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More AMLogic AML8726-MX Source Code Released by Ainol

Last week, I found out that AMLogic released the kernel source code for AML8726-MX, its dual core Cortex A9 processor, but this code is only for the “common” platform, and some source code specific to tablets or media players is missing (e.g. some drivers). But today, Ainol released the source code for the Ainol Novo 7 Elf II and Aurora II tablet, both of which are based on on AML8726-M6 dual core processor:

The files are pretty big, and the download very slow on my side (“1 day, 16 hours remaining”), so I’ll probably have to give up. I assume “fards” will import the source code into a new repo in his github account. Anyway, this potentially makes AMLogic AML8726-MX a very interesting development platform, although we’ll have to see if the bootloader source code is released, and what kind of multimedia libraries (GPU: OpenGL ES| Video Decoder/Encoder) for Android and Linux will be released.

I haven’t been able to look into this code (obviously since it’s still downloading), but I’m expecting to get the source code for the LCD display(s), touch screen, HDMI drivers and more. HDMI drivers are especially interesting for media player development, and hardware platforms such as Geniatech ATV1200 or ATV1600 might hopefully become hackable like the Mele A1000 with AllWinner A10.

Via: Ainol BBS

  1. max
    August 26th, 2012 at 09:09 | #1

    Few Questions:
    1. Is this large size (2GB) a indication that every thing is included?
    2. Is this means that USB things like Bluetooth, GPS, 3G Modem dongel (s) can be easily connected? as developers now can be able to bake the driver support in kernel.

    A Request :
    Since you are telecommunications programmer.
    Can you please write an .apk for connection manager on Android (rightnow there is none in playstore) similar to the connection manager we have on our windows machines, i.e connect the 3G USB modem and you can use it for dialing a phone number for voice call or sending text or dialing for data (obviously on supported unlocked USB 3G modem like Huawei E1750).

    I’m planning to do some cool hardware mod’s on my tablet:)

    Thanks

  2. August 26th, 2012 at 09:42 | #2

    @max
    I haven’t been able to download it, but those that could, report it’s 25 GB uncompressed on Ainovo Facebook page.

    For the request I don’t have time, nor currently the knowledge to do that as I’d need to learn how to write Android apps… I don’t have any 3G dongle, and I’m not even sure I can get 3G where I live… I thought 3G support was an integral part of Android, just like Wi-Fi is because I can find a 3G section in the settings of some of my Android devices.

  3. max
    August 26th, 2012 at 14:11 | #3

    25 GB you mean twenty five gigabyte? Or you missed a dot. 🙂

    Yeah there is wcdma option in Android, But “3G via USB” got lost somewhere during Linux and Android transformation 🙁 and most of the 3G USB dongle (s) do not get recognized by Android, especially the cdma or EVDO Rev 0 / A / B etc.
    Drivers not got baked into kernel etc. etc. It’s a long story.
    Point is, if some app can fill this gap by any app, that’ll be great for people and the app maker.

    Thanks for your reply.

  4. August 26th, 2012 at 14:22 | #4

    @max
    twenty five gigabytes yes!

    I did work to add 3G dongle support for a Digital Signage player running Linux, and there’s a different config and/or driver for each dongle, so it’s not a trivial problem. Having said if it works for Linux, it should (eventually) work for Android.

  5. Dan
    August 26th, 2012 at 15:10 | #5

    Well Allwinner turned out to be useless for for media playback, they strung along the XBMC team.

    XBMC guys are using amlplayer under linux on the Pivos XIOS DS, it ties into ffmpeg but thats as much as I understand on the matter : ) oh and the OS they are building for the box is on github.

    It sounds like Amlogic will be a better bet for linux hackers interested in media playback.

  6. max
    August 27th, 2012 at 02:36 | #6

    Thanks for the reply Jean,
    IF* all the source codes, drivers, kernel etc.etc. is in public domain, Does this mean an Amlogic DualCore 8726-MX6 based mini PC / PC on stick sounds a better proposition then Allwinner A10 or / and a RK3066 base mini PC? Especially in light of a properly supported Hardware accelerated OS.

