Last week, I gave some details on the new Marvell Armada 1500 Google TV reference design. Marvell is now at CES 2012 showcasing their product. You can watch the video below with the reference design running Google TV in Android 3.2 (Honeycomb).
The interesting part of the BOM cost of this type of device should be close to 25 USD. (That means possibly around 50 USD retail). I would love to see a Google TV HDMI Dongle, similar to the “Roku Streaming Stick“.
Archos announced the 199 USD Archos 70b Internet Tablet (Archos 70b IT) , a 7″ Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) based on a 1.2GHz processor (probably OMAP3630) with 512 MB RAM, and offers a 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, 8GB of storage, HDMI output, and support for Google apps and Android Marketplace.
Archos 70b Internet Tablet
Archos product naming is rather confusing, as they also have an Archos 70b running Android 2.1. So if you go shopping for the new device, make sure it reads Archos 70b Internet Tablet and not just Archos 70b.
The Archos 70b IT is an enhanced version of the Archos 70 G8(Generation 8). The CPU (OMAP3630 Cortex-A8 processor) clock rate has been boosted from 1GHz to 1.2GHz, RAM has doubled to 512MB, the resolution resolution has increased to 1024×600 (was 800×480) and the price has dropped to 199 USD from 275 USD. Other features remain the same, as the tablet features an HDMI port, microSD expansion, 8 GB flash storage and Wi-Fi.
It does not appear to support 3G, but Google still allowed Archos to access the Android Market and Google Apps on this Wi-fi only device.
Since Android 4.0 can run on the Beagleboard, Archos 70b IT (and all Archos G8 tablet) could support Android ICS in the future as long as Archos wants to support it or the community releases a version for those tablets.
The Archos 70b IT full specifications will be announced at CES 2012 and the device is expected to be available in January 2012 for 199 USD.
After Android ICS Preview on Archos G9, Charbax has uploaded another video showing the new Archos 101 G9 Turbo with TI OMAP4460 clocked at 1.5GHz running Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) and comparing it to the Archos 101 G9 Classic (OMAP4430 @ 1.2 GHz).
The quadrant score is about 38% percent faster for the Turbo version (2176) compared to the Classic version (1576).
He then does some side by side web browser benchmark comparison between the Archos 101 G9 Classic and Turbo and the Turbo version appears to be much faster. However, the web browser tests were done with sites hosted on the internet (amazon and cnn sites), so there are a quite of lot of factors than can affect the loading times and these types of benchmark are better performed in the local network.
Archos plans to release the Turbo version (at 1.5Ghz) in January 2012 for a recommend retail price of 399 USD.
Following their new Snapdragon S4 processors announcement, Qualcomm also unveiled the Snapdragon S4 Liquid MDP Tablet for developers based on MSM8960 with 2GB LPDDR2 system memory, 32 GB eMMC and 1 MB NOR Flash.
This reference design features a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 (16:9) 10-finger capacitive multitouch display, on-die LTE modem, dual 1080p cameras (front:13 MP / rear: 2MP) and another two for 3D, 7 (!) microphones, surround stereo speakers and lots of sensors: dual 3D accelerators, 3-axis gyro, a compass, ambient light and proximity sensor, temperature and pressure sensor and a fingerprint sensor. It also supports haptic feedback thanks to two dual independently-controlled linear vibrator motors.
Although Android Honeycomb and ICS can do without, the S4 MDP comes with its fair share of (physical) button: combo volume / zoom rocker, power button, screen rotation lock, home button and reset button.
External connectors include a docking station port, micro USB with MHL support, a 3.5mm audio jack with ANC contacts, a DC-in charger port and a microSD slot. There’s also a full-size SIM slot and touch panel programming connector under the battery door, along with a Sensor Fusion expansion connector. The docking station adds a pair of full-size USB connections, HDMI, Ethernet, JTAG, QEPM, UART and another DC-in
The removable 5200 mAh lithium ion battery should provide many hours of power.
The platform is currently running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), but you can expect Android 4.0 (ICS) early 2012, with support for Windows 8 to come after that.
Qualcomm S4 MDP tablet will only be available to developers during the first half of 2012 and expect to pay an hefty price for it. As a reference BSquare MDP based on MSM8655 costs 995 USD, so this development kit should cost well above 1,000 USD. (Let’s make it 1,995 USD)…
The source code for the Kindle Fire is tarred in a file named Kindle_src_6.2_11185402.tar.gz which is quite a large download (809 MB). The file contains 4 directories with the source code for the Linux kernel (2.6.35), a modified version of Android 2.2, the bootloader (u-boot) and x-loader, first-level bootloader for OMAP SoC.
I’m not sure many people will work on this version, as Android 4.0 source code for OMAP4 (The processor used in Kindle Fire) is available and has been ported to Galaxy Nexus and TI OMAP4 low cost development board (Pandaboard). So we could see Android 4.0 (ICS) running on Kindle Fire in the near future. Memory optimization may have to be done since the Kindle Fire has only 512 MB of system memory (RAM). But if Archos can do it with Honeycomb on its Archos G9 Tablets (OMAP4430), I don’t see why it should not be possible with the Kindle Fire.
1. Keep it simple
The interface is now much simpler. The new customizable home screen gets you to your favorite content quickly. And within “all apps” you can see all of your shortcuts, similar to your Android phone or tablet. 2. Make it easy to find something worth watching
Search has been improved across the board for content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, and more. There’s also an app called “TV & Movies” that let’s you easily browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes across cable or satellite, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and many other sites. It will also give recommendation based on what you previously watched. 3. Make YouTube better on TV
Google launched a new YouTube experience specifically built for Google TV and they’ve integrated YouTube more closely with Google TV search, so that you can turn virtually any topic – mountain biking, cooking, etc. – into a channel. 4. Bring more apps to TV
Android developers can now bring existing mobile apps or entirely new ones to TV. Initially, the number of apps won’t be large as applications requiring a touch screen, GPS, or telephony won’t show up. However, 50 developers have already uploaded their TV apps to Android Marketplace and the number of apps should grow overtime.
This software update will be coming to Sony devices (e.g Sony NSX-24GT1 Google TV) starting early next week and Logitech devices (e.g. Logitech Revue STB) soon thereafter.
We’ve already seen some Quad Core Tegra 3 demos and talks about Tegra 3 Tablets coming this year, but we had not heard about real products yet. ZTE (中兴) is expected to releast ZTE T98, possibly the first Tegra 3 Honeycomb Tablet later this year., which has been spotted in Beijing by zol.com.cn at PT/EXPO COMM CHINA 2011.
ZTE-T98 Android 3.2 Tablet
Here are the ZTE T98 product features and specifications:
Operating System: Android3.2
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 3 @ 1.5GHz
System Memory: 1GB
Flash Storage: 16GB
Display: 7″ Capacitive Touche Screen with 1280×800 resolution.
Network: Wifi, 3G (TD-SCDMA)
Built-in Audio Chip
Video output up to 1080p
External Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack and power jack.
Battery: Lithium Battery, 4000 mA
Camera: Front camera: 2 MP, Rear camera: 5 MP.
Support for JPEG，GIF and BMP pictures
Sensor: gravity and accelerometer
ZTE announced it would be ready in 2011, but no exact date and pricing have been released yet.
I suppose there is still more work to do, as some benchmarks (e.g. Quadrant score: 1956, Super Rabbit 2.1 (超级兔子2.1) score: 5624) show it is not yet ready for prime time. For further software optimization of the OS (or the benchmarks) for quad core maybe needed.