updated 01:20 pm EDT, Sun March 18, 2012
Apple TV 2012 gets speed upgrade
In a rare first ahead of more official outlets, XBMC forum member aicjofs has posted a teardown of the newer 1080p-capable Apple TV that shows a number of changes. As suspected, it has upgraded from an A4 to an A5, although it's now using a slight variant on the iPad 2/iPhone 4S version with an APL2498 part number. Apple's media hub now has 512MB of RAM as well, which along with a second core should improve performance across the device, not just in the higher resolution video.
A second Wi-Fi antenna now appears to be present, although it's not apparent whether or not it's a direct assist to performance. Apple may be hoping to guarantee higher bandwidth for 1080p video.
The 8GB of flash storage, here supplied by Toshiba, is unchanged from the original. Apple uses it only as temporary storage space and can still fit most movies in the same space through better compression, although it may now have to adjust the buffer for particularly long movies.
Although the improvements were being eyed with a mind to making XBMC ports, the upgrades show a fundamental improvement for the $99 price. They also downplay the likelihood that Apple's interface refresh is an immediate clue as to third-party app support, as there wouldn't be enough space for both apps and video with the current capacity.