Amazon has just announced the new update to the Fire TV 2015 console and instead of another Qualcomm Snapdragon they are running the MediaTek 8173C. This is the world's first Quad core that features dual core ARM Cortex A72 up to 2GHz and dual core ARM Cortex A53 up to 1.573 GHz. The graphics part of the SoC runs the PowerVR Rogue GX6250.
This SoC will bring the 4K capability that will be limited to 30FPS with 3840x2160, and up to 60 FPS with 1920x1080 resolution. The Fire TV 2015 comes with 2GB or RAM, 8GB or ROM and MicroSD up to 128GB storage. The price remains the same as we explained in this part.
The Fire TV 2015 console supports USB 2.0 Type A storage and it is generally a significant update from the 2014 version. Amazon sold close to 4.5 million Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV sticks and quickly managed to capture a significant part of the streaming media market.
The Fire TV stick is powered by dual core A9 based Broadcom Capri 28155 that runs up to 1GHz. This is still enough for decent streaming experience and due to its low price was quickly adopted by many. We cannot get the number how many Fire TV's were sold but even if the number is close to a million of this 4.5 million, it means some nice money for Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 sales numbers. Now all this sales will go to MediaTek that will celebrate that four out of four SoC's in latest Amazon devices have the MediaTek chip inside.
Many will argue that Shield Console is a better deal as it can stream 3840x2160 at 60 FPS but be reminded that Nvidia's latest 4K console sells for $199 and up, which is two times more. There is no doubt that Nvidia console will be better choice for gaming but we don’t think that Nvidia can sell many of them, enough to hurt and jeopardize the sales of Fire TV 2015. Nvidia always was and with this console still is in the league of its own, it has much better hardware inside but at much higher price too.
Amazon TV sales is still far behind google Chromecast that sells in some 8.5 million pieces but it is definite more limiting solution as well. Roku streaming box and stick according to Strategy Analytics sold in more than 13.5 million pieces while the Apple TV is still number one with around 15 million sold devices.
The most surprising part with MTK 8173 chip is that the first Cortex A72 is coming from Taiwan. Once you start shipping inexpensive SoCs for a product that can sell in the millions, this means that you have mastered 28nm HPC production. The mature 28nm node still has one thing going for it – price.
Qualcomm is looking into new markets like Drones, Cars as well as Connected home and Medical, all in order to fill the gap of shrinking sales in smartphones and tablets. The competition is simply tough especially when companies like Allwinner can sell a decent quad core for $4 USD and make profit out of it.