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What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources

Posted by gnexus 
What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
June 24, 2012 04:29PM
The A10 is a new ARM SoC. So many people will be asking "What the hell is an A10?"

A good place is at the official linux-sunxi wiki. The linux-sunxi wiki is operated by the lead kernel maintainer for the linux-allwinner kernel.

Linux OS sunxi SD images, rootfs archives, stable kernels, and a stable u-boot for the sunxi platform will be available from the A10 Linux Foundation at http://a10linux.org. You may also use the kernel, SD images and other software posted in this forum, but please note it is older versions which have been deprecated and are no longer supported by me. We hope to eventually get the platform mainlined and into the stable kernel with mainstream distro support.

I am at first going to very blatantly plagarize what is available so far! I doubt the people at the other sites will mind. We need help getting the A10 platform going, and this forum helps everyone. If any of them object to my copying small bits of text then my comment is to ask them to post here and I will promptly take down anything that offends. I will also always link to my sources to give credit where it is due.

What is the A10?

"The Allwinner A10 is an ARM Cortex A8 SoC that has been developed in, and is sold in, the People's Republic of China. Its mass-volume price is around $7, yet it is a 400-pin highly feature-rich 1.2ghz ARM Cortex A8 with a MALI400 GPU. It has the distinction of having the highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC available at the time of writing, by quite a margin. Its price and features is causing massive disruption of the tablet market in China (a minor recession was caused by widespread cancellation of prior committments to other SoCs!), as every factory in Shenzen scrambles to compete with hundreds of other factories for the same end-user market: tablets and PVRs.

For comparison: TI has brought out a new $5 ARM Cortex A8, but it is limited to 500mhz and it is extra cost for the version with a PowerVR 3D GPU. Ingenic's jz4770 is about $7 in mass-volume but it is a 1ghz MIPS with a Vivante GC600 3D GPU. Details are harder to get hold of regarding the jz4770, but its interfaces are known not as feature-rich as the Allwinner (no HDMI output for example). AMLogic's Cortex A9 is $13 in mass-volume, but is limited to 800mhz and a maximum of 512mb of RAM." From Rhombus-Tech

From the Allwinner A10 page

"With A10, Allwinner Technology will drive SoC into a brand new era of connected Smart HD which can enhance the application of connected HD SoC as well as user experience of electronic multimedia products. A10 is offering MULTI-CHANNEL decoding and 1080p encoding, MULTI-CHANNEL display with independently developed advanced frame, as well as MULTI-CHANNEL Analog TV Decoder Interfaces. What's more, power consumption can be much lower than its competitors during 1080p decoding process."

Features

• VPU
HD Video Decoding (Super HD 2160P/3D Film)
Support all popular video formats, including VP8AVS
H. 264 MVC, VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, ...
HD Video Encoding (H.264 High Profile)
Support encoding in H.264 format

• DPU
MULTI-CHANNEL HD displays
Built-in HDMI v1.3 support up to 1080p
YPbPr, CVBS, VGA
LCD interfaces: CPU, RGB, LVDS up to Full HD

• Rich Connectivity
2x USB 2.0 Port
1 x USB 2.0 OTG
CSI, TS
SD Card3.0
10/100 IEEE 802.3 Ethernet controller
CAN Bus, Built-in SATA2.0 Interface
I2S,SPDIF and AC97 audio interfaces
PS2 , SPI , TWI and UART

• Boot Devices
NAND FLASH
SPI NOR FLASH
SD Card
USB

• Powerful Acceleration
Graphic( 2D/3D)
VPU(Super HD)
APU

Features of the Allwinner A10 include:
  • 55 nm process size
  • 1.2ghz Cortex A8 ARM Core (max clock is 1.5 Ghz w/ addl. cooling, avg. clock is 1 Ghz )
  • MALI400MP OpenGL ES 2.0 Graphics Accelerator
  • 2160p Hardware-accelerated Video playback (4x the resolution of 1080p)
  • DDR3 Controller 800MHz support 1GB max
  • NAND Flash Controller capable of 8-way concurrent DMA (8 NAND ICs) up to 8GB max
  • 4 SDIO (SD card) interfaces (SD 3.0, UHI class)
  • USB 2.0 Host as well as a 2nd USB-OTG Interface (USB-OTG can be reconfigured as USB 2.0 Host, automatically)
  • 24-pin RGB/TTL with simultaneous HDMI out (clone or 2nd display)
  • another 24-pin RGB/TTL interface that is multiplexed (shared) on the same pins with a standard IDE (PATA) interface.
  • SATA-II 3gb/sec
  • 10/100 Ethernet IEEE802.3
  • PCM and digital audio output
  • Support two mic inputs
  • Capacitive and/or Resistive Touchscreen Controller
  • 8 UARTs
  • JTAG
  • GPIO
  • I2C
  • SPI
  • PWM (Power Management Unit)
  • Keyboard Matrix (8x8)
  • more? (please add if you know of other features or pins)

    A10 supports multiple device booting. After the system is powered on or reset, if RECOVER flag is set or button is pressed the processor will attempt to boot from USB0 port. If RECOVER flag is not set or button is not pressed the device will attempt to boot normally and in the following sequence : SD Card, NAND Flash, and USB0 until boot success.