    Does this also mean that we can get a working linaro / Linux distro on Ainol’s any Amlogic DualCore 8726-MX6 processor based tablet like elf2, Aurora 2 or fire. Since now we have the drivers for LCD and touch screens etc.

    Some light on this subject would be a very nice read.

    Thankyou

  7. August 27th, 2012 at 09:38 | #7

    @max
    If all sources are available, then definitely yes. But I don’t know yet if the full source has been released, and we’ll have to see how things progress. The best is to follow the slatedroid thread I mentioned in the first post, although if I recall correctly they’ll mainly focus on improving the Android ROM.

  8. Romonid
    August 27th, 2012 at 13:06 | #8

    the geniatech boxes look really good. the 1200 seems to have all the conections options (except sata) that are on the mele.
    the company itself looks experienced it doesnt look like they have come up recently like all the allwinner device manufacturers.
    is AMLogic a good chip manufacturer? All I can find on the web is allwinner praise and not too much about amlogic and whether it is a reliable chip maker

  9. max
    August 27th, 2012 at 13:07 | #9

    @cnxsoft Yes, Slateroid is mainly focusing on Android rom. But i think team linaro, xmbc and other Linux on tablet enthusiasts must be very curious to evaluate the possibilities.

    Especially after the Allwinner ditching fiasco. This can be the new route. I’m sure this DualCore 1.5GHz Amlogic 8726-MX6 Mali400 MP2 @300MHz can stand head to head with RK3066.
    I’ve also asked Peter, he says stay tuned.

  10. August 27th, 2012 at 14:36 | #10

    @Romonid
    There’s a lot of AllWinner press, because it’s cheap, there are many devices using using it and there’s an active developer’s community around, so you can still do quite a few things with the platform, even though Linux video playback won’t be available.

    AFAIK, AMLogic has been around for a longer time, but it’s more expensive, there are less products based on their solutions, and I don’t see much community around it. XBMC + Pivos STB may change that. Maybe I should study this and make a post about AMLogic dev resources but this takes a bit of time. Some people (mainly one) over arm-netbook maling list, have concerns about GPL-violations by the company and the way they handle NDA to prevent the customers from distributing GPL code. But this would only be a concern if you’re going to import AMLogic devices in quantities into western economies. I don’t really buy this point of view, especially since Ainol release mentioned in this post.

  11. August 27th, 2012 at 14:56 | #11

    @max
    AMLogic is not a linaro member, so Linaro will not do anything about it, at least directly, but it’s true dev community around the web may take advantage of some Linaro’s ARM Cortex improvements.

    I think Peter is mainly interested in the Pivos STB (AMLogic AM8726-M1 or M3, but not dual core), but if the media libs are compatible between the all AML8726 family then it would just be great. If you already have bought an AML8726-MX based tablet, have you tried XBMC for Android on it to see if there’s video hw accel?

    I think RK3066 is slightly faster than AMLogic AML8726-MX.
    See AML8726-MX Antutu benchmark (6400) – http://1pad.cn/2012/0402/5861.html
    vs Rockchip RK3066 Antutu benchmark (7500 to 8000) – http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/mcbub-com/41904-7-inch-dual-core-rk3066-ips-screen-quad-mali400-android-4-0-4-new-ui-released.html#post221395

    In terms of price I’m not sure which one is better, but for openness AMLogic appears to be better than Rockchip.

  12. August 27th, 2012 at 15:12 | #12

    I am currently looking at both the M3 and the MX. The M3 is on his way to the test bench, as where we are still negotiating about the MX version.

    The MX dual core as a stick is the final goal, but were are getting there via the M3 and MX as STB first.

    The Rockchip look great performance wise, but have not yet found any sources.

