Google TV may plump for ARM chips

ARM is reportedly in talks with Google over using its chips in Google TV.

Speaking at a conference in Taipei, ARM President Tudor Brown hinted at a deal but was unable to supply any concrete information, telling journalists: “We are talking to Google, but we have nothing to announce right now.”

It could come as a blow to Intel, which looked as though it was going to supply the chips for Google TV. When the device was announced in May, Google said it was made for use on Intel’s Atom processor CE4100, an x86 architecture chip.

However, Google may have been swayed by cheaper prices with Brown saying Arm’s latest processors are less expensive and require less power than Intel’s Atom processor. “If Google TV is to be mainstream, it must be built on a lower power system, …on lower cost technology,” he said.

He added that he thought Google had originally decided to use Intel processors in Google TV to get the product to the market quickly.

We contacted both ARM and Google. ARM declined to comment on the rumour its boss fuelled while Google kept schtum too.

According to Brown, ARM’s 30 percent share of the digital television market is growing and continues to be a point of focus for the company – so it would make sense for it to push its chips to Google. Rival Apple TV uses an ARM chip. Intel must be cursing the day it underestimated the British chip outfit.

* Meanwhile, Google TV itself has received something of a kicking from the venerable Walt Mossberg of the WSJ. He said in a review that it’s for geeks, not for the mainstream (subscription required).