Google Home has same core as Chromecast, says iFixit teardown

Taking a close look at the Google Home smart speaker, iFixit reveals some familiar innards.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

iFixit's Google Home investigation finds Chromecast components at the core.

Image: iFixit

iFixit's teardown of Google's Home smart speaker reveals its main chips are identical to the 2015 Chromecast.

Google recently introduced the $130 Home as the latest member of its hardware family for the connected home. Early impressions indicate it is capable of imperfect voice assistant with a decent speaker. It also plays nicely with Pixel and Chromecast, but could be improved if Google adds support for services like Netflix or HBO Go.

Despite the Home's new veneer, iFixit says it experienced a moment of déjà vu when it reached the motherboard, which features many of the same chips as the 2015 Chromecast, with the exception of a new amplifier.

"We're having déjà vu with these chips, as most of them (CPU, flash, and RAM) made an appearance in last year's Chromecast," iFixit notes.

The teardown also reveals 12 status LEDs, and shows that Google has opted for just two microphones for listening to voice commands compared to the Amazon Echo's seven microphones.

While this could affect how well Home can hear voice commands, ZDNet's Jason Cipriano notes that the Home's microphones were sensitive enough to pick up "OK Google" being whispered from two rooms away.

iFixit gave the Home an overall repairability score of 8 out of 10, thanks to modular components that can be replaced individually, minimal moving parts, and standard screws. The one drawback was a strong adhesive used to attach the touch board to the upper case.

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