Korean giant LG Electronics has acquired a license from ARM to use the company's ARM11 MPCore and Mali-200/Mali-400 graphics processor cores inside its television sets.
LG is paving the way for a complete integration of set top box capabilities as a value-added feature to its next generation television platform. Incidentally, the ARM11 processor that has ben licensed by LG is similar to the one used by the Apple iPhone 3G before it was replaced by the more powerful ARM Cortex A8 chipset.
The Mali-200 and Mali-400 multicore graphics processor cores apparently pack as much gaming performance as the original 8-year old Xbox gaming console which used an Nvidia-based graphics module (derived from the original Geforce) plus they can provide true 1080p output.
The move to a more powerful PC-like platform will ensure that televisions could soon offer web 2.0 experience from the living room. This could include the ability to manage video on demand, internet widgets and casual browsing.
No details about which software solution will be adopted. Adobe, Tru2way and other open source firms could be lined up. LG could also be working on a Linux-based environment; after all, for some of its mobile phones, like the Viewty, LG came up with its own OS complete with an Adobe Flash UI.
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The trick for LG will be to provide all these features without adding too much cost to the television set. Televisions shipped with integrated set top box functionality have often been met with skepticism but LG could be using the experience it gained selling netbooks and smartphones to make this a real success.
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