Amlogic Releases Linux 3.14 Source Code for S905X, S905D, and S912 Processors, Has Started Working on Linux 4.4 / Android 7.0

Amlogic has just released buildroot with Linux 3.14 with support for Amlogic S905X (p212 board), S905D (p230 board), and S912 (Q200 board) processors, and the company appears to have started working on Linux 4.4 likely for future support for Android 7.0. You can check the source code as follows:

If you have the wrong toolchain the code won’t build (See comments section). So I installed several toolchains provided by Amlogic (all may not be needed) in /opt:

I also downloaded a shell script to add the toolchains to my path:

Once toolchains are setup, you can select one of three boards config (Q200 / S912 as example) and start building the code:

If you are interested in S905X or S905D instead, use respectively mesongxl_p212_release_defconfig or mesongxl_p230_release_defconfig. I built both S912:

and S905X images successfully:

Separately, you can also find buildroot for Linux 4.4, but this is very likely very early work, and should be …

M12N Amlogic S912 TV Box Benchmarks

Since Shenzhen Shiningworth MXQ Plus M12N is my first TV box powered by Amlogic S912 octa-core processor, I’ve decided to write a separate post to show system information with CPU-Z, and benchmark results with Antutu 6.x, Vellamo 3.x, and 3Dmark Ice Storm Extreme. Please note that it may not be representative of all Amlogic S912 boards, as mentioned in the teardown post, there are some concerns about the thermal design of M12N TV box. M12N / Amlogic S912 System Info I’ve merged CPU-Z’ SOC, DEVICE and SYSTEM data into a single table. The app correctly detects an 8 core Cortex A53 processor @ 100 MHz to 2.02 GHz with an ARM Mali-T820 GPU. The brand for this particurlar device is MXQ, and Model m12n. Frame buffer resolution is 1920×1080, and memory and storage data are both OK for a box with 2GB and 16GB flash. The device runs Android 6.0.1 on top of Linux 3.14.29. M12N / Amlogic S912 Benchmarks …

Amlogic S905 vs S905X Benchmarks Comparison

We’ve already compared the main features between Amlogic S905, Amlogic S905X and Amlogic S912, with Amlogic S905X being an upgrade of Amlogic S905 with the same quad core Cortex A53 cores and Mali-450MP GPU but adding VP9 hard ware decoding, HDR support,  and integrating 10/100 Ethernet PHY and audio codec to lower the cost. The CPU frequency was also said to be lowered to 1.5 GHz in early document, but TV manufacturers keep promoting Amlogic S905 as a 2.0 GHz processor, and I noticed CPU-Z and Antutu also reported the maximum frequency to be 2.02 GHz. In that case the performance should be about the same for both processors. Let’s find out by comparing benchmark results between Amlogic S905 based MINIX NEO U1 (Android 5.1) and Amlogic S905X powered MINI M8S II  (Android 6.0) using Antutu 6.x, Vellamo 3.x, and 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme 1.2. A ratio greater than one means Amlogic S905X is the fastest for a given test. …

LibreELEC 7.0 Ported to Amlogic S905 TV Boxes & ODROID-C2 Board

Most TV boxes are now sold pre-loaded with Android, but there’s still a fair amount of people who only want to play videos in their box, or only run Kodi, so they may prefer a Linux experience. Some companies provide ready-to-use solution such as ARNU Box Mach 10 64-bit Pure Linux, but in some cases it’s also possible to side-load OpenELEC or LibreELEC, with the main advantage being that it is usually quite cheaper at the cost of being a bit more complicated. Thanks to a comment by Sabai, I discovered LibreELEC 7.0.0 had been (unofficially) ported to Amlogic S905 TV boxes, and tested one devices such as NEXBOX A95X (S905), WeTek Hub, Beelink S905 Mini MXIII, MXQ Pro 4K, and others. If you own an ODROID-C2 board, you can load another LibreELEC 7.0.0 image. If you are unsure whether your Android TV box is supported, you should first try the SD card method by copying  aml_autoscript, kernel.img,  SYSTEM and 2 md5 files …

