SDK Released for Steam Link Based on Marvell ARMADA 1500 Mini Processor

Steam Link is a small $50 device that streams PC Games played from Steam PC or Steam Machine to your TV up to 1080p resolution through your home network, and Valve has recently released an SDK to allow developers creating their own apps.

Steam_LinkBut before getting into the SDK features, let’s check out the hardware. The company (Valve) did not provide many details, but some users torn it down, so the hardware specs are not a secret anymore.

  • SoC – Marvell DE3005-A1 ARMv7 processor @ 1.0 GHz with OpenGL ES2.0 capable GPU
  • System Memory –  512MB RAM (Micron MT41K256M16LY-107)
  • Storage – 4GB NAND flash (Micron MT29F32G08CBAC)
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p60
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 LE via Marvell 88W8897 wireless chip
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V via power barrel
  • Dimensions – N/A

Marvell DE3005-A1 is also known as Marvell ARMADA 1500 mini used in the first ChromeCast.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Steam Link SDK is available on github, and includes support for OpenGL ES 2.0, Qt 5.4, and SDL 2.0, some samples, Linux kernel 3.18 source code, a rootfs, a GCC toolchain, and some scripts. There’s about 256MB RAM and 500 MB storage available for custom applications. So it’s some ways Steam Link is an ARM Linux board with limited resources, a little bit like a Raspberry Pi 1 board.

One developer (Slouken) has already ported Kodi to the device with the code available on Github. It is said to be running, but rather slowly, and with software decode through ffmpeg only, and it’s not clear whether hardware video decoding APIs are available for the platform.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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One Reply to “SDK Released for Steam Link Based on Marvell ARMADA 1500 Mini Processor”

  1. MAME4ALL (MAME for all) have also ported by Sam Lantinga to the Steam Link as a native app using the SDK.

    Sam Lantinga (a.k.a. slouken of SDL fame) has begun a native app MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) project for the Steam Link using the newly released SDK for it.

    “This is a MAME Steam Link port based on the Squid Raspberry Pi port based on Franxis MAME4ALL which is itself based on the MAME 0.37b5 emulator by Nicola Salmoria. It emulates all arcade games supported by original MAME 0.37b5 plus some additional games from newer MAME versions.

    This version emulates 2270 different romsets.

    Although this is an old version of MAME it plays much faster than the newer versions and as the Pi is relatively CPU underpowered (yes even the RPi2) it was chosen to get as many games working at full speed as possible (full speed means 100% with no frame skip). It also plays most of the games I’m interested in playing!

    This is a highly optimised version for the Steam Link, using SDL for graphics, audio and input.”

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