Media Player SoCs at CES 2014 – Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 and Sigma Designs SMP8756

Apart from Nvidia Tegra K1, CES 2014 has been somewhat disappointing when it comes to new mobile SoCs announcement. On the media processor front, we’ve had Marvell announces Skyworth Android TV set-top boxes and HDTV based on their ARMADA 1500 Plus SoC, and we’ve got at least two new processors for media players with Qualcomm Snapdragon 802, and Sigma Designs SMP8756. Let’s have a look at some of the details.


Qualcomm Snapdragon 802

Qualcomm has started to enter the media player space with MPQ8064 / 8064M last year, but I haven’t seen actual products based on this SoC, except Qubi, which is not shipping yet. This year, the company announced Snapdragon 802 SoC designed for next-generation smart TVs, smart set-top boxes and smart digital media adapters.

As usual, the company gave very little details in the press release, but here’s what we know:

  • Quad core Krait processor @ 1.8Ghz with Adreno 330 GPU
  • Qualcomm Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) processing engine allow up-converted 1080p content to be delivered at a level approaching Ultra HD
  • Hexagon DSP provides efficient processing for Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound
  • Dual-band Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac
  • Ultra HD resolution, and video decoding support
  • Playback of four HD videos simultaneously
  • Advanced content protection with integrated Snapdragon StudioAccess

The company will provide a custom Android Software Framework based on Kit Kat, as well as AllJoyn software connectivity framework for the “Internet of Everything”.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 processor will begin sampling in Q1 2014, and is expected to be in commercial devices by the end of the year. There’s no information on Qualcomm website.

Sigma Designs SMP8756

A few years ago, Sigma Designs processor were based on ARM7TDMI, and the company switches to MIPS core since then, but company has just gone back to ARM with SMP8756 secure media processor featuring ARM Cortex A9 CPUs and Mali GPU. Their newly announced HiDTV PRO-SX6 also features a dual core ARM Cortex A9 and Mali-400 GPU.

SMP8756 is a processor for set-top boxes and DVR, part of the company’s new SMP8750 series SoC, with support for 4K2K and HEVC, and the following specifications and features:

  • CPU – Single core ARM Cortex A9
  • GPU – ARM Mali-400
  • FHD (1080p) and UHD (2160p) resolution and video decoding
  • HEVC Main-10 profile allowing processing of up to 10-bit color samples
  • Broadcast TS processing
  • Secure media processing
  • Multi-format Full-HD video decoding
  • VXP display processing
  • Certification of CAS technologies (e.g. Verimatrix and Nagravision) planned.

The company can provide both Android and Linux SDKs for development. is available for either Linux or Android platform development. The chipset will support global tuner/demodulator standards, wired and wireless network controllers, DTV middleware stacks and IPTV middleware ports, such as Wyplay and OpenTV.

There’s no availability information, nor SMP8756 product page on Sigma Designs website.

PS: There’s actually been another STB SoC announcement at CES 2014 with Broadcom BCM7364 and BCM7399 for entry-level satellite STB, but they do not seem to offer IP connectivity.

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3 Replies to “Media Player SoCs at CES 2014 – Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 and Sigma Designs SMP8756”

  1. Is this the first time Sigma Designs officially said they will support the Android OS or?

    Windows if and when XBMC will get support for these new ARM based SoCs from Sigma Designs?

    Don’t think that these Sigma Designs SoCs supports OpenMAX IL video decoding API?

    XBMC for Android 4.x would probably run on it but don’t think hardware assisted video decoding is working for these yet?

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