How to Upgrade Firmware in Amlogic S802 Devices

Shenzhen Tomato has finally sent me an updated firmware (password: 17r0) for M8 / TM8 Android TV box powered by Amlogic S802. This firmware is rooted, and adds support for Google Apps (Play Store, Gmail and so on), among others things. So it’s a good time to try out and write about the firmware update instructions which are very similar to AML8726-MX firmware instructions. Bear in mind that firmware is usually specific to a given hardware platform, and if you try it on another non-compatible S802 TV box, you may brick your device. Standard “OTA” Method Any Windows, Mac OS, Linux computer or even your own Android device should be able to handle is as you just need to download, extract and copy files to an SD card. I’ve done the procedure from a computer running Ubuntu 13.04: Download the firmware (e.g. TM8 ap6330_03102014A_0410_ROOT.rar), and extract it Copy the files (factory_update_param.aml, k200-ota-20140410.zip, and recovery.img) to the root of an SD …

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How to Root Amlogic S802 Android TV Boxes

I’ve received a Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite, and after publishing some pictures, I’m now testing the device. The firmware does not come rooted however, which can be a problem for screenshots, bluetooth gamepads, and a few other apps requiring root access. Geekbuying has published a guide to root the Vega S89, which should also work with other Amlogic S802 Android TV boxes, and devices. The instructions below require a PC or Virtual Machine running Windows XP/7/8. We need to make sure sure USB debugging is enabled in your Android device, and the developer options were not enabled in my firmware (with a Windows Metro like UI), so here are the first steps to follows: Go to Settings->Other->More Settings to access the default Android settings Go to “About Media” and click 7 times on “Build number” to enable the “Developer Options” Go to the “Developer Options” and make sure “USB Debugging” is ticked as shown below. Once this is done you …

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M8 Android TV Box Powered by AMLogic S802 (Unboxing)

Shenzhen Tomato Technology has send me a sample of their M8 Android TV Box based on the latest quad core AMLogic S802 processor which is said to run Android 4.4 Kitkat. In this post I’ll go through the specs, and show some pictures of the device, and internals. Later, I’ll write a full review with XBMC 13, which I’ve been told is pre-installed. I’ll also receive Tronsmart Vega S89 next week for unboxing and review. M8 Specifications M8 has more or less the same specs as other S802 Android TV boxes: SoC – AMLogic S802 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 2GHz with Mali‐450MP6 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB NAND flash + SD card slot Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi‐Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth Video Output – HDMI 1.4b, AV. HDMI supports 1080p, 4K2K 30fps Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF Video Codecs and Containers – MPEG1/2/4, H.264, AVC, VC‐1, RM/RMVB, Xvid, DivX3/4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10… …

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Amlogic GPL Source Code Release – Kernel 3.10, U-Boot, and Drivers (Wi-Fi, NAND, TVIN, Mali GPU)

Last month, I noticed Amlogic provided links to the Android SDK for S802 / M802 on their open source website, but the only way to get the source was to share your SSH public with Amlogic, so that they give you access. It did not happen, but the company has released the source for Linux 3.10.10, U-boot 2011.03, Realtek and Broadcom Wi-Fi drivers, NAND drivers, “TVIN”drivers, and kernel space GPU drivers for Mali-400 / 450 GPU. There are also some customer board files for Meson 6 only (AML8726-MX / M6) but they do not seem to match the kernel… If you want to build the kernel, including the drivers, you’ll need to download a bunch of files: wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/kernel/arm-src-kernel-2014-03-06-d5d0557b2b.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192du-2014-03-06-7f70d95d29.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192eu-2014-03-06-9766866350.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8192cu-2014-03-06-54bde7d73d.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/rtk8188eu-2014-03-06-2462231f02.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/brcmap6xxx-2014-03-06-302aca1a31.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/wifi-fw-2014-03-06-d3b2263640.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/modules/aml_tvin-2014-03-06-fb3ba6b1c8.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/modules/aml_nand-2014-03-06-39095c4296.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/customer/aml_customer-2014-03-06-76ce689191.tar.gz wget http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/gpu/gpu-2014-03-06-0425a1f681.tar.gz You’ll need to extract these tarballs in specific directories: You can also extract the customer file into the kernel directory to …

