Home > AMLogic AML8726, Android > Amlogic STB SoCs Comparison – AML8726-MX, S802, S805, and S812

Amlogic STB SoCs Comparison – AML8726-MX, S802, S805, and S812

The second quarter of 2014 is promising to be an exciting time for Android TV boxes based on Chinese SoCs with lots of announcements. Devices powered by Amlogic S802 quad core SoC such as M8 and Vega S89 are already available, Rockchip RK3288 Android TV boxes are likely to sell in May, together with AllWinner A80 development board and tablets, and Android media players probably coming to market in June or July. But Amlogic S802 is not the only new quad core processor announced by Amlogic, with S805 and S812 soon to be featured in HDMI TV sticks and TV boxes.

Amlogic IP/OTT STB SoC page has a comparison table for their four STB SoC. Let’s go through this table to see which processor may better match different end-users requirements.

AML8726-MX S802 S812 S805
Multi-core CPU Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 Quad Core ARM Cortex A9 Quad Core ARM Cortex A9 Quad Core ARM cortex A5
Multi-core GPU Dual Core Mali-400MP2 Octo Core Mali-450 Octo Core Mali-450 Quad Core Mali-450
Memory Up to 2GB, DDR3/3L, LPDDR2 Up to 4GB, DDR3/3L, LPDDR2/3 Up to 2GB, DDR3/3L, LPDDR2/3 Up to 2GB, DDR3/3L, LPDDR2/3
Display Capability

HDMI 1.4b Tx, Component and CVBS

HDMI 1.4b Tx and CVBS HDMI 1.4b Tx and CVBS HDMI 1.4b Tx and CVBS
Display Resolution 1080p 4K2K 4K2K 1080p
Memory Card Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 host and OTG USB 2.0 host and OTG USB 2.0 host and OTG USB 2.0 and OTG
Video Decoder Multi-format 1080p Multi-format 4K2K and H.264 UHD hardware decoder Multi-format 4K2K, H.264 and H.265 UHD hardware decoder Multi-format 1080p, H.264 and H.265 FHD hardware decoder
Video Encoder H.264, 720p H.264, 1080p H.264, 1080p H.264, 1080p
Audio MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC
Special A/V Support Adobe Flash, Dolby, DTS, SRS, DviX HD, AC-3 Adobe Flash, Dolby, DTS, SRS, DviX HD, AC-3 Adobe Flash, Dolby, DTS, SRS, DviX HD, AC-3 Adobe Flash, Dolby, DTS, SRS, DviX HD, AC-3

Graphics
OpenGL, ES1.1/2.0 OpenGL, ES1.1/2.0 OpenGL, ES1.1/2.0 OpenGL, ES1.1/2.0
Ethernet 10/100M MAC 10/100M MAC 10/100M/1000M MAC 10/100/1000M MAC
Other I/O Remote and UART Remote and UART Remote and UART Remote and UART
Package 18mm x 18mm, LFBGA 19mm x 19 mm, LFBGA 19mm x 19 mm, LFBGA 12mm x 12 mm, LFBGA

First we’ll notice none of Amlogic SoCs feature SATA nor USB 3.0, so for those of you who require fast local storage transfer, you may be out of luck. All of the new S80x SoCs come with Mali-450 GPUs so 3D graphics performance will be very good.  Component video output support has been dropped from the new SoCs, probably because few people are still using YPbPr, with the vast majority of TV now supporting HDMI. H.264 1080p encoding is now supported, which , at least in theory, means you can do FHD video conferencing, something which was not possible with AML8726-MX (720p max). S812 and S805 are the only two SoCs in the table capable of supporting H.265/HEVC videos in respectively 4K and 1080p resolution, as well as Gigabit Ethernet. As fast I know MX only supports Android 4.2, but the latest S80x SoCs all support Android 4.4 Kitkat.

