As we are still waiting for retail availability of Android TV boxes and mini PCs based on AMLogic S802 quad core processor, rumors have started to surface about another quad core processor by the company called S805 to be used in media players, and probably it’s equivalent M805 for tablets. M803 and M805 were already part of AMLogic roadmap and were said to feature quad core CPU and GPU. It turns out M805 and S805 will feature four ARM Cortex A5 cores @ 1.5 GHz combined with a quad core ARM Mali-450 GPU (Mali-450MP2 ?).
That means S805 will be cost down version of S802 with four cortex A5 cores instead of four Cortex A9r4 cores, and Mali-450MP2 instead of Mali-450MP6. The new processor will also support hardware decoded of H.265 @ 1080p, and embed a Gigabit Ethernet controller. If the features listed in the roadmap are still correct, we can also expect the following:
- Dual channel DDR3/LPDDR3 up to 2GB
- 64-bit SDRAM bandwidth
- OS – Android 4.4 Kit Kat
- BGA package, 28nm HPM.
That probably means no 4K support like in M802/S802. There should also be a M803 tablet version pin-to-pin compatible with M801/M802, and possibly the equivalent S803 for media players.
There’s currently a battle between H.265 (HEVC) and royalty-free VP9 codecs, and some online service may choose one over the other, although I believe they’ll most probably support both as is the case with VP8 and H.264 we all use today. So ideally an SoC should support both, and it will become more and more important to getting hardware with proper H.265 or/and VP9 hardware decoding to get a much better user experience for online video streaming: either not seeing that buffering spinning wheel so often, or/and moving to an higher resolution.
I don’t really see Gigabit Ethernet for a 1080p media player as a big advantage, since I don’t know any 1080p videos that will saturate the 100 Mbps bandwidth. For media centers and 4K videos that’s another story however, and Gigabit Ethernet will become a must.
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