Amlogic S912(-H) TV Box Boards Are Starting to Show Up

Amlogic S912 is one of the most expected processor this year for TV box users, and while there’s still a few months development needed before devices based on the new platform go on sale, some boards have started to surface on the Internet. The first board named S912_MBX_REF_Q02_V01 is shown above, and has the following specifications: SoC – Amlogic S912 or S912-H octo core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 2.0GHz  with ARM Mali-820MP3 @ 750MHz+ System Memory – 2GB  (Optional 1GB) Storage – 16GB eMMC flash (Optional 8GB) + micro SD slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 and AV ports Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0 Misc – IR receiver, recovery push button (behind AV jack) As a reminder the -H suffix means Dolby and DTS licenses are paid for, so audio down-mixing will work in all apps. The second board is called S92-V01, will likely found its …

Does Amlogic S905X Support USB 3.0?

Despite Amlogic roadmap claiming none of the upcoming Amlogic TV box SoCs will support USB 3.0, I’ve been informed that Amlogic S905X might already support USB 3.0. So I had a check with NEXBOX A5 TV box. First we can see dwc3 (DesignWare USB3) module is loaded:

then this happens when I connect a USB 3.0 hard drive or flash drive:

The important point here is xhci, which stands for “eXtensible Host Controller Interface” and supports USB 1.x to USB 3.x devices. The next step is to check performance, but since S905X is running Android 6.0, I went through permission issues with both A1SD bench and Disk Speed apps, so I reverted to using dd to read a large file to /dev/null. Result with USB 3.0 hard drive:

That’s about 35.6 MB/s, which would be an excellent USB 2.0 transfer rate, but not quite USB 3.0 material, and the drive can achieve around 100MB/s in a Linux …

4K VP9 Video Playback in Amlogic S905X based NEXBOX A5 Android TV Box

I’ve never been able to play 4K VP9 videos smoothly in any Android TV boxes so far. It’s possible in Nvidia Shield Android TV, but the device is relatively expensive, and hard to source in many parts of the world, and NEXBOX A5 is the first Android TV Box I own capable of handling 4K VP9 @ 60 fps thanks to Amlogic S905X processor. So I tested 3 4K Vp9 video using MoviePlayer app pre-loaded in the device: 4K Hawaii Sunset _ GoPro Hero 4 Black [email protected] – 3840×2160 resolution @ 30 fps; no audio; ~24 Mbps; Downloaded from YouTube with youtube-dl script phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm – 3840×2160 resolution @ 25 fps; no audio; ~14 Mbps The.Curvature.of.Earth.4K.60FPS-YT-UceRgEyfSsc.VP9.3840×2160.OPUS.160K.webm – 3840×2160 resolution @ 60 fps; Opus audio; ~30 Mbps As you’ll see in the video below, the good news is that all three videos could be played relatively smoothly. The not-so-good news are that the player does not currently support Opus audio (minor issue …

Hardkernel Releases Amlogic S905 Datasheet

When you design a board and/or write drivers for an SoC it helps a lot to get info about electrical characteristics, memory map, registers’ addresses and values to understand how the hardware works, especially for custom applications, but many silicon vendors only distribute such documents under NDA to their business customers, with exception from companies such as Freescale (now NXP), and Texas Instruments. Hardkernel, the company developing ODROID boards, is also trying to release as much documentation as possible for their board such as Amlogic S805 datasheet for ODROID-C1/C1+ boards, and the Korean company has now released Amlogic S905 processor datasheet as the processor is used in their ODROID-C2 board. Some of the information available in the datasheet include Memory map Power domain CPU and GPU sub-system Clock & Reset Unit System Boot General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) Interrupt Controller Direct Memory Access Controller (DMAC) Timers Crypto Etc… ODROID-C2 was launched at the very end of February, so it took about …