Judging by the Apple TV specifications page, the set-top box isn't a major departure from its predecessor. And a recent teardown seems to confirm that.
A member on the XBMC forum over the weekend posted a full teardown of the new Apple TV. As promised, the set-top box comes with the Apple A5 system-on-a-chip, which is one step above the A4 the previous Apple TV was running. However, as "aicjofs," the forum user, points out, the Apple TV comes with the single-core A5 chip, making it a little less capable than the dual-core option found in Apple's new iPad.
On the memory side, Apple has upped the device's RAM from 256MB in the previous Apple TV model to 512MB this time around. According to the forum user, the memory comes from Hynix, a company that manufactures all kinds of memory and has found its products bundled in Apple products before.
Other than that, there aren't many changes to be found in the Apple TV. The forum user pointed out that the device comes with 8GB of onboard Flash storage from Toshiba, matching the last Apple TV. SMSC's LAN9730 USB to 10/100 Ethernet is also bundled in the device.
What's perhaps most interesting about this latest Apple TV teardown is the degree to which the iPad has moved past the set-top box in performance. Nearly two years ago, the then-new, black Apple TV was torn down and found to have many of the same components as the first-generation iPad, including 256MB of RAM, the A4 processor, and a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip. Now, though, it appears the new iPad has left Apple's set-top box in the dust.