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AMLogic S802 TV Boxes Board Pictures

AMLogic S802 Android TV Boxes are currently available for pre-order, and are expected to ship by the end of the month. Last time I wrote Tronsmort Vega S89 and Eny ES8 featuring the latest quad core SoC from AMLogic. Geekbuying currently has test samples for both Vega S89 and M8 (similar to ES8), has open them, and taken some pictures of the boards. The good news, if you want to tinker, is that both of them appear to give relatively access to the UART port. Tronsmart Vega S89 Board There are two models: Vega S89 and Vega S89 Elite. The former is the high-end version with dual band Wi-Fi (2.4/5.0GHz) and 16 GB flash, and the latter only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and comes with 8GB flash. Price: $120 and $105. The serial port appears to be on the left side of the board (TBC), just above the two USB ports. You’d need to solder small cables to add a …

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AMLogic to Unveil M805 & S805 Quad Core Cortex A5 SoCs with Mali-450 GPU

As we are still waiting for retail availability of Android TV boxes and mini PCs based on AMLogic S802 quad core processor, rumors have started to surface about another quad core processor by the company called S805 to be used in media players, and probably it’s equivalent M805 for tablets. M803 and M805 were already part of AMLogic roadmap and were said to feature quad core CPU and GPU. It turns out M805 and S805 will feature four ARM Cortex A5 cores @ 1.5 GHz combined with a quad core ARM Mali-450 GPU (Mali-450MP2 ?). That means S805 will be cost down version of S802 with four cortex A5 cores instead of four Cortex A9r4 cores, and Mali-450MP2 instead of Mali-450MP6. The new processor will also support hardware decoded of H.265 @ 1080p, and embed a Gigabit Ethernet controller. If the features listed in the roadmap are still correct, we can also expect the following: Dual channel DDR3/LPDDR3 up to …

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AMLogic S802 / M802 Android 4.4 SDK, Documentation and Reference Schematics Are (Almost) Available

We’ve seen in the past AMLogic sometimes pushes some updated GPL software releases on their Open Linux website. So I went to have a look a few days ago, and to my surprise they already had instructions to download and build Android 4.4 for AMLogic M802 (Tablet) and S802 (STB), “user’s guides”, as well as links to reference schematics for the tablets… Nice!!! I started with 4.4_ReleaseInfo for “Mbox” (S802), which explains how to get the SDK release on 2014-01-27 (kk-amlogic-20140127): Unfortunately the joy stopped right there, as you need to send your SSH public key to your representative. I’ve just done that, and sent an email to support [at] amlogic.com, and mbox-android [at] amlogic.com on Sunday, and I have yet to gain access. I’ve found the “mbox-android” email in from Mbox page (similar to screenshot above) in a field right of “reference schematics” column, which has been removed since then. I’ve just noticed you actually need to fill a …

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What to Expect from AllWinner, Rockchip, Mediatek, and Other Silicon Vendors at CES 2014

CES 2014 is coming soon, and it will take place on 7 – 10 January, 2014, and we can expect some interesting SoC news. Samsung suggested they will unveil their 64-bit ARM SoC (Exynos 6?) at CES 2014, Nvidia will hold a press conference to “showcase new NVIDIA Tegra mobile technologies, gaming innovations and advanced automotive display technologies”, and Qualcomm has been quiet for now. However, several Chinese SoC vendors, namely AllWinner, Rockchip and Mediatek, have already announced what they will showcase at CES 2014, albeit with few details. AllWinner at CES 2014 Allwinner announced will showcase their OptimusBoard based on their Ultra Octa Core A80 SoC, as well as 4G tablets powered by Allwinner A31/A31s, and dual-SIM phablets sporting A23 dual core. Allwinner A80 is an Octacore processor featuring four ARM Cortex A7 cores, and four Cortex A15 cores @ 2.0GHz together with an unnamed GPU offering 2x more performance over previous generations, and supporting OpenGL ES3.0 and GPU compute. …

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