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    2019, July

    0 Amlogic S905X2 vs S905X3 – Features Comparison

    Despite Arm claiming Cortex-A55 core would bring some performance improvements, we’ve recently seen actual Amlogic S905X3 benchmarks show the performance compared to Amlogic S905X2 Arm Cortex-A53 is almost identical (3% improvement for S905X3 CPU, 9% for the GPU).

    So Amlogic S905X3 TV box processor must differentiate itself from its predecessor by its additional features, and while we published the detailed specifications of Amlogic S905X3 processor a few months ago, we did not provide a side-by-side comparison table just yet. So here’s one courtesy of SDMC (with some corrections).

    SoC Amlogic S905X2 Amlogic S905X3
    CPU 4x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.80 GHz 4x Arm Cortex-A55 @ 1.91 GHz
    Neural Network Accelerator N/A

    Optional 1.2 TOPS NNA

    GPU Mali-G31 MP2 with OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0, and OpenCL 2.0
    Always-on MCU Cortex-M3 & Cortex-M4 (Optional ) Cortex-M3 & Cortex-M4
    DDR DDR3-2133 /DDR3L-2133 /
    DDR4-2666 /LPDDR3-2133 /LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM up to 4G
    DDR3-2133 /DDR3L-2133 /
    DDR4-3200 /LPDDR3-2133 /
    LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM up to 4G
    H.265, VP9, AVS2 up to 4Kp75 10bit H.264 4Kp30
    HDMI Tx HDMI 2.1  HDCP2.2
    HDR HLG/HDR10/ 10+  Dolby vison,TCH PRIME
    Process 12nm
    Mic Input 8 x PDM
    USB3.0/PCIE USB3.0/PCI-E V2 (multiplexed)
    Package 14 x 14mm BGA
    Embedded Temperature Sensor Yes

    The Neural Processing Unit (NPU) / Neural Network Accelerator (NNA) is probably the most important change, as it should allow for better support for voice commands, language processing, or other workloads that would benefit from AI acceleration.

    The higher maximum frequency for DDR4 memory (3,200 MHz vs 2,666 MHz) may explain the slightly better 3D graphics performance since I’ve noticed such benchmarks are sensitive to memory bandwidth, e.g. systems with dual-channel memory will have better graphics performance than the ones with single-channel memory. It may also help with some 4K HDR content (TBC).

    But all-in-all Amlogic S905X2 and S905X3 are not that different.

    0 Raspberry Pi 4 Features Broadcom BCM2711 Processor, Up to 4GB RAM

    Raspberry Pi 4 Features Broadcom BCM2711 Processor, Up to 4GB RAM

    he Raspberry Pi 4 model B has finally launched, and it should not disappoint with a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz, 1 to 4GB LPDDR4, 4K H.265 video decoding and output support, a proper Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports.

    Raspberry Pi 4 comes with all those extra features, but the form factor remains the same, and importantly the price is still $35 for the version with 1GB RAM

    Raspberry Pi 4

    Raspberry Pi 4 specifications:

      • SoC – Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARMv8) @  1.5GHz with VideoCore VI GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
      • System Memory – 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4
      • Storage – microSD card slot
      • Video Output  & Display I/F
        • 2x micro HDMI ports up to 4Kp60 (Currently 1080p60 max. in dual-display configuration, although 2x 4Kp30 is being worked on)
        • 3.5mm AV port with composite video (and stereo audio)
        • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
      • Video
        • Decode – H.265 up to 4Kp60, H.264 up to 1080p60
        • Encode – H.264 up to 1080p30
      • Camera – 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
      • Audio – Stereo audio via AV port, digital audio via HDMI ports
      • Connectivity
        • True Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
        • Dual band (2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz) 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5
        • Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
      • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports.
      • Expansion – Standard 40-pin GPIO header fully backward-compatible with previous Raspberry Pi boards
      • Power Supply
        • 5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A )
        • 5V DC via GPIO header (minimum 3A )
        • Power over Ethernet (PoE) via optional PoE HAT
      • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm (same as other model B boards)
      • Temperature Range – 0 – 50°C

    Raspberry Pi 4

    Beside the “true” Gigabit Ethernet port, the good news for people interested in network storage applications is that the shared USB + Ethernet bandwidth is gone, as there’s a separate Gigabit Ethernet transceiver (BCM54213PE), and USB goes through a VIA VL805 PCIe to 4-port USB 3.0 host controller. The latter means BCM2711 comes with a PCIe interface giving the Raspberry Pi foundation some flexibility for future Raspberry Pi SBC’s.

    There have been at least two hardware changes that have made the new board incompatible with existing Raspberry Pi cases:

    1. They swapped two USB ports and the Ethernet port to place the latter closer to the PoE header.
    2. They replaced the HDMI port with two micro HDMI ports

    So a new case is needed, and here’s the official Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure.

    The USB-C port shold mean issues related to powering the board should mostly be a thing of the past, and the main downside I see from the announcement is that we’ll need to get micro HDMI cables or HDMI to micro HDMI adapters to connect Raspberry Pi 4 to HDMI TVs or monitors. Not a big issue.

    0 Raspberry Pi 4 vs Pi 3 – What are the differences

    the Raspberry Pi 4 model B has just been launched, it may be worth checking out the differences against the previous latest single board computer from the Raspberry Pi foundation, namely Raspberry Pi 3 model B+.


    Features/Specs Raspberry Pi 4B Raspberry Pi 3 B+
    Release date 24th June 2019 14th March 2018
    SoC Broadcom BCM2711
    quad-core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5 GHz
    Broadcom BCM2837B0
    quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.4 GHz
    GPU VideoCore VI with OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 VideoCore IV with OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0
    Video Decode H.265 4Kp60, H.264 1080p60 H.264 & MPEG-4 1080p30
    Video Encode H.264 1080p30
    Memory 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR4 1GB LPDDR2
    Storage microSD card
    Video & Audio Output 2x micro HDMI ports up to 4Kp60
    3.5mm AV port (composite + audio)
    MIPI DSI connector
    1x HDMI 1.4 port up to 1080p60
    3.5mm AV port (composite + audio)
    MIPI DSI connector
    Camera MIPI CSI connector
    Ethernet Native Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet over USB (300 Mbps max.)
    WiFi Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE Bluetooth 4.2 + BLE
    USB 2x USB 3.0 + 2x USB 2.0 4x USB 2.0
    Expansion 40-pin GPIO header
    Power Supply 5V via USB type-C up to 3A
    5V via GPIO header up to 3A
    Power over Ethernet via PoE HAT
    5V via micro USB up to 2.5A
    5V via GPIO header up to 3A
    Power over Ethernet via PoE HAT
    Dimensions 85×56 mm
    Default OS Raspbian (after June 24, 2019) Raspbian (after March 2018)
    Price $35 (1GB RAM), $45 (2GB RAM), $55 (4GB RAM) $35 (1GB RAM)

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done a pretty amazing job here with adding the extra performance (CPU up to three times faster), and plenty of new features (4K, GbE, USB 3.0..) while keeping the same price tag for the board with 1GB RAM. Some of the features I don’t see advertised and are present on some of the competing boards include HDR (High Dynamic Range) and VP9 video decoding.