Telechips TCC893x Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 + Cortex M3 SoCs: TCC8930, TCC8933, TCC8935

Sometimes last year, Telechips discreetly released a triple core SoC comprised of 2 ARM Cortex A9 cores and one Cortex M3 core for tablet, set-top boxes, media player and car AVN (Audio, Video & Navigation). A dual core release in 2013 may not be that interested, but the addition of a Cortex M3, and high performance interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 may make it interesting. Let’s have a look.

Telechips TCC893x Block Diagram
Telechips TCC893x Block Diagram

There’s very little information on Telechips TCC893x page, apart from the block diagram above and the following description:

The TCC893x is a system-on-chip with powerful multimedia solution and high performance such as dual decoding. It is ideal for high-end multimedia devices such as Set top box, Media Box, Car AVN, and Tablet. TCC893x multimedia application processor based on Cortex-A9 Dual & M3 has multi-format hardware video accelerator optimized to reduce power consumption, high-performance 2D/3D graphic engine for rich GUI, and various peripherals to save total cost. In addition, TCC893x supports stable open operating systems such as Android, Linux and Windows Embedded Compact 7 with Telechips’ outstanding solution.

We can extract most the key specs from the block diagram, and some Google searches:

  • Processor – Dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz to 1.5GHz with 64KB RAM,  32KB BootROM, 32KB L1$ and 512LB L2$,  as well as support for NEON and ARM Trust Zone.
  • MCU – ARM Cortex M3 with 16KB I-RAM & 16KB D-RAM
  • GPU – ARM Mali-400MP2
  • VPU – Unknown VPU
  • Memory – NAND Controller, DDR3/DDR2 controller
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 Tx,  LVDS Tx, Composite Tx, 2x Display Controllers
  • Video Input – 2x Video In
  • Peripherals and Others:
    • USB 2.0 Host, USB 3.0
    • 6x UART, 4x SDIO, 4x ADC, I2c, 4x GPSB (General Purpose Serial Bus)
    • Touch screen controller
    • Serial & parallel TS, TS demux
    • I2S stereo, I2S 7.1 Ch, SPDIF Tx/Rx
    • Timer/RTC
    • 9x DMA
    • 2x CAN
    • IR Receiver

The SoCs are available for consumer products (TCC893x) and automotive products (TCC893x-i), and several models are part of the family: TCC8930, TCC8933, and TCC8935, which some variations adding B and C suffixes according to Telechips’ “Certificate list”.  The only problem is that I have no idea what the differences are between the different models, although TCC8930 and TCC8933 appears to be clocked @ 1.2GHz, and TCC8935 @ 1.5GHz according to my buddy Google.

The company has also uploaded Linux Kernel 3.1, Android Jelly Bean, and the VPU drivers GPL source code on their site, and according to their CES 2014 press release, showcased Android Kitkat for Tablets, and a low power Android TV HDMI stick. Technical materials are only available with a login and password.

I’ve been looking for hardware using TCC893x, and there does not seem to be any available for retail apart from A318C media player sold by an Aliexpress seller without any feedback. Several products can however be seen on wholesalers sites, or have been unveiled by manufacturers including TizzBird N2 HDMI TV Stick, Newstar (HK) media player, Artway Technology FVD-22 Android STB, as well as a tablet based on TCC8935, among others. There also appears to be a development platform called TCC8935 uPC,  with the firmware available here.

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24 Replies to “Telechips TCC893x Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 + Cortex M3 SoCs: TCC8930, TCC8933, TCC8935”

  1. @onebir
    In some industrial design you could have Linux run on the Cortex A9 cores, and an RTOS run on the Cortex M3 to handle time critical I/Os. But for a media player I’m not sure they’d do that.

    Now, I used to develop stb with an application processor, and a MCU to handle power and IP protection.
    In power off or standby mode the AP is down or in sleep mode, and the MCU check for the remote control input, and if it detects the power button is pressed, it would start the processor / get it out of sleep mode. I guess Chinese vendors don’t care that much, but in Europe and probably the US, there are strict standby power consumption requirements.

    IP protection is to protect against clones. The company was based in Hong Kong, and manufacturing in China. So we added some communication between the AP and MCU and if the AP could not get the proper code from the MCU some unexpected behavior would happen in the software. We flashed the MCU in Hong Kong. The MCU had some protection to prevent reading the code, so even though the manufacturer had all required files to make a copy of the board they would not have a working firmware.

  2. @cnxsoft Thanks 🙂 I guessed about the standby mode, but hadn’t thought about IP protection 🙂

    Could also make a good dev board in theory perhaps? (Like Udoo…)

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