ARM Cortex A72 is Getting into Sub $200 Android Smartphones Thanks to Mediatek Helio X20 SoC

Flagship Android smartphones now ship with processors featuring Cortex A72 cores,  or custom variants from Samsung or Qualcomm, and normally cost several hundred dollars. Some new smartphones recently announced with MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor lower the price barrier in the $250 to $400 range, but at least two upcoming models will bring the cost below $200: Doogee P7 ($169.99), and Vernee Apollo Lite ($199.99). So let’s see what we’ve got for those prices. Doogee P7 Doogee P7 (preliminary) Specifications: SoC – Mediatek Helio X20 (MT6797) deca-core processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores @ 2.5 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 2.0 GHz, and 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.4 GHz and ARM Mali-T880MP GPU @ 850 Mhz System Memory – 3GB RAM Storage – 16 GB storage and micro SD slot up to 64GB (shared with dual SIM slot) Display – 5.5″ capacitive touchscreen, 1920×1080 resolution; 160K colors Cellular Connectivity 2G – GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz 3G – WCDMA 900/2100MHz 4G …

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NXP Introduces QorIQ LS1046A Quad Cortex A72 Communication Processor with 10 GbE, SATA 3.0, PCIe 3.0, etc…

NXP has unveiled a new QorIQ communication processor with LS1046A based on quad ARM Cortex-A72 cores, and including 10GbE, PCIe Gen.3, SATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 interfaces. The processors targets CPE and vCPE (virtual Customer Premise Equipment), routers, NAS, and service provider gateways for the home and small office, as well as single board computers. QorIQ LS1046A key specifications: CPU – Four ARM Cortex -A72 cores with 2MB L2 cache; 32,000 CoreMarks. Memory  – 32-/64-bit DDR4 memory controller Storage – SATA 3.0 controller, quad SPI Connectivity 2x 10 Gigabit Ethernet controllers 1x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet controller 4x Gigabit Ethernet controllers Other peripherals 3x PCIe 3.0 Controllers, x4, x2, x 1 3x USB 3.0 with integrated PHY 4x UART, 4x I2C, SPI, GPIO JTAG Support for hardware-based virtualization via ARM SMMU Packet processing acceleration –  Packet classification and distribution; hardware work scheduling, shaping, and buffer management. Integrated security engine – High-speed security protocol processing, including IPsec, SSL, DTLS, and IKE.  SEC …

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$61 Xiaomi Mi Box 3 2016 Enhanced Edition is Powered by Mediatek MT8693 Hexa-core Cortex A72 + A53 Processor

There are few ARM Cortex-A72 “class” mini PCs available on the market, and the only one I can think of is Amazon Fire TV 2015, powered by Mediatek MT8173 hexa-core processor, and priced decently at $99.99, but hard or expensive to source if you don’t live in the US. There will soon be one more choice, as Xiaomi has upgraded its Mi Box 3 to use Mediatek MT8693 processor with two Cortex-A72 cores, and four Cortex-A53 cores combined with PowerVR GX6250 GPU. Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced / 2016 Edition specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8693 hexa-core processor with two Cortex-A72 cores @ 2.0GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.6 GHz, and Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU System Memory –  2GB 64-bit LPDDR3 memory Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.0 flash Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K/2160p @ 60 Hz Video and Audio Features – 10-bit H.265, Dolby and DTS audio Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 USB – …

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Rockchip RK3229 and RK3399 32-bit and 64-bit Processors Support 4K 10-bit H.265 and HDMI 2.0

Rockchip RK3288 was the first SoC from the company that was supposed to support HDMI 2.0 and 4K 10-bit HEVC, but the HDMI implementation was not perfect since it did not support YUV420 colorspace available on cheaper 4K television like mine (LG 42UB820T), and so I’m limited to 4K @ 30 Hz on RK3288, Rorkchip RK3368 fixed that, but the low cost processor does not support 10-bit HEVC. Rockchip is about to launch two new processor that should bring both features to the low end and high end of the market with RK3229 quad core Cortex A7 processor, and RK3399 hexa core Cortex A72/A53 processor. Rockchip RK3229 specifications: CPU- Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.5 GHz GPU – ARM Mali-400MP2 Memory I/F – DDR3-1866/LPDDR3-1333 Video Output – HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 1.4/2.2 + CVBS Video Codec – 4K2K 10-bit H.265 @ 60 fps (Up to 200 Mbps),  4K 10-bit H.264 @ 30 fps (Up to 250 Mbps) and 4K …