  13. sao
    August 27th, 2012 at 23:11 | #13

    @cnxsoft

    Thanks for the update! The 1pad.cn benchmarks article contains the following link
    http://pad.pconline.com.cn/reviews/1204/2726094_all.html#content_page_1
    I can’t read Chinese 🙁 but it seems that the AML8726-MX tablet tested there is roughly comparable with the performance of the galaxy note (the one with exynos 4210) and exceeds that of the kindle fire/xoom.

    The fact that AML releases the sources definitely make it very attractive for hacking. The cons are that it runs hot (seems to be the reason why all current AML tabletss are clocked way down) and the smallish L2 cache. Don’t know about battery life (a concern for those of us who wants to use these sticks with a lapdock).

  14. sao
    August 28th, 2012 at 00:41 | #14

    sao :
    @cnxsoft

    The cons are that it runs hot (seems to be the reason why all current AML tabletss are clocked way down

    Speaking of CPU clock of the AML8726-MX I belatedly notice something interesting: They block out the CPU frequency in the antutu benchmark in the 1pad.cn link! They do show that CPU frequency for RK3066 and for the galaxy note/kindle fire/xoom.

  15. max
    August 28th, 2012 at 11:16 | #15

    @cnxsoft
    The antutu score of 6400 for DualCore Amlogic 8726-MX6 based tablets like Ainol Elf 2 1024×600 / 1GB Ram / Android 4.0.4 etc. or similar tables is correct. But on Normal Mode, which is @1.2 GHz

    Under performance mode i.e @1.5 GHz the score come to same 7700 to 8000.
    See this video for elf2 review (around 6:30 for antutu score 7666 on performance mode)
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHyFd9d6H2FU&v=HyFd9d6H2FU&gl=IN
    Most of the RK3066 tablet can scale from 250Hz to 1.6GHz by default on Android 4.0.4 etc.

    We all can expect some performance boost in scores once they get Jellybean 4.1.1 and both these RK3066 and Amlogic 8726-MX6 tablets should be 8000+ on antutu along with better frequency scaling. The new Ainol_Fire 😀 (LOL) goes as low as 85Hz when in ideal state, so a Jellybean 4.1.1 update should make them perform like champ.

  16. Romonid
    August 28th, 2012 at 12:53 | #16

    @CNX,
    this is probably a noob question, but has the community tried to contact AMLogic and speak directly to them for what they need.
    If it is a solid company with products in Asia(Geniatech), and Europe/US (Sumvision/Pivos), then they might be interested in supporting the dev community.
    Support from them translates to innovation from dev which translates to better rep and community which translates to more sales.
    (but if it was so simple then Allwinner wouldnt have backed off, i suppose)

  17. August 28th, 2012 at 14:53 | #17

    @max
    Thanks that explains it, and we should probably expect similar performance since both are based on ARM Cortex A9 Mali 400. Not sure if AML8726-MX has 4 GPU cores however.

    @Romonid
    I don’t know the answer to this question, but I suppose yes, as XBMC community probably had indirect access to AMLogic via Pivosgroup. It’s easier for those companies to justify spending time and resources on Linux development (Android is not really a problem here since it’s well supported by those companies), if there is a real market, and not just a few hundred thousands chip sales. It seems AMLogic decided it was worth it since their amlplayer works in Linux.

  18. August 28th, 2012 at 14:56 | #18

    Downloaded the sources, but hmmm….. It looks like 2.6.34?

  19. August 28th, 2012 at 15:03 | #19

    @Peter
    I gave up downloading, because it downloads at 20kB/s to 100 kB/s (if I’m lucky) and it stopped after 1.1 GB.
    It should really be 3.0.8, because that’s supposed to be the code used in their latest tablets.

  20. August 28th, 2012 at 15:25 | #20

    @cnxsoft
    I unpacked both archives (~6.5 GB) and are preparing to push it to github.

  21. e8hffff
    September 3rd, 2012 at 06:56 | #21

    Sick of hearing about Android, and even worse Windows CE(RT-Metro/ModernUI).

    wait…waiting…waiting…for Linux with hardware drivers…

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