Comparison of S905X, S905X2, and S905Y2 Processors Specifications

We’ve known the main features of Amlogic S905Y2 and S905X2 processors namely an upgrade to an Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU with OpenGLES 3.1, and support for USB 3. since last month, and TV boxes launched earlier this month with products such as Beelink GT1 Mini or A95X Plus.

But we were still missing some parameters like the manufacturing process, max CPU and GPU frequencies, and so on. We now have all this information and some more thanks to a S905X/S905X2/S905Y2 comparison table released by SDMC a few days ago, and likely coming from Amlogic themselves.

Amlogic S905X S905X2 S905Y2 Comparison
Click to Enlarge

There actually more differences than I expected. Going from top to bottom in the comparison table above, the new processors feature an ultra-low power MCU core to be used for wake-word detection, and possibly other features. We did not get CPU frequency numbers per say, but since Amlogic released DMIPS values and Cortex A53 core scores 2.3 DMIPS/MHz, we can easily derive it:

  • Amlogic S905X – 13,800 DMIPS / 4 cores / 2.3 DMIPS/MHz = 1500 MHz
  • Amlogic S905X2 / S905Y2 – 18,400 DMIPS / 4 cores / 2.3 DMIPS/MHz = 2000 MHz

Bear in mind those are still numbers from a document, and actual testing will be require to find out whether Amlogic massaged the numbers once again. The Mali-G31 GPU is closed at up to 850 MHz, against 750 MHz with the Mali-450 GPU in S905X.

The memory interface has improved as well with the new SoCs supporting LPDDR3/4 up to 3200 MHz, and up to 4GB RAM, but we already knew that part thanks to TV boxes announcement. There’s also a small change for storage interfaces with NAND SLC and SPI NAND flash now supported, but I’m not sure this is a significant change since most systems should be relying on eMMC flash.

The hardware video decoder can now handle 4K videos up to 75 Hz instead of just 60 Hz (why? probably just because it can unless I missed something), and adds support for AVS2 that should mostly/only matter for the Chinese market. There’s also an enhanced video post-processing engine called “8th Gen TruLife Image Engine”. S905X supported HDR10 and HLG high-dynamic range solutions, and the new processors add Dolby Vision and TCH Prime (which I never heard of). Video output is indeed HDMI 2.1 as reported on some products page, but of course without 8K video support. S905X2 also includes a CVBS interface for composite audio. as well as a DVP camera interface, but not S905Y2, which makes sense due to the latter targeting HDMI TV sticks.

For the same reason, Ethernet is gone on Amlogic S905Y2, while Amlogic S905X2 comes with both a Gigabit Ethernet MAC, and a Fast Ethernet PHY. Both new processors also add USB 3.0 and PCIe Gen-2 interfaces, as well as TS input interface for digital TV tuners. S905Y2 and S905X2 have been designed for smart voice application, and beside the wake-word MCU, they also support 8x microphone arrays via I2S and PDM interfaces.

There was a somewhat heated discussion about the manufacturing process last time, and we finally know the answer: S905X2 & S905Y2 are manufactured using a 12nn process. S905Y2 has the smaller package (10.9×10.9mm BGA) of the three processors,  while S905X2 is a bit bigger even compared to S905X due to the extra features with a 14x14mm BGA package.

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nobe
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nobe

4Kp75 might be related to hdmi 2.1 improved bandwidth over hdmi 2.0

does the new SoCs support both usb3 and pcie at the same time or are they mutually exclusive ?
this isn’t clear to me with the way they are describeb in this document

Dim
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Dim

From the document it seems that X2 has them all. Reading the image from left to right, the bold blue is the difference compared to the previous left column.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

muxed

blu
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blu

Heh, seeing DMIPS figures in the table I was about to do the freq computation, but then I saw it’s already further down in the article ; )

So 2GHz @ 12nm — GF’s 12LP, GF’s 12FDX, or TSMC’s 12FFC?

A gut feeling says 12FDX ; )

tkaiser
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tkaiser

> Heh, seeing DMIPS figures in the table I was about to do the freq computation

How? DMIPS is BS or let’s better say something only marketing departments can use without having to laugh.

Do a simple web search for ‘dmips raspberry pi’ for example and you get only conflicting results. Which is as expected since DMIPS/Dhrystone while being a somewhat nice compiler benchmark can not be used to measure CPU performance. At least not in a ‘fire and forget’ fashion. Same with the funny DMIPS/MHz numbers ARM Holdings marketing department throws out when they start to promote a new CPU core.

http://www.brendangregg.com/blog/2014-05-02/compilers-love-messing-with-benchmarks.html

So all we know is that Amlogic wants us to believe CPU cores in S905X2/S905Y2 run at a clockspeed for whatever funny reasons exactly 1.3333333333333 (18400 / 13800) times faster than the older S905X which is limited to 1412 MHz by Amlogic’s firmware BLOB.

blu
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blu

But nobody is using DMIPS as a benchmark here — just assuming they took the clock of the CPU and multiplied it by the official A53 DMIPS/MHz rating (namely 2.25 – 2.3). Which is how those S905X numbers match up ; )

tkaiser
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tkaiser

> just assuming they took the clock of the CPU and multiplied it by the official A53 DMIPS/MHz rating (namely 2.25 – 2.3). Which is how those S905X numbers match up ; )

Not really since relying on the marketing output of ARM Holdings (2.25 – 2.3 DMIPS/MHz) S905X would be clocked at either 1500 or 1533 MHz then while in reality Amlogic defines 1412 MHz as maximum CPU clockspeed for the S905X.

