[Update: I’ve been informed that Ambarella A12S product brief from their website contains outdated information, and that A12S does indeed support 4K @ 30 fps, not only 2K @ 30 fps] [Update 2 (03/09/2016): The company has now updated the page, and I’ve myself updated the article accordingly]
Instead of focusing on the cameras themselves, I’ve decided to check the SoC in details instead and its 4K capabilities.
Nothing shows for A12S75 SoC in Google, just the cameras, so I searched for Ambarella A12S instead, and found A12S75 “string” in the chip rendering shown on the top left of this article, as well as the product brief with the following key features/specs:
- CPU – ARM Cortex-A9 CPU up to 792 MHz
- Camera Sensor – Up to 32 MP still picture capture
- Video Encoding
- 4Kp30, 1920x1080p100, 2560x1440p30 and 1280x720p240 Encoding
- Simultaneous second stream
- Image / Video Processing – Advanced Electronic Image Stabilization and Tilt Correction
- Connectivity – USB Host for 4G Module Connectivity, DMA UART for Bluetooth (BT) module connection, dual encode for on-the-fly mobile resolution streaming
- Processor – 28-nm low-power CMOS Process
The SoC supports ThreadX and Linux.
Amberalla A12S was initially unveiled together with A9S processor as a Full HD processor in a press release in October 2015 that reads:
Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA), a leading developer of low-power, HD and Ultra HD video compression and image processing semiconductors, today announced the addition of A12S and A9SE to its range of camera solutions for drones, or flying cameras. The Full HD A12S SoC family enables a new generation of entry-level flying cameras, including small form factor designs and racing drones; while the 4K Ultra HD A9SE SoC family is ideal for midrange designs.
But as often happens, specifications may change over time, and now Ambarella A12S does support 4K 30 fps video too. Since the camera with the A12S processor are quite cheaper than the equivalent cameras based on Ambarella A9S, it’s likely the later still provides better quality and/or performance.
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.
7 Replies to “Ambarella A12S SoC Allows For Cheaper 4K 30 fps Action Cameras, or Does it Not?”
I can assure you that it does do 4K, and it doesn’t employ the tricks employed by AllWinner or other chipsets.
@Ganesh @ AnandTech
That’s odd that Ambarella does not mention 4K support at all. Have you seen them demo it or tested A12S cameras at 4K? I can’t find anything on Anandtech about A12S.
I can see the new Ambarella A12D supports 4K -> http://www.ambarella.com/products/flying-cameras#A12D
I talked to the person at Ambarella in charge of the product briefs, and he assured me that the marketing collateral currently online is out of date. It will be fixed soon.
The website is now updated with current information regarding A12S performance. Sorry for any confusion on this point.
Hi jeff, does the ambarella support uhs-3 because all i can find is uhs-1 support. If 4k@30fps has a bitrate of 60mbps and uhs-1 has a max write speed of 30mbps, how does the soc write 4k@30fps true?
Thanks for letting me know. I’ve updated the post.
You are mixing megabytes/sec and megabits/sec.