Google's next Chromecast might support VRR, ALLM and QMS

Mike Wheatley

Amlogic, the chipmaker that supplies the silicon used in the vast majority of Chromecast devices, is building a more powerful processor that could bring advanced functionality to Google’s streaming sticks.


The company hasn't made any official announcement thus far, but the latest chip was revealed as part of a reference box design by a company called Sei Robotics at the IBC 2023 show.

The design suggests that the next-generation Amlogic S905X5 will support features including HDMI 2.1 connectivity and Variable Refresh Rates, and these could find their way into the next Chromecast device, whenever Google launches one.

Amlogic has not yet published the specifications of the S905X5 chip, but Sei Robotic’s reference box design reveals that it is built on a 6 nanometer process node. That suggests the chip is highly advanced, and Sei Robotics claims it will use 50% less power than Amlogic’s existing flagship chipset, the S905X3, while maintaining the same level of performance.

Sei Robotic’s reference box also supports HDMI 2.1 and its associated features, such as VRR, Auto Low-Latency Mode and Quick Media-Switching. Other capabilities advertised include HEVC, AV1 and VVC video decoding.

It’s encouraging news for Chrmecast fans, as most of Google’s earlier dongles have been fitted with Amlogic’s chips. For instance, the Chromecast 4K – Google’s latest version – uses the existing S905X3 chip.

The advanced features could also find their way into next-gen Google TV media boxes. For instance, Mecool’s latest box is powered by the Amlogic S905X4 chipset. In contrast, most televisions that run Google TV and Android TV use chips from MediaTek or Realtek.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that manufacturers will actually take advantage of the chip’s new capabilities, even if they use it in their upcoming hardware. However, the possibility certainly exists that Chromecast and other streaming devices could get some very useful upgrades.