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Huawei Kirin 950 Octa-core Processor Comes with 4 Cortex A72 Cores, 4 Cortex A53 Cores, and a Sensor Hub

Smartphone based on MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6797) processor with 10 cores including two Cortex A72 cores should start shipping next month, but MediaTek will soon be joined by another Asian company with a mobile SoC with Cortex A72 cores with Huawei that has recently demonstrated their Kirin 950 Octa-core processor with four Cortex A72 coers and four Cortex A53 cores, achieving over 82,000 points in Antutu 5.6 (why an older version?) on a reference board. For reference the top 10 Antutu scores so far in 2015, only got as high as ~77,000 points fro Meizu Pro 5.  Since the benchmark was run on a reference, it’s possible the score will drop once it’s in a tighter package. Some key features of Kirin 950 processors: CPU – 4x Cortex A72 cores @ 2.3 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.8 GHz GPU – ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU @ 900 MHz Co-processor – i5 sensing co-processor / sensor hub (As low as 6.5 …

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Marvell Announces AP806 Cortex A72 & ARMADA A3700 Cortex A53 Virtual SoCs based on MoChi & FLC Architecture

Marvell has published a press release introducing AP806 quad core Cortex A72 and ARMADA A3700 dual and single core Cortex-A53 chips. But these two chips are called Virtual SoCs (VSoC) and they are said to use MoChi and FLC (Final Level-Cache) architecture. What does this all means? If I understand correctly, Marvell has decided to create modular SoCs that may just integrate the minimum: CPU, GPU, and memory controller, with other peripherals like Ethernet, SATA, LTE Modem added to the virtual SoC in some ways just like legos. This is done in order to mitigate the cost of manufacturing chips with advanced process nodes (e.g. Finfet 16) with usually has high steep mask costs, and wafer prices. So they may have a single AP806 MoChi module, to create multiple SoCs using different MoChi modules to add peripherals. Marvell listed some of the key befinits of modular SoCs: Changing existing software developed for a single-chip SoC is unnecessary for customers. Designed …

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ARM TechCon 2015 Schedule – IoT, Servers, 64-bit ARM, Power Usage Optimization, and More

The ARM Technology Conference (ARM TechCon) will take place on November 10 – 12, 2015, in Santa Clara Convention Center, and just like every year, there will be a free exposition for companies to showcase their latest innovation and/or products, as well as a technical conference with sessions and workshops sorted into various tracks: Automotive/Embedded Vision Embedded IoT Mobile/Connectivity Networking Infrastructure/Servers Tools & Implementation Wearables/Sensors ARM Training Day Sponsored Vendor Training Special Event General Event Software Developers Workshop You can find the complete schedule on ARM TechCon website. Although I won’t attend, I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions I found interesting. Tuesday – November 10 8:30 – 9:20 – ARM Vision for Thermal Management and Energy Aware Scheduling on Linux by Ian Rickards (ARM), Charles Garcia-Tobin (ARM), Bobby Batacharia (ARM) This talk will cover the history and where are we going, for ARM’s Power Software (IPA, EAS, and some concepts for the future). ARM will detail …

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Amazon Fire TV 2015 Features Mediatek MT8173 Cortex A72 & A53 Processor

Last year, Amazon launched the Amazon Fire TV box based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for $100. The company has recently introduced an upgraded model powered by Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor (2x Cortex A72, 2x Cortex A53), and with support for 4K videos, while keeping the same price tag. Fire TV 2015 specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.0 GHz and two ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.6 Ghz, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU System Memory – 2GB Storage – 8GB internal storage + micro SD slot up to 128GB Video Output – HDMI up to 2160p30, 108060, 720p60. HDMI CEC and HDCP 2.2 support Video Codecs – H.265, H.264 Audio Support Codecs – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC) Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 …

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