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Hisilicon Hi3798M V200 SoC to Allow for Cheaper 4K TV Boxes with Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, and/or USB 3.0

September 12th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

One year after Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 processor was unveiled at IBC 2015, Hisilicon has now introduced a cost down version named Hisilicon Hi3798M V200 at IBC 2016 with a lower-end Mali-450 GPU, only 2 TS input interfaces, one less USB 3.0 interface, and only 1x GMAC (Gigabit Ethernet MAC) or 1x Fast Ethernet PHY, instead of two GMAC interfaces. The processor also adds 1080p30 H.265 video encoding.

Hi3798M V200 Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

Hi3798M V200 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Hisilicon Hi3798M V200 key features:

  • CPU – Quad core Cortex A53 processor (15K DMIPS)
  • GPU – ARM Mali-450 + Hisilicon dual-core GPU
  • Memory I/F – 32-bit DDR3/3L/4
  • Storage I/F – eMMC/NAND/SPI, 1x SATA 3.0, 2x SDIO
  • Video Engine (VPU)
    • HiVXE 2.0 video engine supporting 4Kp60 10-bit H.265 and VP9 decoding, 4Kp30 H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC1, VP6/VP8, Real Media 8/9/10
    • Encoder – H.264/H.265 @ 1080p30 or dual 720p30
    • Imprex 2.0 processing engine with support for HDR10 & HLG high dynamic range, BT.709/BT.2020, etc..
  • Peripherals:
    • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a TX with HDCP 2.2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
    • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet MAC, 1x Fast Ethernet PHY
    • USB – 1x USB 3.0 interface (shared with SATA 3.0 and PCIe), 2x USB 2.0 interfaces
    • Transport Stream – 2x TS inputs
    • Expansion – PCIe (shared with SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0)
  • Security – Secure boot, secure storage, DRM, hardware watermark, etc…

The new processor should allow cheaper Android and Linux 4K TV boxes with SATA, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and/or digital tuner compared to what’s available today based on Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 such as Sunhed S3 or Himedia Q10 Pro. The main downside is the slower GPU which would affect gaming, and you’d have to choose between USB 3.0 and SATA, as you can’t have both.

More technical details can be found in Hi3798M V200 product brief.

Thanks to Ovi for the tip.

  1. JotaMG
    September 13th, 2016 at 06:57 | #1

    I think it is 2x USB 2.0 port ?

  2. September 13th, 2016 at 07:33 | #2

    Seems that the open hour gecko box already carries this SOC.. and for a while.

  3. Memeka
    September 13th, 2016 at 08:31 | #3

    Mali T720, Mali 450 same performance

  4. September 13th, 2016 at 09:17 | #4

    @Oren
    Hisilicon naming convention is a little confusing. OpenHour Gecko is based on Hi3798M V100 (Cortex A7), while the new processor is Hi3798M V200 (Cortex A53).

    @Memeka
    Provided the info on wikipedia is correct, Mali-T720 fillrate is much higher compared to Mali-450 (and Mali-T820/T830 too), but the GFLOPS number per core is somehow lower.

  5. mdel
    September 13th, 2016 at 14:08 | #5

    haven’t seen cheap (as in s905 / H3 cheap) Hisilicon boxes around, not sure that soc will make a difference.

    Although if the USB3 actually performs really well on that soc, a USB3 hub for multiple disks could be nice.
    It would probably still out perform two USB2 host ports, and that would be worth a little more money.

  6. September 13th, 2016 at 14:18 | #6

    @mdel
    It will be cheaper compared to Hi3798C V200, but nowhere as cheap as S905 TV boxes. Hi3798C V200 TV boxes are all well above $100. Something below $100 with 2GB RAM, 16GB flash and SATA bay would be good.

    Multiple USB 3.0 hard drives might not always be supported as it will depend on the power circuitry and power adapter.

