Google upgrades Nest speakers to Fuchsia, new models for 2023
After upgrading most of the Nest Hub series, Google’s Fuchsia team appears to be looking to move to support for Google Assistant speakers like the Nest Audio and what appears to be a new speaker for 2023.
Over the past two years, Google has slowly upgraded its Nest Hub series from its older Linux-based “Cast OS” operating system — which originated from the Chromecast line — to its own Fuchsia operating system. At the annual pace at which these upgrades have been happening, we’re likely ready to update the Nest Hub (2nd generation) to Fuchsia sometime next year.
With the entire Nest Hub series being upgraded at that point — Google’s next “smart display” will actually be an Android Pixel tablet, and Fuchsia likely to be up and running anytime soon — the question becomes what the Fuchsia team will deal with next. ?
Of course, there is no single answer to this question, as there are multiple teams working on different projects within the operating system. But today, let’s focus on Fuchsia’s smart home ambitions.
Prototype of the “Visalia” loudspeaker for Fuchsia
First, let’s turn the clock back to 2019 for a minute. Before Fuchsia officially launched the original Nest Hub, Google was working on a prototype of a device codenamed Visalia. At the time, we were able to determine – based on the use of the Synaptics AudioSmart AS370 chip – that this prototype was likely a Google Home or a Nest smart speaker.
However, sometime in 2020, work on the Visalia prototype was discontinued and later completely removed from the Fuchsia code in 2021. That is, until last July, when the Visalia prototype code has been restored.
In the intervening years, we haven’t come very close to figuring out what Visalia is for a Google device with Fuchsia’s accuracy. Usually, we can wait for the hardware release and hardware enthusiasts to tear it down to see what’s inside. However, the tricky part is that during 2019 and 2020, Google has already been released three Nest speakers based on the AS370 chip.
Interestingly, the Visalia appears to have been joined to the Fuchsia symbol by another smart speaker, codenamed Pinecrest. according to early codePinecrest is a “version” of Visalia, but with twice the RAM (1 GB vs 512 MB) and Some other modifications. Our current guess is that the Visalia, being the oldest prototype, is the 2019 Nest Mini, while the new Pinecrest model is the 2020 Nest Audio.
More broadly, though, the fact that Google is actively working on these devices suggests that the company may intend its smart speakers to be one of Fuchsia’s next frontiers. In fact, there is actually Again Smart speaker is now under development under Code Fuchsia.
New Nest speaker, ‘Clover’, likely to be in 2023
A new prototype of the device appeared this week with the codename “Clover”. From What can we find, tuned to run on the Amlogic A113L chip. There is not much information about this chip on the Internet, but CNX-Software He speculated that it was designed to be accessible to all.
Since Clover is clearly listed in the code as existing from GoogleAnd that no known Google device runs on the A113L chip, we can assume that’s a sign of a new Nest speaker. Given what appears to be low-level specs, we’re likely looking at a “mini” third-generation Nest speaker. It’s already been three years since the release of the Nest Mini, which itself was just two years after the launch of the Google Home Mini.
The second possibility is that Clover could be related to “Chromecast AudioDiscovered by the APK Insight team earlier this year. However, all tags of this device have been removed from Google Home since this report was published.
Another noteworthy piece of note is that unlike every previous Google prototype in Fuchsia code, Clover support was not developed by Google itself. Instead, a team of developers from Amlogic has contributed a Fuchsia code for this potential Nest speaker.
This is a very common practice – for example, Intel directly contributed ChromeOS and Linux code for the Pixelbook Go. Amlogic’s direct involvement means, to me, that this Clover speaker could become the first Google device launched with Fuchsia out of the box. So far, today’s two Google devices running Fuchsia started working fine only after they were initially launched.
It doesn’t make sense to me that Amlogic would make an effort to support Clover in Fuchsia if it was just a beta project or a post-launch upgrade that Google usually handles itself. For now, this is just speculation, with no conclusive evidence yet.
Another speaker, “Buckeye,” but is that a Google speaker?
Digging deeper, we find that Clover isn’t the only device Amlogic has added to Fuchsia’s code in the past few months. Since May, Amlogic developers have been working on Fuchsia support for the A113X2 or “A5” chip. There isn’t much publicly available about this slide, though one list It says it’s an audio-focused SoC with enhanced machine learning features — much like the Synaptics AudioSmart line found in modern Nest speakers.
So far, though, there’s no sign of this chip being used in a Google-branded project. However, a new fuchsia prototype codenamed “Buckeye” – built on the same Amlogic A113X2 SoC – appears to have been entirely privately developed then “he movedTo the generic fuchsia symbol.
At the moment, nothing indicates that Buckeye is made by Google. Instead, it appears to be an Amlogic-only product, even though it is referred to directly in one line as a “speaker platform”. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Buckeye’s progress, though the chip looks like a good candidate for the next generation of Nest speakers.
Given that it’s been more than two years since Google released its newest speaker, the Nest Audio, we’re late with a new portal for Google Assistant at home. Moreover, the broadband Google Home Max has long been discontinued without a proper successor release.
No matter what Google has in store for its 2023 Nest line of products, we firmly believe we’ll see more of Fuchsia in the smart home — especially smart speakers — in the coming months.
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