Does Amlogic S905X Support USB 3.0?

Despite Amlogic roadmap claiming none of the upcoming Amlogic TV box SoCs will support USB 3.0, I’ve been informed that Amlogic S905X might already support USB 3.0. So I had a check with NEXBOX A5 TV box.

USB_3.0_LogoFirst we can see dwc3 (DesignWare USB3) module is loaded:

then this happens when I connect a USB 3.0 hard drive or flash drive:

The important point here is xhci, which stands for “eXtensible Host Controller Interface” and supports USB 1.x to USB 3.x devices.

The next step is to check performance, but since S905X is running Android 6.0, I went through permission issues with both A1SD bench and Disk Speed apps, so I reverted to using dd to read a large file to /dev/null.

Result with USB 3.0 hard drive:

That’s about 35.6 MB/s, which would be an excellent USB 2.0 transfer rate, but not quite USB 3.0 material, and the drive can achieve around 100MB/s in a Linux computer with USB 3.0 port.

Results with USB 3.0 flash drive:

That’s 21.07 MB/s, which is quite typical for USB 2.0 transfers.

So while a USB 3.0 driver is loaded into memory, those results don’t quite point to much better performance. [Update: After further study, the speed is also limited to 480 Mbps (USB 2.0 speed), see comments below]

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12 Replies to “Does Amlogic S905X Support USB 3.0?”

  1. USB 3.0 driver exists in kernel for some time. USB 3.0 is used in some TV SoCs only. dwc3 module however is used for usb2 too (before aml used aml_dwc_otg if I remember correctly).

  2. @memeka
    I think the option is not enabled in busybox:

  3. @cnxsoft
    But the actual flash drive is limited to 480 Mbps:

    So I guess that settles it

  4. but … at the end, even if USB3.0 is supported by SoC, kernel, drivers, etc …. what really matter is the connector: if the external connector is USB2.0, with no added lines for USB3.0 support …. the speed will be 480Mbps anyway.

  5. @gaetano
    You’re right… So most probably S905X does not expose the extra signals either (I don’t have documents to check this), and Amlogic is just using the same driver for USB 2.x and USB 3.x then?

  6. S905x doesn’t support USB 3.0, there are two USB2.0 port from the SOC, which is same with previous version S905.

  7. Hopefully next generation of TV SoCs bring USB3 support. This would be great, as it could finally mean very cheap NAS boxes.

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