  7. Theguyuk
    September 13th, 2016 at 15:19 | #7

    @cnx-software

    I do wonder how s905 etc are so cheap. Yet A15/A17 core soc so expensive.

    The Mali 450 competing with more recent GPU makes you wonder if those GPU just add compatibility features like the person commented of the other thread,

    With native hardware features such as 10-bit YUV support, the Mali-T820 & Mali-T830 are an ideal accompaniment to the Mali-DP550 and Mali-V550 in addressing the requirements of an increasingly 4K DTV and STB market. Native 10-bit YUV support enables high fidelity 4K display without the need to perform intermediate conversions in software, thus ensuring the multimedia system delivers quality high resolutions at lower bandwidth levels.

    The ARM Mali-T820 & Mali-T830 GPUs offer full support for current and next generation APIs, enabling advanced 3D graphics acceleration and GPU Compute functionality. This includes support for the Khronos OpenGL ES 3.2*, 3.1/2.0/1.1, Vulkan 1.0* and OpenCL 1.1/1.2* Full Profile APIs. Additionally support is provided for the Android Extension Pack, Android Renderscript and Microsoft Windows DirectX11 FL9_3. These APIs are fully supported by proven Mali GPU DDKs, which are provided under a standard ARM commercial license to all Mali GPU customers, ensuring a simple transition to the Mali-T820 and Mali-T830 from previous generations of Midgard GPUs.

    https://www.arm.com/products/multimedia/mali-gpu/high-area-efficiency/mali-t820-t830.php

    And mali t820 seems to be about using less die space than speed?

  8. looun
    September 13th, 2016 at 16:50 | #8

    mdel :
    haven’t seen cheap (as in s905 / H3 cheap) Hisilicon boxes around, not sure that soc will make a difference.
    Although if the USB3 actually performs really well on that soc, a USB3 hub for multiple disks could be nice.
    It would probably still out perform two USB2 host ports, and that would be worth a little more money.

    there are lot of cheap Hisilicon boxes, but only for chinese market: himedia Q1 Q3 M6 and also huawei box

  9. September 13th, 2016 at 17:04 | #9

    @Theguyuk
    Cortex A53 is a low-end 64-bit core, Cortex A15/A17 are high-end 32-bit cores. It’s not always easy to estimate the GPU performance, because beside the part number, you need to look into the number of cores, and operating frequency. As you pointed out the Mali-T7xx/T8xx do offer additional features, so it could some games don’t run on Mali-450MP (TBC), or do not look quite as nice.

    I’ve just reviewed a phone with Mali-T880 GPU and I wish this could be found in TV boxes aimed at gaming too. Graphics performance is really good. Nothing beats Nvidia Tegra X1 in terms of 3D graphics performance right now, but Nvidia Shield Android TV is hard to get at a decent price in most of the world.

  10. September 13th, 2016 at 17:07 | #10

    @Theguyuk
    This reminds me that I wrote a GPU in ARM SoCs comparison a few years ago @ http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/01/19/gpus-comparison-arm-mali-vs-vivante-gcxxx-vs-powervr-sgx-vs-nvidia-geforce-ulp/. Maybe I should do an update some days…

  11. Theguyuk
    September 13th, 2016 at 18:59 | #11

    @cnxsoft
    Thank you as always for your thorough expanation ☺

    I cannot recal where but I read a well designed A15/A17 soc can out perform A53/A57.

    I own a Advent Tegra Note tablet ( screen cracks to easy, charge port wears to easy ) 1GB ram, Android 5.1

    It is Nvidia Tegra4 based, hammers 3Dmark ( maxed out ). Does a lower Resolution though.

    Also has a feedback to Nvidia option in Android system settings, ( other makers take note!).

    Have often thought this chipset with HD 1080 or 4K support would make a brilliant 2GB TV box. I can cast to TV or HDMI cable but battery needs charging after one good film.

    I supposed it would cost to much near the improved Soc Nvidia Shield TV.

    Shame would be a great £60 device.

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