So let’s summarize the advantages, and potential use cases, of the different Amlogic’s platforms:

  • AML8726-MX – Good for 1080p video playback, and light Android usage. Proven design, cost effective (Full box with remote ~$70). Some hardware platforms support DVB-T(2), DVB-C, or DVB-S(2).
  • S802 – Good for 1080p and 4K video playback. Excellent performance with a quad core processor, Octa core GPU. Could be also used as a pretty good gaming platform.  No HEVC support.
  • S812 – Same as S802 but adding H.265/HEVC video decoding up to 4K and Gigabit Ethernet. This makes it more future proof than S802, and it could potentially be used as a media center with a USB hard drive and Gigabit Ethernet connection.
  • S805 – Upgrade for AML8726-MX with faster multi-core performance, better GPU, HEVC, 1080p H.264 video encoding, and Gigabit Ethernet. Apart from 4K support, it can do anything S812 does, so if you don’t need 4K video playback and output, this could be a cheaper solution. Power consumption should also be lower than to the Cortex A5 cores instead of Cortex A9 for the other SoCs.
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  1. Alex
    April 25th, 2014 at 17:46 | #1

    Thanks! Hope that Xiaomi will start to sell their tv box soon, which is quite cheap and has some features.

  2. natsu
    April 25th, 2014 at 22:18 | #2

    very interesting lineup from Amlogic, but with some weird choices at time, the HEVC must be standard now with all SoC, and I dont’ like the A5, an A7 at least would be much better, but for a set up box, it think it would work without much problem

  3. natsu
    April 25th, 2014 at 22:23 | #3

    now I’m looking for a DVB S2 box, with h.265 support, so the S812 or S805 would be perfect, but if some manifacturers decides to do it with the RK3288, then, all the amlogic lineup will be so dule and not interesting

  4. Dan
    April 25th, 2014 at 22:26 | #4

    Didn’t know about the S812, good news at least it has HEVC but should really have a HDMI 2.0 video output as well for future proofing, hopefully it’s something that can be added to it.

    The S805 looks a much better budget option than the now getting on in age 8726-MX series.

  5. natsu
    April 25th, 2014 at 22:33 | #5

    @Dan

    sure, but the HDMI 2.0 wouldn’t be much a problem in the near future, but I think the real problem it’s the aging cortex A9 and much more cortex A5, with the RK3288 and A80 this time ready to take upon set up box, it’s really hard to go with amlogic unless they have a very good price

  6. natsu
    April 25th, 2014 at 22:45 | #6

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epUUljhGLkU&list=UU_VskFf9nosePUtxucxirRQ

    the S805 will be at 40$, very nice price for a HEVC player, otherwise, the video from charbax shows a lot of designs based on amlogic SoC

  7. Marius
    April 26th, 2014 at 05:26 | #7

    @natsu
    Let’s not forget that the A9 is at its latest revision which should make it a bit better. That and the 2 GHz frequency should be good enough for a decent set top box.
    Sure if you’re into specs and benchmarks you’ll want something better but for most consumers a quad 2 GHz TV box does the job quite well I think.
    What is missing here and what you will notice is some high speed connection to an external drive like SATA or USB 3.0 but I guess you can always use the gigabit Ethernet connection to a good NAS.
    All in all not bad at all but of course this needs to be cheaper than the new Rockchip and Allwinner SOCs.

  8. April 26th, 2014 at 11:17 | #8

    @natsu
    $40 for S805 is for 1k order, so they will probably sell for around $70 to $80 including shipping.

  9. Dmitry
    May 29th, 2014 at 01:10 | #9

    Any rumors on when first S812 boxes are planned for arrival? I’m itching to get my first XBMC TV box with S802 being the primary candidate now but I’m also thinking that probably it’s wiser to wait for S812.

  10. May 29th, 2014 at 12:14 | #10

    @Dmitry
    I can’t even find anything on Alibaba, so it may still be a few months away.

  11. June 1st, 2014 at 08:30 | #11

    Small correction here. Amlogic 4.4.2 sources officially support MX/MXS/MXL too. In SDK tree there are configurations for reference boards g18 (MBX), g33 and g34 (MID). Noone from manufacturers seems to care about it. I can confirm that KK runs pretty nice on MX2 (G-Box Midnight MX2) and Zoomtak M6 devices. And… KitKat does not support Flash Player and I believe it won’t be supported :)

  1. April 26th, 2014 at 13:14 | #1
  2. July 8th, 2014 at 20:55 | #2