Jump to content

A really dumb question Amlogic Vs RockChip vs Allwinner


masteripper
 Share

Recommended Posts

For the few that keep an eye to the Amlogic CPU Boxes i have being unable to even bootup Armbian on my X96 Max+

So i took a look around ..... 

To my surprise i found quite some activity on both Rockchip & Allwinner and makes me scratch my head

If i am not mistaken Rockchip has done some work on providing drivers but ....

The Amlogic boxes carry a far better price/performance ratio or am I wrong ?

Other than that i took a quick look around and the  alternatives for e.g. S905X3 are quite expensive or way too old to compete,,,,am I missing something ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • masteripper changed the title to A really dumb question Amlogic Vs RockChip vs Allwinner

When discussing a problem make sure to provide full logs!

Amlogic has quite good performance/price ratio: their low-end S905X3/X4 are very good chips for the price, and quite updated too (Cortex A55). Rockchip and Allwinner have nothing comparable yet for the price. Allwinner is far behind. Rockchip recently introduced the long-awaited RK356x series which at least is on par with raw performance to S905X3 and has a nice set of features, but the price is clearly higher and support is still going on. RK3328 is not as good as S905X3, either from CPU and GPU sides, but the RK3399 is still quite good SoC. Amlogic has the best chip on paper with S922 (and similar ones), but in the past they did some double-cross with frequencies and temperatures so people is reasonably skeptic on the real performances.

Despite lagging behind, Allwinner chips are at least very cheap with decent raw performance (H6 at least), but the company is a bit silly.

 

About linux and community support, Amlogic is the worst one by far, being quite obscure about their hardware and generally not very supportive of opensource.

Rockchip is the best one, a lot of their drivers are production ready in the mainline kernel. Recently although I saw quite a stop in their "proprietary" kernel and u-boot public forks. I don't know why they stopped, but I hope it's just a temporary reorganization: the effort they did in supporting opensource was very appreciated by the community and mainline kernel is very advanced on supporting their chips and peripherals.

Allwinner in the past was a total wreck, a lot of work by community has been done to reverse engineering things with excellent results and I think they now opened a bit more publishing especially documentation.

 

My two cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, jock said:

Amlogic has quite good performance/price ratio: their low-end S905X3/X4 are very good chips for the price, and quite updated too (Cortex A55). Rockchip and Allwinner have nothing comparable yet for the price. Allwinner is far behind. Rockchip recently introduced the long-awaited RK356x series which at least is on par with raw performance to S905X3 and has a nice set of features, but the price is clearly higher and support is still going on. RK3328 is not as good as S905X3, either from CPU and GPU sides, but the RK3399 is still quite good SoC. Amlogic has the best chip on paper with S922 (and similar ones), but in the past they did some double-cross with frequencies and temperatures so people is reasonably skeptic on the real performances.

Despite lagging behind, Allwinner chips are at least very cheap with decent raw performance (H6 at least), but the company is a bit silly.

 

About linux and community support, Amlogic is the worst one by far, being quite obscure about their hardware and generally not very supportive of opensource.

Rockchip is the best one, a lot of their drivers are production ready in the mainline kernel. Recently although I saw quite a stop in their "proprietary" kernel and u-boot public forks. I don't know why they stopped, but I hope it's just a temporary reorganization: the effort they did in supporting opensource was very appreciated by the community and mainline kernel is very advanced on supporting their chips and peripherals.

Allwinner in the past was a total wreck, a lot of work by community has been done to reverse engineering things with excellent results and I think they now opened a bit more publishing especially documentation.

 

My two cents.

