What to Expect from AllWinner, Rockchip, Mediatek, and Other Silicon Vendors at CES 2014

CES 2014 is coming soon, and it will take place on 7 – 10 January, 2014, and we can expect some interesting SoC news. Samsung suggested they will unveil their 64-bit ARM SoC (Exynos 6?) at CES 2014, Nvidia will hold a press conference to “showcase new NVIDIA Tegra mobile technologies, gaming innovations and advanced automotive display technologies”, and Qualcomm has been quiet for now. However, several Chinese SoC vendors, namely AllWinner, Rockchip and Mediatek, have already announced what they will showcase at CES 2014, albeit with few details.

AllWinner at CES 2014

Allwinner announced will showcase their OptimusBoard based on their Ultra Octa Core A80 SoC, as well as 4G tablets powered by Allwinner A31/A31s, and dual-SIM phablets sporting A23 dual core.

AllWinner A80 Development Board

AllWinner A80 Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

Allwinner A80 is an Octacore processor featuring four ARM Cortex A7 cores, and four Cortex A15 cores @ 2.0GHz together with an unnamed GPU offering 2x more performance over previous generations, and supporting OpenGL ES3.0 and GPU compute. This will certainly be a new generation of GPU from either ARM Mali or Imagination PowerVR SGX GPUs.

AllWinner announced the availability (to selected partners) of Android 4.4 KitKat SDK for their AllWinner A31/A31s, and the latest version of Android will be running on 4G tablets using these solutions.

Allwinner has slowly, and discreetly, started to enter the smartphone space last year, and the company will showcase dual-SIM phablets based on Allwinner A23 dual core processor @ 1.5Ghz, with 512MB RAM, and GMS-certified.

Rockchip at CES 2014

The company did not announce anything directly but the sent out invite for CES 2014 giving clues about what to expect.

Rockchip_RK3288_CES2014We’ve found out about RK3288 last July, and it appears Rockchip will showcase their latest SoC during CES 2014. The Cortex A17 mentioned in the picture. above is most definitely a typo, as RK3288 is a quad core Cortex A12 processor coupled with an ARM Mali-T628 GPU. The processor should support H.265, but it’s still unclear if it will use GPU compute or have a dedicated hardware block, as well as 4G LTE.

Several sites have also reported Rockchip will display a Smart Glass Solution at the conference. The glasses will be based on RK3168 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS, comes with a microphone and stereo output, as well as 720p display and 5MP camera.

Mediatek at CES 2014

Mediatek has put out a press release detailing what they’ll show at CES 2014, namely:

  • LTE Modem – MediaTek MT6290 is an LTE Release 9 Category 4 modem built on the 28nm process.
  • Mobile SOCs – MediaTek MT8135 quad core  big.LITTLE SoC for high-end tablets, and  MediaTek MT6592 (Launched in November 2013 eight-core Cortex A7 processor.
  • Home Entertainment  – Unnamed SoC for Digital TV market supporting UltraHD (4K2K) video playback and HEVC decoding @ 60Hz. Sampling to begin in Q2 2014.
  • Connectivity – MediaTek MT7621A dual-core 11ac Wi-Fi router platform (already available).
  • Wireless Charging – Unnamed SoC supporting multimode inductive Qi and resonance wireless charging.
  • Wearables – Aster all-in-one solution for wearables.
  • Internet of Things – Cloud applications, video over Wi-Fi (VoW), indoor positioning and smart home automation

Other SoC Vendors

Another Chinese SoC company, Actions Semiconductor, announced they’ll showcase their latest tablet and multimedia solutions based on ATM7039 and ATM7021 SoCs, but without much details.

AMLogic did not announced anything for now, but I’d expect Geniatech based M801/M802 Android set-top box to be demonstrated at CES 2014.

I could not find anything about Broadcom, also some report the company will launch their own 64-bit ARM processor, just like Samsung and Qualcomm are expected to do.

Both Texas Instruments and Freescale have more or less left the consumer’s orientation application processor business to focus on the industrial / embedded part, but TI will showcase some IoT, automotive, audio, and projector solutions at the conference, and Freescale will host an “Exclusive VIP event“, but no details were provided, and nothing about i.MX7 or i.MX8.

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  1. davidlt
    January 4th, 2014 at 14:34 | #1

    Qualcomm will be showing Snapdragon 805 and how it can handle 4K displays and similar. There was an article with videos of it on Engadget. They mentioned it will be showcased at CES ’14.

    SamsungExynos keeps tweeting in the last few days about “The latest innovations in energy-efficient mobile processing
    will be at #CES2014. Are you ready to #UnlockExynos?” and “Samsung Exynos – Flying even higher in 2014, #CES2014″, and “Get ready to accelerate new mobile discoveries and possibilities.”.

    Thus be reading for Exynos 6 (AArch64) announcement.

  2. Harley
    January 5th, 2014 at 03:59 | #2

    Would be interesting to know if the Chinese companies will continue to officially only support Android and not Linux, and if any of them will begin to embrase open source as most their western counterparts already have, officially at least.

  3. mazen
    January 5th, 2014 at 16:54 | #3

    closed source

  4. January 7th, 2014 at 14:17 | #4

    @Harley
    AllWinner’s Linux support is actually better than some of the bigger American vendors.

  5. Diego.
    January 8th, 2014 at 15:41 | #5

    Anmol Sarma :
    @Harley
    AllWinner’s Linux support is actually better than some of the bigger American vendors.

    Allwinner Linux support is almost 100% community based, and infact it’s missing for A31 with its awful PowerVR chip.
    Freescale on the contrary is directly working on upstreaming to mainline kernel support for their SOCs.

  6. Harley
    January 8th, 2014 at 19:48 | #6

    Yes the open source support is almost 100% reverse engineered by the community, practically without any help or interest from Allwinner.

    And the same goes with Rockchip and other Chinese SoC manufacturers.

    Allwinner themselves officially only support Android for A1x and A2x series.

    They simply do not understand that open source will benefit them in the long term.

    With open source they would get a broader and deeper user-base as well as more free help from community developers.

  7. ceys
    January 9th, 2014 at 23:24 | #7

    As this year’s CES is coming to it’s end, are there any updates on this?
    I can’t really find any article about these vendors, and their appearance at CES.

  8. January 10th, 2014 at 09:15 | #8

    @ceys
    I’ve only seen something about Rockchip smartglass and smartwatch – http://liliputing.com/2014/01/rockchip-wearable-concepts-include-smartwatch-smart-glasses.html

    The media is usually not that interesting in Chinese companies.. I was expecting some updates and pricing for Allwinner A80 board, and some clarification about that “ARM Cortex A17″ in RK3288. I thought it was a mistake at first, and I guess it still is, but I’ve seen more articles mentioning it, even a comparison table.

    They only hope now is Charbax, most of his videos will be uploaded after the show.

  1. January 10th, 2014 at 11:45 | #1