4K AV1 Android TV dongles surface with Amlogic S905Y4 Cortex-A35 processor

Amlogic S905X4 is a quad-core Cortex-A55 SoC for 4K TV boxes and set-top boxes with H.265, H.264, VP9, and AV1 hardware video decoding. The silicon vendor usually provides a lower cost version of the processor for dongles without Ethernet, but keeping most of the same features, as we’ve seen in the past with S905X2 and S905Y2 processors for instance.

S905X4 has now its own cost-down version with S905Y4 for Android TV (certified) dongles relying on WiFi for connectivity, but instead of keeping Cortex-A55 cores, the processor features four low-power Cortex-A35 cores. We do not have the full details about S905Y4 processor just yet, but it has start to show in dongles from SEI Robotics and SDMC that appears idendical.

S905Y4 Android TV Dongle
SDMC DV6071Z / SEI Robotics  SEI450 TV dongle specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905Y4 quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A35 processor with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR (4GB optional)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (16GB optional)
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDCP 2.3, HDR (HDR10, HLG, etc..)
  • Video decoding
    • AV1 MP-10 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • H.265 HEVC MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • VP9 Profile-2 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • H.264 AVC HP up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
  • Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2 or higher
  • DRM – Widevine, Playready, Verimatrix (Optional)
  • Misc – Reset pinhole, LED indicator
  • Power Supply – 5V/1.5A via Micro USB port

4K HDR AV1 TV Box Chromecast

The dongle runs a certified version of Android 10 for Android TV or greater, and by default ships with a power adapter, a Bluetooth and IR remote control with voice support plus two accompanying AAA batteries and a user manual.  SEI Robotics and SDMC dongles are not meant for end users but instead TV operator that would typically prefer using a custom launcher to promote their services rather the stock Android TV launcher.

You’ll find conflicted information about the Arm core used in S905Y4, but an AndroidTV_rumor tweet seems to confirm S905Y4 is indeed based on four Cortex-A35 cores using information from the Google Play Console. Cortex-A35 core should be more efficient, but a fairly slower than the Cortex-A55 core used in S905X4, as it is an evolution of the Cortex-A7 32-bit core with 6 to 40% improvement in efficiency.

S905Y4 2600 MHz
Google Play Console screenshot

However, If the 2.6 GHz frequency reported above is correct then a quad-core Cortex-A35 @ 2.6 GHz may perform just as well, if not better, than a quad-core Cortex-A55 @ the typical 1.9 GHz used with S905X4, but that seems really high for this type of core. Strangely, S905X4 is also shown as running up to 2600 MHz on the screenshot above, so go figure.

Additional information about the Android TV dongle may be found on SDMC and SEI Robotics websites.

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