Amlogic S905X and S912 Processors To Support 4K VP9, HDMI 2.0a, Built-in DAC and More

I had heard some news that Amlogic S912 was delayed, and even possibly canceled, while talks about a new S908 processor surfaced recently with support for VP9 up to 4K resolution. We now have some more details as I’ve received some more information about Amlogic product roadmap, and S908 should be renamed S905M [Update: The name will apparently be changed to S905X now, the saga continues…]

Amlogic S905Amlogic S908 / S905M / S905X
Amlogic S912
CPUQuad core Cortex A53 @ up to 2.0 GHzQuad core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5/2.0 GHzOcta core Cortex A53 @ up to 2.0 GHz
GPUPenta-core Mali-450 up to 750 MHzHigh perf gaming GPU
Memory16/32-bit DDR3, LPDDR2/3
Up to 2GB, DDR2133
16/32-bit DDR3/4, LPDDR2/3
Up to 2GB, DDR2400
StorageNAND [email protected]
eMMC 5.0, SD, Nor Flash
Video Decoding4Kp60 10-bit HEVC, 4Kp30 H.2644Kp60 10-bit HEVC, VP9
4Kp30 H.264
Video EncodingH.264, [email protected]H.265, [email protected]
Ethernet10/100/1000 RGMII10/100/1000 RGMII, 10/100M PHY
Audio DACN/ABuilt-in Stereo DACs
USB2.02.0 and 3.0 (TBC)
TV Output4K2K HDMI 2.0, CVBS4K2K HDMI 2.0a, CVBS
HDRN/AHDR10Dolby Vision, HDR10
DTVTs in
Products4K HDMI dongle, OTT/IP-STBCost effective low power 4K HDMI dongle, OTT/IP-STBHigh-end 4K OTT/IP-STB, gaming box

While Amlogic S905 and S905M will have a hard-limit to 2GB RAM, S912 will support dual channel memory and up to 4GB RAM. The two new processors will also support 4K VP9 video decoding, feature a DAC, HDMI 2.0a, support for HDR10 media profile and/or Dolby Vision. Both will also an embedded 10/100M PHY which will bring the cost down for devices with Fast Ethernet. Amlogic S912 will also support USB 3.0 interface and H.265 video encoding up to 1080p60. The document did not reveal the details about the GPU used in the two new processor, but it’s clear Amlogic S912 will have a powerful one good enough to be used in Android gaming console, and there have been some clues that S912 GPU could be Mali-T830 in the past.

Amlogic S9xx DRM Secure OS
Amlogic S9xx DRM Solution with TrustZone and Secure OS

The company has also improved DRM support in their latest processors, including S905 itself, with support for Google Widewine Level 1 & 3, Verimatrix Standard and Advanced, Microsoft Playready 2.0 (TVP and non TVP), Internet Marlin 1.7, and Vudu DRM. DRM is enabled thanks to “Secure OS”, but it’s not needed for the most basic DRM solutions such as Widewine Level 3, Verimatrix Standard, and  PlayReady 2.0 Non-TVP. So as we’ve seen recently that most Amlogic S905 TV box lack DRM support, a firmware upgrade should be enough to enable these, but any DRM scheme that requires Secure OS is likely impossible on devices that have not been flashed with Secure OS at the factory.

Amlogic S905M/S905X will come before Amlogic S912, but so far I don’t have exact ETA for either processors, so we’ll need to be patient.

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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RAF
RAF
4 years ago

That 16-bit memory interface looks to good to be true. 🙂

Loïc
Loïc
4 years ago

Intressting but why the S908/905M and S912 will have lower CPU clocks?

birdog
birdog
4 years ago

@Loïc

My guess is because media players and gaming devices are not cpu intensive in their test and these are media/gaming chips. They have great decoding/encoding chips for media and hopefully great gpu for gaming so maybe for low power they dropped cpu speed for battery life. But again that is only a guess

agumonkey
4 years ago

@birdog
True, it’s seriously impressive to see the old raspberry pi v1 struggle for anything but decode 720p without flinching. With proper graphic accel, the cpu could run at 100Mhz that wouldn’t really matter.

Techy
Techy
4 years ago

I will weit for s905m devices to come to market

Teiko
Teiko
4 years ago

Yes, CPU power is not needed for media devices. Low power (no overheating!!) is more important. We see S812 CPU go down to smallest scaling frequency of 96 MHz for 4K H.265 video play. All done by VPU µcode!

But 2D GPU and memory bandwidth matter for OSD. Fullscreen fade (2K) was not smooth on RK30, but is very smooth on S8xx. Full 4K framebuffer is possible on S8xx but graphics are not smooth. Hoping for S912.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon
4 years ago

@Loïc
Perhaps they are providing a big lift in GPU performance in the expectation that accelerating adoption of OpenCL (eg LibreOffice) will soon cause CPU power to become a less dominant factor in the overall user experience.

kusta
kusta
4 years ago

according these specs s912 should be really beast but VP9 at s908 is interesting as well

Harley
Harley
4 years ago

Wonder if any S905M or S912 boxes will have HDMI input?

Looking forward to new WeTek & Pivos boxes using these.

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming
4 years ago

According to this article the Amlogic S912 is a octa-core processor.
http://www.elezine.com/2015/11/amlogic-s912-soc-roadmap-development-usb-3-1-sampling-2016-q1/
So it looks like there is a mistake in the table or in the above article.

cortex-a72
cortex-a72
4 years ago

@Teiko you say this like VPU doesn’t draw power and doesn’t overheat the system. this “acceleration” fairy tale seems to work. but in the reality those “accelerators”, “offload engines” and so on, melt down the SoC not worse than CPU does (especially gpu, vpu). they can not do magic. And speaking of why Amlogic has dropped frequency for s912 and s90x, I think it’s NOT because they found, the target use case turned out to be not “cpu intensive”, it’s impossible on arm+linux combination at all – you are seeing a constant high cpu usage on every imagined task, it’s… Read more »

mdel
mdel
4 years ago

hum the S905X (apparently former S908 or S905m) would be a nice “upgrade” from the s905, especially for vp9 hw decoding in my case.

Are there been any news concerning the availability of that soc ?

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