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AllWinner A10s Processor Overview

Between the AllWinner A10 and AllWinner A13 processors, there’s now an alternative. AllWinner A10s is based on AllWinner A13 architecture (sun5i), but adds HDMI and Ethernet MAC which makes it suitable for mini PCs and set-top boxes. The first time I heard about this processor was in August with IP878 mini PC, and in October, one reader (Alex) informed me AllWinner had posted more details about his new processor.

Allwinner A10s Block Diagram

Here are the key features of this (relatively) new SoC:

  • CPU/GPU – ARM Cortex-A8 Core with 32KB D-Cache/ 32KB I-Cache / 256KB L2 Cache, and Mali-400
  • VPU
    • HD Video Decoding 1080p@30fps of VP8/6, H.264/H.263, WMV9/VC-1, WMV7/8, MPEG-4/2/1, Xvid codecs
    • HD Video Encoding 1080p@30fps with H.264 codec
  • Video Out – HDMI 1.4 (1080p),
  • Memory
    • Up to 1GB DDR2/DDR3 up to 533MHz (16/32 bits Data Bus)
    • MLC/TLC/SLC/EF-NAND
    • ECC 64-bit
  • Peripherals:
    • USB2.0 OTG, USB2.0 HOST (OHCI/EHCI)
    • SD Card V.3.0, eMMC V.4.2
    • SPI, TWI and UART
    • TS Port
    • EMAC
    • CSI
    • I2S
    • IR interface, GPIOs, etc…
  • Audio Codec:
    • Integrated Audio Codec
    • MIC/FM/LINEIN Input

As usual, Android should be the main (and only) OS supported directly by AllWinner (The company), but work is done on sun5i kernel and u-boot by sunxi-linux.org developers’ community. AllWinner A13 support should be pretty good at this time, but I’m not sure about the status of A10S support.

Olimex is currently working on an AllWinner A10S development board with 512MB RAM, micro SD-card socket, SD-MMC card socket for WIFI card or storage, 100Mbit Ethernet, HDMI, USB Host & OTG, LCD Connector, Audio In/Out, UEXT connector and GPIO headers. Since the company works closely with sunxi-linux community, it’s virtually a certainty Linux will be properly supported on this platform. The next AllWinner SoC will be a quad-core Cortex A7 processor codenamed AllWinner A40, and should be announced later this month.

[Update: AllWinner A10S datasheet  and preliminary Olimex A10S-OLinuXino schematics are available on github.]

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  1. December 5th, 2012 at 15:33 | #1

    what is the difference between the a10 and the a10s, also any word on the next allwinner chip — rumor has it that its a quad core a7 with 8 gpu cores.

  2. December 5th, 2012 at 16:43 | #2

    @earl cameron
    The A10s is closer to the A13 than the A10 as I explained in the post. But if you want to compare it to the A10, then the A10s lacks SATA, LVDS & CAN bus, and has one less USB, SD Card and CSI interfaces.

    I briefly mentioned A40 at the end of the post, but we have to wait for more info.

  3. December 5th, 2012 at 16:57 | #3

    Updated post with links to A10s datasheet & product brief, as well as Olimex A10s dev board schematics and layout.

  4. onebir
    December 5th, 2012 at 17:12 | #4
  5. December 5th, 2012 at 17:18 | #5

    @onebir
    I’ve seen it in DX RSS feed this morning, and that’s actually the device which triggered this post, but I did not mention it because the price (~$50) is a little high compared to A10 sticks.

  6. Javi
    December 5th, 2012 at 19:56 | #6

    As I said before… I don’t understand why this product was launched. That A40 looks a good advance, but a revission of A13 now? (because this is not an A10+).

    Well, maybe some engineers wanted this.

  7. December 5th, 2012 at 22:35 | #7

    A10S is same as A13 but with HDMI and Ethernet interface (later have to be check if works correctly as Allwinner told us it is there but they didn’t used in design so far :) ), the price is between A10 and A13 i.e. lower than A10 but higher than A13.

    What our A13 boards were missing was wired Ethernet, now A10S solves this problem nicely :), also HDMI output will allow higher resolution than those we achieve now with A13, so we are really happy that they released this chip!

  8. onebir
    December 5th, 2012 at 22:52 | #8

    @cnxsoft
    :) Maybe another seller will pass on some of the hardware discount…

  9. December 6th, 2012 at 11:38 | #9

    Some more news/rumors, AllWinner quad core Cortex A7 SoC could be AllWinner A31 instead of AllWinner A40/A4X. Unless they will launch 2 series of quad core A7. The GPU would be an 8-Core Power VR SGX544.
    http://www.jsxltech.com/blogs/allwinner-cpu-forum/6965856-the-worlds-first-allwinner-a31-quad-core-tablet-by-icoo

  10. doc. Bormental
    December 8th, 2012 at 02:15 | #10

    cnxsoft :
    Some more news/rumors … GPU would be … SGX544.

    it _is_ 544.

    what a pathalogy to collect gossip instead referring source http://bit.ly/SDPNoQ ?

  11. December 8th, 2012 at 08:56 | #11

    @doc. Bormental
    Time to bring up one of my favorite quotes: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”.

  1. December 27th, 2012 at 16:34 | #1