AllWinner A10 (part of A1X series) is an ARM Cortex A8 SoC targetting multimedia products such as tablets, HD STB or digital signage. It is currently found in some low cost Android tablets such as Momo9C and will be used in Rhombus Tech’s Raspberry Pi alternative.
The processor features an ARM Cortex A8 clocked at 1.5 Ghz with a Mali-400 GPU. It can support 1080p encoding/decoding, provides HDMI, Component, Composite, VGA and LVDS video outputs, USB2.0 ports, a SATA 2.0 port and more…
Here are the key features of the Allwinner A10:
- VPU (Video Processing Unit)
- HD Video Decoding (Super HD 2160P/3D Film)
- Support all popular video formats, including VP8, AVS, H. 264 AVC, VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, …
- HD Video Encoding (H.264 High Profile)
- Support encoding in H.264 format
- DPU (Display Processing Unit)
- MULTI-CHANNEL HD displays
- Built-in HDMI
- YPbPr, CVBS, VGA
- LCD interfaces: CPU, RGB, LVDS up to Full HD
- DDR2,DDR3 SDRAM, 32-bit
- SLC/MLC/TLC/DDR NAND
- USB2.0 Port
- CSI (Camera Serial Interface), TS (Transport Stream)
- SD Card 3.0
- 10/100 Ethernet controller
- CAN Bus
- Built-in SATA2.0 Interface
- I2S,SPDIF and AC97 audio interfaces
- PS2 , SPI , TWI and UART
The operating system can be booted from NAND flash, SPI NOR flash, SD Card or USB.
The company (or their partner) also offers Allwinner A10 development kits (Pro A10 Devkit) with a main board and a choice of 3″ and 8″ LCD panels.
Beside the Allwinner A10 SoC, the main board has 1GB SDRAM, 4 GB NAND Flash and mostly all connectivity supported by the processor such as USB 2.0 OTG、USB 2.0 Host、HDMI1.3/1.4,LCD, CVBS-OUT、VGA-OUT、SATA、Line-In, headphone jack, 、10/100M Ethernet, Camera Sensor, SD Card slot, Wi-Fi…
Further information about the development kit is available on Pro A10 page (in Chinese).
Allwinner Technology also provides SDK and BSP for the following operating systems:
- Android 2.3.4 and Android 4.0
- Linux 2.6.36 (Ubuntu 10.04)
- WinCE 6.0
There is no information available on the SDK/BSP on their website, as is the case with many Chinese/Taiwanese companies. Some information is available on Pro A10 devkit page (above) where they show the list of documents and software packages available but without links.
However, somebody leaked part of those documents on Mediafire (Cf. XDA developer forum):
- A10 SDK Document – password: ainol
- A10 OEM/Partition Tools – password: ainol
- New tools.tar.gz from earlier release. LiveSuite(it says use 1.05 version) and google-usb-driver at http://multiupload.com/ASIK8731IP
- Novo 7 Linux Kernel source code
- Novo 7 Android 2.3.4 source code at multiupload.com/9C390H1AFR andmultiupload.com/0ODULLA4CA
The GPL source code including the Linux kernel and u-boot will officially be made available at some point. Rhombus Tech has also published some instructions to build the bootloader and the kernel for the A10:
Allwinner A10 codename is “sun4i” in the kernel tree and u-boot.
Further instructions to hack Allwinner A10 devices are also available on elinux.org. Hacking those devices is safe since it can boot from USB and you don’t need to change the firmware stored in the flash.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.