Thanks to Actions Semiconductor ATM7029, you can now purchase quad core Android tablets for less than $100. They were at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair on 12-15 April, 2013, mainly to talk about ATM7029 capabilities such as up 6 simultaneous video playback, Android 4.2.2 support with Miracast, 1.3 GHz CPU clock (to be pushed to 1.5GHz later on), and so on.
They also announced ATM7023A, a dual core Cortex processor targeting low costs tablets with the following characteristics:
- Dual core Cortex A9 family up to 1.2 GHz. 100% compatible with ARMv7 instructions
- Android 4.2.2 + Linux 3.4 OS. Seamless upgrade
- 3D GPU
- Advanced PMU, LPD GEN II architecture integrated, standby power over 1000 hours with a 8000 mAh battery.
- Display Interface – RGB, LVDS, MIPI support. Resolution up to 2048×1536
- Video Decoding – 1080p60
- Video Encoding – H.264 1080p30
- Six videos playing simultaneously
- Quick Boot technology – Boots within 10 seconds (to what we don’t know)
- JPEG baseline, up to 30,000 x 15,000 support, 450 million pixels
- DDR3/3L controller, up to 2GB, 533 MHz. Nand flash controller with up to 60 bit
- SD 3.0 (SDHC Class 10)/2.0
- HDMI 1.4a, 1080p 30fps
- Camera interface with resolution up to 8 MPixel.
There is strong evidence that shows their quad core Cortex A9 “family” processor is actually based on Cortex A5, but some speculate it could also be a modified Cortex A9. They mention “Cortex A9 family” in their website, never just “Cortex A9”, so they could play with words as Cortex A9 and A5 are part of the same “ARMv7” family…, and in a recent investors’ presentation, they only mention Cortex, so something is clearly fishy here. Anyway, that’s just to say ATM7023B will be based on the same architecture (OWL), so you can expect a very low price, but probably not the same performance as other dual core Cortex A9 processors in the market.
Charbax interviewed the company in Hong Kong, but the marketing person dodged many questions such as: “What’s the manufacturing process? 28/32/40 nm?” (it should be 40 or 55nm btw), “How does the GPU compares to competitors?”, “How many sales this year?”, etc… I’ve learned they only focus on tablets now, so we won’t see any HDMI TV dongles or STB based on the platform. However, they talk very little about ATM7023A (they don’t even mention the name).
When asked about releasing the kernel source, she just said they could do modifications themselves, or release the SDK to their customers… It does not bode well for those wanting to hack the platform.
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.