Allwinner V3 SoC Targets 1080p60 Action Cameras, Supports Linux or Camdroid OS

I’ve previously written about Allwinner V10 and V15 SoC for video applications such as cameras, digital video recorder, and so on. So far, I’ve not found devices based on these, but Allwinner already announced another V-series processor with Allwinner V3 designed for Action camera recording up to 1080p resolution at 70 frames per second.

Allwinner_V3Key specifications are listed below:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex-A7 @1.2GHz
  • Memory
    • 16-bit DDR3/LPDDR3/DDR3L SDRAM controller, up to 1333Mbps
    • 16-bit DDR2 up to 800Mbps, 16-bit LPDDR2 up to 1066Mbps
    • up to 2GB RAM
  • Video / Picture
  • Integrated ISP up to 8M pixels (HawkView ISP)
    • 2 channel outputs for display and encoding respectively
    • Supports various input and output formats
    • Supports AE/AF/AWB
    • Saturation adjustment, 2D/3D noise reduction,  defect pixel correction, and distortion correction
  • Audio Codec
    • Integrated 92dB audio codec
    • 2x ADC channels and 2x DAC channels
    • 3x MIC-in, stereo Line-in, headphone output and stereo line-out output
  • Interfaces – 4-lane MIPI CSI, parallel CSI, RGB/LVDS LCD controller, EMAC with PHY
  • Supports WiFi or 3G/4G connectivity

The company provides Linux or Camdroid OS, a lightweight port of Android by Allwinner.

The first Allwinner V3 based action cameras should hit the shelf before summer.

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$64 Allwinner V3 Action Cameras Support 4K Video Recording (or Not?)James Nguyenanon Recent comment authors
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LinAdmin
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LinAdmin

When reading “Camdroid OS, a lightweight port of Android by Allwinner” I can not resist wondering whether this time Allwinner will be capable of respecting GPL? 😉

Simos
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Simos

@LinAdmin: Google begs to differ.

Jon Smirl
Member

Without seeing the datasheets on these camera chips I can’t tell if they are useful. I’ll stick with the HiSilicon and GrainMedia chips I am currently using. Maybe someday Allwinner will figure out that keeping datasheets secret keeps your potential customers from deciding if your chips are worth checking out. It is just silly that my first choice to find out about Allwinner products is baidu.com, not the useless Allwinnner website. I really don’t understand why Allwinner doesn’t try to make sure that their potential customers have accurate information to base their decisions on instead of random info from baidu.com.

xxiao
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xxiao

@Jon Smirl
I don’t think Hisilicon and Grainmedia release their datasheet in the public domain either. am I missing something? Both are pretty difficult to access unless you’re a big guy.

Jon Smirl
Member

@xxiao They are not in public domain, but I was easily able to get them after asking for them.

Jon Smirl
Member

@Jon Smirl Typical NDA nonsense, but it was over in a day.

rasz_pl
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rasz_pl

@Jon Smirl

will you sell 10K a month? is your company at least partly chinese owned? if any of the answers is no then Allwinner doesnt give two shits about you.

Jon Smirl
Member

@rasz_pl “will you sell 10K a month? is your company at least partly chinese owned? if any of the answers is no then Allwinner doesnt give two shits about you.”

And that is why Allwinner is likely to be a dead company ten years from now. The chip industry suffers from extreme boom bust cycles. When the current tablet/STB craze dies down Allwinner is going to be in real trouble since they have not diversified their customer base enough. Don’t say it won’t be me, this industry is littered with hundreds of dead chip companies.

xxiao
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xxiao

@Jon Smirl
I have to agree on this, the way Allwinner is operating its business, that is hostile to small players, shows it has no long-term strategy and just wants to make quick money.
I was trying to get hisilicon SDK and it’s hard and expensive for any thing official, though they don’t mandate you have to be a 10k per month customer.

Simos
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Simos

The SoC was just announced so I would give them the benefit of doubt (in producing documentation or dev boards, etc).

Jon Smirl
Member

@xxiao HiSilicon SDK is sold for $4,500. Grain was $450. It contains both hardware and software.

Jon Smirl
Member

In my opinion the right way to do SDKs:

1) Freely downloadable datasheet and user manual.
2) All of the software is freely downloadable. This is because often the people doing the software are not the same people doing the hardware. In my case we may work on the software six months before even talking to a hardware manufacturer.
3) Make (or have made) a demo level eval board. This board should be under $100 and demonstrate the mainstream features of the chip.
4) A kitchen sink development board. This board allows access to everything. It can cost $5,000 and come with factory support. Serious hardware designer will get this board.

What I don’t like is companies that make you jump straight to the $5,000 board to find out the details around the chip. I have at least $75,000+ of useless development boards in my lab. I was forced into buying these boards in order to get full chip info. But then after getting full chip info I determined that the chip was not suitable for our needs.

So my desired purchase sequence is:
1) Read the datasheet and manual. Determine if the chip is suitable.
2) Buy the $100 demo board
3) Download the SDK.
4) See if all of the demos work and the provided software/hardware isn’t full of bugs.
5) Port as much of our company code over to the $100 dev board as feasible.
6) See if performance is going to be sufficient
7) Now buy the $5,000 fancy board to get full factory support since we are gong to make a real product using this chip.

What annoys me the most — having to go straight to the $5,000 fancy board and then getting a pile of buggy software from the factory. This isn’t so bad the first time it happens, but after you get a $75,000+ pile of useless boards it gets pretty annoying.

anon
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anon

@Jon Smirl
Maybe now you get why they do it the way they do it. 😉

Why would they change a thing, it has worked for them so nicely for decade+.

People have been giving them all their cash (let alone outsource all their manufacturing, and jobs), so even if one would want, they HAVE to get their electronics fix from them anyway, so it does not matter what they do, the consumer base keeps on buying all the latest crapgadgets that have their planned obsolescence working like a charm.

James Nguyen
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James Nguyen

@Jon Smirl

I trust you have a lot of experience in the industry since I’m planning to build an affordable helmet with camera. Could you please recommend a SOC chip suitable my need. Because my people are travelling on motorbike, I want them to be able to record everything on their way including accidents, robberies or police brutality… I believe this would promote the freedom of expression in my country. The camera should be able to record at least 4 hours non-stop and the price is necessary to be under 100$. I don’t want my product to be expensive. Thanks in advance.

Jon Smirl
Member

@James Nguyen The camera chips I work with are not meant for battery power. You probably want chips from Ambarella. http://www.ambarella.com/ That is what is used the the GoPro.

James Nguyen
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James Nguyen

@Jon Smirl
Thanks for your prompt response. Ambarella is obviously the best choice, but unless you’re ready to sell an insanely high volume, they won’t bother talk to you. So I’m looking for another option.

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