So still we only know that Amlogic wants us to believe S905X2/S905Y2 would have 4/3 the CPU performance of old S905X (the factor of these meaningless DMIPS numbers 18400 / 13800). We don’t know exactly if this increase in ‘performance’ numbers should be based on the real or faked clockspeeds.

But given the ‘surprising’ 1.33333333333333 DMIPS ratio (18400 / 13800 DMIPS and (not so) surprisingly also 2000 / 1500 MHz) it’s most probably just based on their fake/marketing clockspeeds so I guess in reality we know exactly nothing except that Amlogic product managers were busy calculating new bogus numbers from other bogus marketing numbers and the new SoCs (hopefully) being clocked a bit higher than the older S905X.

blu
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blu

> Not really since relying on the marketing output of ARM Holdings (2.25 – 2.3 DMIPS/MHz) S905X would be clocked at either 1500 or 1533 MHz then while in reality Amlogic defines 1412 MHz as maximum CPU clockspeed for the S905X.

Where do Amlogic define s905x as maxing out at 1412MHz? So far I thought s905 and s905x could clock idetically up to ~1500MHz.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

> Where do Amlogic define s905x as maxing out at 1412MHz?

In the BLOB that is loaded to the Cortex-M core as part of ATF. And it was 1408 not 1412 — Sorry.

* S905: 1482 MHz
* S905x: 1408 MHz
* S912: 1414 MHz
* S905X2/S905Y2: TBD (see Da Xue comment)

See https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/sbc-bench/blob/master/Results.md and there NanoPi K2 (S905), Le Potato (S905X) and Vim2 (the right column links to individual results and there willy’s mhz tool output is contained)

Da Xue
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Da Xue

It is probably ~1.7GHz.

TLS
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TLS

Hopefully this is not a shoddy PCIe implementation like the AllWinner H6…

dave
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dave

This says it supports HDR10, yet in the gearbest listings it says it supports HDR10+ but says nothing about dolbyvision or the others. I wonder whether all these HDR formats are enabled by default or whether android tv box vendors artificially reduce the HDR standards. I think we should wait to hear from Amlogic themselves about the HDR support. I already contacted beelink via email and via freaktabs forums asking them 2 days ago but haven’t received a response. Also i think the boxes say android 8.1 not android tv 8.1 even though i think amlogic said that their future chips would only be for android tv.

mdel
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mdel

i understand that Y2 is a very low power version (very cheap ?) and X2 an upgraded version of the X, what about the price range of the chips ?
Meaning will we get ultra cheap devices (30-40$ or less tv boxes, like the X offers) using the X2 or will it bump the price up and get in the rk3328 territory which is more in the 40-50$ range ?

has anyone announced a dev board using the X2 yet ?
thx

tkaiser
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tkaiser

> has anyone announced a dev board using the X2 yet ?

https://forum.khadas.com/t/s905x2-vim-next-gen/2966 (according to Da Xue S905D2 is S905X2 with tuners so most probably this will be something more expensive). Khadas until now is not known for excellent software support (just rehashing vendor BSPs) so I would better check Da Xue comments here on CNX wrt everything related to S905X2/S905Y2.

If I understood correctly their CPU performance increase compared to S905X is below what you can notice (less than 25%), the GPU has its own issues (especially for Linux users since no Mali Linux license), good Linux support is far far away and the only real benefits are better codec/video support and somewhat improved IO capabilities with USB3 or pinmuxed PCIe.

All we know about USB3 is a quotation from Amlogic’s buildroot release notes (USB performance needs to be improved) and all we know about PCIe is that it’s a single lane Gen2 implementation. Worst case could be that it’s as crappy/unusable as with Allwinner’s H6.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

People should realize that a +-20% performance on these low performance parts is not noticeable in daily use. The more relevant parts are (mainline) software support and storage IO. An optimized software stack will out perform an unoptimized software stack. It doesn’t matter that the CPU is 20% faster if the memory bandwidth is the same and the device is missing the software for the accelerated bits.

S905X2 won’t get the necessary Linux software bits at all unless ARM changes the licensing cost for bitfrost. At least with Mali-450, you get Linux blobs. With bitfrost (G3x/G5x/G7x), you get nothing so you can forget about Linux. Even with panfrost, the most you will get is GLES 2.0 until well into 2020.

m][sko
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m][sko

rockchip already provide mali drivers for G31
wayland with gbm 🙂
https://github.com/rockchip-linux/libmali/tree/master/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Does anyone know if the S905X2/Y2 use Treble since they are on Android 8.1?

Stane1983
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Amlogic is working with Google since Android 8.0 and now they’re preparing Android 9 SDK. I think it’s something that Google requested from them. Google’s ADT-2 is based on S905X so they should…