GB of RAM, and various other Marvell components:
* Here’s the specs on the Co-Star: * Marvell Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor * Marvell 88DE2755 QDEO Video Processor * Nanya NT5CB256M8GN-DI 1 GB RAM * Samsung K9GBG08U0A-SCBO 4 GB NAND Flash * Marvell Avastar 88W8787 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM SoC
iFixit provided some highlights after giving the Co-Star a respectable 8 out of 10 repairability score:
* As soon as we’re inside, we pull off what looks like an EMI shield — only to find a thermal pad sitting on top of a sea of small resistors. It’s not often that we encounter cooling for the back side of a motherboard, but Vizio took extra precautions since the Co-Star has no fans.
* A grand total of just five screws and two cables must be removed to free the motherboard.
* We’re used to device innards being dominated by a single component, but those space hogs are usually batteries or power supplies. In the Co-Star, over a third of the real estate is instead inhabited by the aluminum heat sink.
* Why such a honker heat sink? The answer lies in air movement. Without fans to circulate air, there is no forced convection. Therefore, the Co-Star must rely on conduction and natural convection to keep the processor cool.
* Modders, take note: the Co-Star’s silver bezel comes off easily and would probably look pretty slick when painted neon green.
Some fun factoids on the Co-Star’s remote:
* Both keyboard bezel and rubber button cover easily detach from the rest of the remote, making it a cinch to clean off grime after prolonged use.
* An abundance of glue secures the trackpad to the front of the Co-Star remote, but pretty much everything else comes apart with relative ease.
* Chips inside the remote include: * Synaptics T1021A Touch Controller * Renesas R5F2133 16-bit Microcontroller * Maximum MAXQ610 16-bit Microcontroller with Infrared Module * Broadcom BCM20733 Human Interface Device Bluetooth 3.0