AMLogic To Unveil 4 Core Cortex A9 AML8726-M8 SoC with 8 Core Mali GPU

Last Thursday, Geniatech announced an upcoming Android Set-Top Box called ATV1800 featuring a quad core AMLogic processor, more memory, and running Android 4.2, and that will support XBMC. They also expect the device to be available in May for 20 to 24 USD more than the dual core version. There are not enough details about the device itself, so I won’t cover it now, but I had never heard about quad core processor from AMLogic. I’ve finally been told it was AML8726-M8 without much details, except it should be available in Q3 2013, which does not seem match May target for Geniatech’s STB. Luckily, a Google search helped a lot, so we already know some of the key features for this new SoC:

  • Quad Core Cortex A9 @ 2.0 GHz (20,000 DMIPS)
  • Eight Core “Next-Gen” Mali GPU with 3,000 MPixel/s fill rate, 110MT/s, and 45GFLOPS. The GPU is said to achieve 44fps in Taiji 720p benchmark. It’d take a guess it’s an ARM Mali-450 GPU (Mali-450MP8 [Update: it should be Mali -450 MP6, see comments]). If so, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen this GPU used in an actual SoC.
  • Dual Channel DDR3, LPDDR2, 128-bit memory interface, 64-Bit ECC
  • Multimedia:
    • 4K2K video decoding
    • Dual 1080p video decoding
    • 1080p video encoding
    • Dolby DD, DD+, DS1, and DTS
  • Single and dual channel LVDS
  • MIPI, ISP interface
  • HDMI 1.4b with 3D, HDCP, and CEC
  • 4K2K Video Output
  • 28nm process at TMSC

Pretty impressive, probably the most powerful quad core Cortex A9 out there.

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30 Replies to “AMLogic To Unveil 4 Core Cortex A9 AML8726-M8 SoC with 8 Core Mali GPU”

  1. @yoda
    Thanks, I had seen another person mention that GPU in another forum, but I thought it was an error, because I’ve never heard about Mali-5xx before. That might be correct, but then AMLogic is using a complete new and unannounced Mali GPU.

    Google search shows several Chinese website mentioning this Mali-588 for AML8726-M8, but I still feel it’s odd, because ARM always seems to announce their new architecture one year before it shows up in silicon.

  2. All those slides are off. If they are talking about multiple pixel processors, then you’re in mali 4xx territory. Then, mali-450, as far as i can tell is a single GP (vertex shader), but updated, and probably better caching. This is then tied to max 8 PPs…

    Now… I have an exynos 4412 prime here, which is a quad A9 at 1.7GHz, which can be overclocked to 2GHz. There is a Mali-400MP4 attached to it, which overclocks to a massive 800MHz. I will post figures this week on running Q3A on that.

    This here immediately clocks to 2GHz… That sure sounds like an exynos44xx killer to me.

  3. I’ve been hoping that amlogic would upgrade to a quad core soon. The aml8726-m6 was a little lackluster in performance.
    The new aml8726-m8 sounds pretty decent.
    I’m looking forward to upgrading my XBMC box soon!

  4. Am I the only to see 128bit memory interface? that is absolutely massive! even if this was a quad core mali, that huge boost in bandwidth would have upped the performance! and 28nm tsmc means competitive power consumption!

  5. @Luc Verhaegen
    Not only will it be an exynos44xx killer but it will also probably be much, much cheaper as AMLogic has to compete with the Chinese GPU manufacturers.
    Anyway it’s nice to see the Chinese haven’t given up on Mali and switched to PowerVR.

  6. The GPU should give a big boost to XBMC’s internal rendering speed which on the M3 is only 30fps, hopefully the GPU can push it to 60fps at 1080p.

    However the M1, M3 and the M6 no less are all still being debugged, Pivos haven’t released a stable official build of XBMC yet, they are still working towards a XBMC v12.x release.

    The M8 could be more work on top of that, hopefully Pivos release one and skip the M6 altogether.

  7. argh, couldn’t they just use Mali-6XX which has unified architecture? (and can be used for general computations, supports opencl)

  8. @renw0rp
    What good would that do.

    OpenCL only benefits very specific workloads and Amlogic make a low cost multimedia focused Arm SoC for tablets and set top boxes, things which OpenCL does not help with.

  9. @cnxsoft

    I am not sure i buy the dual GP thing, just yet. My ogle over the r3p2 kernel code suggested dual MMUs, single GP and up to 8PPs.

  10. @earl cameron
    My figures, which will be published in a few days, together with new code, will show that the Exynos4412 on the odroid-x2 is massively limited by memory bandwidth at 1080p. By clocking the exynos up to 2GHz, the mali fragment shaders simply run out of memory bandwidth above 640MHz.

    So yes, DDR3 might really help push the mali to new heights… But… It remains to be seen whether the mali-450 on the amlogic chip can clock to such great heights as on the exynos4412 prime.

  11. @Luc Verhaegen
    that is reason why apple use high freq dual channel memmory bus for iPad if you compare it to iPhone

    I am working on vector map application and we have same problem with qualcomm on 1280×720 on WP8

  12. Hello,

    will the new AML8726-M8 have the NEON SIMD? This is not mandatory for a Cortex A9, this is only optional. And I can’t find an information about this.

    Best regards

    akapuma

  13. @Galllus
    I could play test files with the following codec in M6 devices:

    AC3 – OK
    Dolby Digital 5.1 / Dolby Digital 7.1 – OK
    TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1 – OK
    DTS-MA and DTS-HR – OK

  14. cnxsoft :
    @Galllus
    I could play test files with the following codec in M6 devices:
    AC3 – OK
    Dolby Digital 5.1 / Dolby Digital 7.1 – OK
    TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1 – OK
    DTS-MA and DTS-HR – OK

    Really with passthrough or just downmix?

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