Sunday, September 25, 2016

Amlogic presents the S905L, a new Low Cost SoC

Amlogic introduced a new low cost SoC, based on based on Amlogic S905X with built-in stereo audio codec and 10/100M Ethernet PHY & MAC, HDR support, but without VP9 codec, camera interface, nor TS inputs, so it looks like a cost down version purely designed for OTT / IP TV boxes.

The document I have is dated June 2016, before the 1.5 GHz “limit” was discovered on Amlogic processors, and the maximum frequency is rated @ 2.0 GHz in the document. Amlogic S905L specifications (based on S905L Quick Referent Manual):

  • CPU – Quad core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2GHz (DVFS) with Neon and Crypto extensions, unified L2 cache
  • 3D GPU – Penta-core ARM Mali-450 GPU up to 750 MHz+ (DVFS)
  • 2.5D GPU – Fast bitblt engine with dual inputs and single output, programmable raster operations (ROP) and polyphase scaling filter, etc..
  • Crypto Engine – AES/AES-XTS block cipher with 128/192/256 bits keys, DES/TDES block cipher, built-in hardware True Random Number Generator (TRNG), CRC and SHA-1/SHA-2/HMAC SHA engine
  • Video/Picture CODEC

Amlogic Video Engine (AVE) with dedicated hardware decoders and encoders, supports multiple “secured” video decoding sessions and simultaneous decoding and encoding

Video/Picture Decoding:

  • H.265 HEVC MP-10@L5.1 up to 4Kx2K@60fps
  • H.264 AVC HP@L5.1 up to 4Kx2K@30fps
  • H.264 MVC up to 1080p @60fps
  • MPEG-4 ASP@L5 up to 1080P@60fps (ISO-14496)
  • WMV/VC-1 SP/MP/AP up to 1080P@60fps
  • AVS-P16(AVS+) /AVS-P2 JiZhun Profile up to 1080P@60fps
  • MPEG-2 MP/HL up to 1080P@60fps (ISO-13818)
  • MPEG-1 MP/HL up to 1080P@60fps (ISO-11172)
  • RealVideo 8/9/10 up to 1080P@60fps
  • WebM up to VGA
  • MJPEG and JPEG unlimited pixel resolution decoding (ISO/IEC-10918)
  • Supports JPEG thumbnail, scaling, rotation and transition effects

Video/Picture Encoding:

  • Independent JPEG and H.264 encoder with configurable performance/bit-rate
  • JPEG image encoding
  • H.264 video encoding up to 1080P@60fps with low latencyVideo Post-Processing Engine – HDR10 & HLG HDR processing, motion adaptive 3D noise reduction filter, advanced motion adaptive edge enhancing de-interlacing engine, 3:2 pull-down support, deblocking fliters, etc..

Video Output:

  • Built-in HDMI 2.0b transmitter including both controller and PHY with CEC, HDR and HDCP 2.2, 4Kx2K@60 max resolution output
  • CVBS 480i/576i standard definition output

Audio Decoder and Input/Output:

  • Supports MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC, Ogg and programmable with 7.1/5.1 down-mixing
  • I2S audio interface supporting 8-channel (7.1) input and output
  • Built-in serial digital audio SPDIF/IEC958 output and PCM input/output
  • Built-in stereo audio DAC
  • Stereo digital microphone PDM input
  • Supports concurrent dual audio stereo channel output with combination of Analog+PCM or I2S+PCM

Memory and Storage Interface:

  • 16/32-bit SDRAM memory interface running up to DDR2133
  • Supports up to 2GB DDR3/4, DDR3L, LPDDR2, LPDDR3 with dual ranks
  • Supports SLC/MLC/TLC NAND Flash with 60-bit ECC
  • SDSC/SDHC/SDXC card and SDIO interface with 1-bit and 4-bit data bus width supporting up to UHS-I SDR104
  • eMMC and MMC card interface with 1/4/8-bit data bus width fully supporting spec version 5.0 HS400
  • Supports serial 1, 2 or 4-bit NOR Flash via SPI interface
  • Built-in 4k bits One-Time-Programming memory for key storage


Integrated 10/100M MAC controller with 10/100M PHY interface
Supports Energy Efficiency Ethernet (EEE) mode

Integrated I/O Controllers and Interfaces:

  • Dual USB 2.0 high-speed USB I/O, one USB Host and one USB OTG
  • Multiple UART, I2C and SPI interface with slave select
  • Multiple PWMs
  • Programmable IR remote input/output controllers
  • Built-in 10bit SAR ADC with 2 input channels
  • General Purpose IOs with built-in pull up and pull down

System, Peripherals and Misc. Interfaces:

  • Integrated general purpose timers, counters, DMA controllers
  • 24 MHz crystal input
  • Embedded debug interface using ICE/JTAG

Power Management:

  • Multiple external power domains controlled by PMIC, and internal ones controlled by software
  • Multiple sleep modes for CPU, system, DRAM, etc.
  • Multiple internal PLLs for DVFS operation
  • Multi-voltage I/O design for 1.8V and 3.3V
  • Power management auxiliary processor in a dedicated always-on (AO) power domain that can communicate with an external PMIC


  • Trustzone based Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)
  • Secured boot, encrypted OTP, encrypted DRAM with memory integrity checker, hardware key ladder and internal control buses and storage
  • Protected memory regions and electric fence data partition
  • Hardware based Trusted Video Path (TVP) , video watermarking and secured contents (needs SecureOS software)
  • Secured IO and secured clock

Package – LFBGA,13x13mm, 20×20 ball matrix, 0.65 ball pitch, RoHS compliant, other notable changes include HDMI 2.0b support, and the Gigabit Ethernet MAC found in Amlogic S905X is now gone, and that’s fine since nobody has used it so far…

Amlogic S905L does not bring new features, but closely matches the requirements of the vast majority of TV boxes on the market, since the camera and tuner interfaces are seldom used, and 4K VP9 videos are still a rarity, except through YouTube app which does not enable 4K on such devices as Android TV operating system is required. All that means is that we should expect more $20 TV boxes soon.

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