Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Amlogic V901D – A quad-core Cortex-A55 processor for in-vehicle infotainment

Amlogic V901D

Amlogic has decided to enter the automotive market with the Amlogic V901D quad-core Cortex-A55 processor designed for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) applications such as car dashboards, multi-camera dashcam systems, automotive multimedia players, and so on. Also equipped with an Arm Mali-G31 MP2, a 1 TOPS NPU, support for 4K AV1 video decoding, and a 12nm manufacturing processor, Amlogic V901D may look like a rebranded Amlogic S905X4 at first glance, but as we’ll see below, it includes some features specific to the automotive infotainment market. Amlogic V901D specifications: CPU – Quad-Core Cortex-A55 GPU – ARM Mali-G31 MP2 AI accelerator – 1 TOPS NPU Memory I/F – 32-bit DDR3/4, LPDDR3/4 Storage I/F – eMMC 5.0, SLC NAND Video I/F Output – V-by-one, LVDS, CVBS, 4K TCON Input – 3x HDMI 2.1 w/ EMP (Extended Metadata Packet), ALLM, 2x CVBS Video Decoding – 4Kp60 10-bit AV1/H.265/VP9 P-2/AVS2, 4Kp30 H.264 Encoding – 1080p30 H.264 HDR […]

Amlogic A311D2 octa-core Arm processor supports up to 16GB RAM

Amlogic A311D2 Block Diagram

Amlogic A311D2 octa-core processor is the successor to Amlogic A311D hexa-core SoC with four Cortex-A73 cores, four Cortex-A53 cores, a more powerful Mali-G52 MP8 (8EE) GPU, support for eDP and LVDS video interface, 8Kp24 AV1 video decoding, and support for a whopping 16GB LPDDR4/X memory. But it’s not all! The chip also includes supports for three HDMI 2.1 inputs up to 4Kp60, a 16MP ISP, 4K video encoding, and the more powerful GPU and higher memory bandwidth enable 4K user interfaces which were not feasible on most other Arm hardware barring the NVIDIA Shield. Comparison of Amlogic A311D2 and A311D specifications. * Amlogic A311D multiplexed PCIe and USB 3.0  interfaces means two configurations are possible: 1x USB 2.0 Host + 1 PCIe, OR 1x USB3.0 (No PCIe), but Amlogic A311D2 PCIe and USB 3.0 interfaces are independent, so we are not losing USB 3.0 when using PCIe (5 Gbps). The […]

Amlogic S905W4 TV Box ships with Amlogic W1 WiFi 5 module

Amlogic S905W4 TV Box with Amlogic W1 WiFi 5

As I just posted about MediaTek Filogic 830/630 WiFi 6/6E chip, I was informed that Amlogic may have its own WiFi chip as “W1” module showed up in the SDK’s source code. It turns out there’s at least one TV box with Amlogic W1 802.11b/g/n/ac module/chip?, namely X96 Mini+, that also happens to come with an Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor we’ve never covered on CNX Software. Apart from the new processor and WiFI module, X96 Mini Plus is your typical entry-level 4K TV box with up to 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, HDMI 2.0 video output, composite video output, Ethernet, and a couple of USB ports. X96 Mini Plus specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750MHz System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB or 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to […]

LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

LibreELEC 10.0

While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS. LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support. Since LibreELEC 10.0 is based on Kodi 19.1, it benefits from the same features as Kodi 19 “Matrix” release including AV1 video decoding, a new skin, HDR support, and more. LibreELEC 10.1 support a wide range of single board […]

Zora P1 Amlogic A311D Development Board interfaces with Orbbec 3D Cameras

Zora P1 Development Board

We have already seen the powerful Amlogic A311D powered Khadas VIM3 SBC, and Orbbec announced the Zora P1 development board for Orbbec 3D cameras, supporting robotics, gaming, smart homes, etc. Some of the other products showcased at the CES 2021 by Orbbec include its first 3D sensor with time-of-flight (TOF) technology, the latest Astra+ camera, and a real-time industrial 3D camera. “Innovations in 3D imaging, combined with broader advances like 5G, artificial intelligence, and ultra-fast processors, are transforming the application landscape for designers and engineers,” said David Chen, co-founder, and director of engineering at Orbbec. “Our new camera with time-of-flight (TOF) technology is a great example. Its high resolution and tracking capabilities make it perfect for all kinds of products including fall detection, security, even at-home yoga and exercise products.”  Orbbec’s Zora P1 Development Board Zora P1 is a processing board for developers and enthusiasts to integrate 3D imaging and associated computing tasks for demanding industrial applications. Orbbec has specially designed this long-lasting solution to work with its 3D […]

Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

CNX Software Year 2021

It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices,  but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first […]

Amlogic S905X3 vs S905X4 – Features Comparisons

Amlogic S905X3 vs S905X4

AV1 capable Amlogic S905X4 processor has been expected for more than a year, and only now are we starting to see announcements of S905X4 TV boxes and development kits. So it may be a good time to compare the features of the new Amlogic S905X4 processor again its predecessor, namely S905X3, and see if there are other notable differences apart from support for AV1 open video codec. We’ll use data from S905X3 specifications,  S905X2 vs S905X3 comparison, and a post on SDMC LinkedIn page. Amlogic S905X4 will be slightly faster due to the higher (default) maximum CPU frequency of 2.0 GHz, but most people will not notice the difference.  S905X4 is supposed to support Vulkan 1.1, while S905X3 does not, but I believe this is just due to more up-to-date Android SDK, and not differences in the silicon itself. S905X4 supports Nagra DRM, a more recent version of HDCP, and […]