Thanks man....so its a matter of support....too bad, curious don't they like money (?) ... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would say that the amlogic mainline support is not that bad: http://linux-meson.com/doku.php - i think a few developers from baylibre were even paid to mainline stuff (not sure by whom) and there is still active development ongoing if you look at the linux-amlogic kernel maliniglist ... where amlogic is quite bad is the booting: there is no way around certain binary blobs to boot them and the way to build the boot blocks is simply crazy ... beyond that you can really brick an amlogic box quite easily, as it boots by default from emmc (but at least there are some tricks possible like https://github.com/superna9999/linux/wiki/Amlogic-HDMI-Boot-Dongle :))

 

the reason why rockchip (especially rk3288 and rk3399) is so well supported is mainly because google pushed them as those chips were used in chromebooks ... for the same reason some newer mediatek (mt8173, mt8183 and in a few months maybe also mt8192 and mt8195) and snapdragon (7180c) socs are surprisingly well supported in mainline

 

i would say allwinner has the nicest and most active developer community around it and most of the allwinner mainline code is coming from this community and some of the allwinner boards and even tv boxes can be run completely blob free even (a few rockchip ones too)

 

best wishes - hexdump

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hexdump said:

i would say that the amlogic mainline support is not that bad: http://linux-meson.com/doku.php - i think a few developers from baylibre were even paid to mainline stuff (not sure by whom) and there is still active development ongoing if you look at the linux-amlogic kernel maliniglist ... where amlogic is quite bad is the booting: there is no way around certain binary blobs to boot them and the way to build the boot blocks is simply crazy ... beyond that you can really brick an amlogic box quite easily, as it boots by default from emmc (but at least there are some tricks possible like https://github.com/superna9999/linux/wiki/Amlogic-HDMI-Boot-Dongle

I'm not that into amlogic (you know ;)) but yeah, mainline support is very good or excellent for most things and some "niche" things are slowly materializing too, like the hardware video decoding. I was mostly referring to opensource endorsement that was not good in the past. I'm happy they changed their mind!

 

edit: I'm not sure, but do the eMMC clk pin trick work on amlogic too? I guess all manufacturers follow the same pattern a way or another. I'm pretty sure that emptying the eMMC of an S905 board made it boot from sdcard with no hassle!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@jock - i think amlogic (the company) still is not very good regarding open source, but at least linux mainline is quite useable on their chips

 

the emmc clk pin trick works for amlogic too (if one finds it :) ) and wiping the emmc results in a boot from sd card ... the main problem is that the legacy u-boot reads its dtb from a later partition on the emmc and fails if it cannot find it - this is a problem if one for instance fdisk's and mkfs the emmc: the u-boot itself can still be intact, but it is bricked as it can no longer find its dtb (this is why the balbes150 amlogic images always kept 700mb and later more of the emmc in place when installing onto emmc to avoid overwriting this sensitive information) ... putting a mainline u-boot on amlogic boxes is possible but due to the complex boot structure and the required fitting blobs way more complicated than on rockchip and allwinner ... in summary: if amlogic then best is a properly supported sbc (odroid etc.) - unsupported stuff like tv boxes can result in quite a bit of extra work and unwanted surprises with those socs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, hexdump said:

@jock - i think amlogic (the company) still is not very good regarding open source, but at least linux mainline is quite useable on their chips

 

the emmc clk pin trick works for amlogic too (if one finds it :) ) and wiping the emmc results in a boot from sd card ... the main problem is that the legacy u-boot reads its dtb from a later partition on the emmc and fails if it cannot find it - this is a problem if one for instance fdisk's and mkfs the emmc: the u-boot itself can still be intact, but it is bricked as it can no longer find its dtb (this is why the balbes150 amlogic images always kept 700mb and later more of the emmc in place when installing onto emmc to avoid overwriting this sensitive information) ... putting a mainline u-boot on amlogic boxes is possible but due to the complex boot structure and the required fitting blobs way more complicated than on rockchip and allwinner ... in summary: if amlogic then best is a properly supported sbc (odroid etc.) - unsupported stuff like tv boxes can result in quite a bit of extra work and unwanted surprises with those socs

Yes, I remember I had to build separate binaries using an amlogic toolchain when I dealt with my S905 tvbox something like 3 years ago or so. Following the existing source code in armbian repository mainline u-boot worked. Some code is in my github repository (for reference: https://github.com/paolosabatino/armbian-build/blob/c9b10fb6abd51e7fbc537b8f74ac9ae36c24d9af/config/sources/families/meson-gxbb.conf#L62), I don't update it from a long time probably it is still working or requires minor adjustment. I should have left the amlogic toolchain somewhere on a hard disk of mine, yet I don't know what is the support status for newer socs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...