    Max power consumption during video decode/encode 5W avg. 7W max.



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2012 05:21AM by gnexus.
Re: What is the A10?
June 25, 2012 09:37AM
What uses the A10? Dev. platform, Mele Ax000 and tablets
June 24, 2012 04:51PM
The information and SD card images on this site should work with any of the following devices:
Make sure to use the correct script.bin hardware initialization file for your device.

Development platforms:

WITS Technology Pro A10
A10 development board user manual--2011.9.23(Chinglish) This one is a must see! Nice pics and block diagrams.

Android-based Set-top Boxes

Mele A1000:

Mele A2000: (The A1000 and A2000 are identical except for the case. They have the same PCB.)
USB key sized mini PC's

MK802 USB key sized mini PC

AK802

Other devices like the MK802
Android Tablets

A10-based Tablets

Gaming Consoles
This is slick! We can even stick our Debian/Ubuntu on portable gaming consoles, too!
Other A10-based devices

Rhombus EOMA-68-compliant module

Hackberry board

Gooseberry board

Allwinner A13 based devices
  • A13 OlinuXino is an open extendable industrial board/development kit.
My kernel modules are copied already! I need to stop for now. Please add more links in the thread below if you can.



Edited 17 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2012 09:11PM by gnexus.
Links of folks/sites working on a10
July 01, 2012 08:33AM
Re: Links of folks/sites working on a10
July 01, 2012 09:18AM
Thanks!!

Here is a very good one for the Mele:
http://lundman.net/wiki/index.php/MeLe_A2000
Lundman also has a lot of good files on his FTP site.

The link below for Rhombus is about the best one for the A10 in general.
Many of the instructions on this site originally came from the Rhombus pages.
I copied some of their information to here to make it more easily accessible.
Thanks to Rhombus for their efforts, and the best of luck for the EOMA-68 module!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2012 10:14AM by gnexus.
Re: Links of folks/sites working on a10
July 07, 2012 08:27PM
This should be interesting too http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/ among things they're working on an A10 register guide.
Machines with Allwinner A10
July 09, 2012 02:13PM
Just thought it could be interesting with a list of A10 machines and a short list of specifications

MELE A2000
CPU 1GHz
RAM 512MB
Flash 4GB
OS Android 2.3
Network 10/100Mbps + 802.11b/g/n
Interfaces SATA + SD/SDHC + 3 x USB HOST + OPTICAL +LAN + HDMI + VIDEO + L + R + VG

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mele-a2000-1080p-android-2-3-network-multi-media-player-w-sata-usb-hdmi-lan-vga-wifi-4gb-131566?item=4
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=MELE+A2000
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=mele+a2000

MELE A3700
CPU 1GHz
RAM 512MB
Flash 8GB
OS Android 4.0
Network 10/100Mbps + 802.11b/g/n
Interfaces SD/SDHC + 3 x USB HOST + VGA + OPTICAL +LAN + HDMI + VIDEO + L + R + VG

http://dx.com/p/mele-a3700-android-4-0-tv-player-w-wi-fi-hdmi-av-air-mouse-1gb-ram-8gb-rom-black-157450
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=MELE+A3700
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=mele+a3700

MELE A1000
CPU 1GHz
RAM 512MB
Flash 2GB
OS Android 2.3
Network 10/100Mbps + 802.11b/g/n
Interfaces SATA + SD/SDHC + 3 x USB HOST + OPTICAL +LAN + HDMI + VIDEO + L + R + VG

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mele-1080p-android-2-3-internet-tv-set-top-box-w-wifi-optical-3-x-usb-hdmi-av-lan-sd-119913?item=6
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=MELE+A1000
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=mele+a1000

Mini X
CPU 1.2GHz
RAM 512MB
Flash 4GB
OS Android 4.0
Network 802.11b/g/n
Interfaces HDMI + TF + USB + Mini USB OTG

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/h24-mini-android-4-1-network-media-player-w-wi-fi-hdmi-usb-tf-av-black-4gb-143255
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=mini+x+media+player+wifi
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=mini+x+media+player+wifi

MK802 (AK802) (MK802 II)
CPU 1GHz (lot if these are marked as 1.5GHz)
RAM 1GB (512MB)
Flash 4GB
OS Android 4.0
Network 802.11b/g/n
Interfaces HDMI + TF + USB + Mini USB OTG

There's both a 1GB and a 512MB version of the MK802. The AK802 has built in HDMI connector while the MK802 uses a HDMI cable.
MK802 II has swapped the power connector for a second micro USB port, not sure if it's usable for data. Also have added power protection.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=mk802
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ak802-mini-android-4-0-network-media-player-w-wi-fi-hdmi-tf-usb-black-4gb-1gb-ddr-iii-143431
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=ak802



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2012 03:11PM by Mr M.
Re: Machines with Allwinner A10
July 09, 2012 02:27PM
There's also a plethora of A10 tablets with 512MB RAM running either Android 2.3 or 4.0. If you're in the US and you really want to get your hands on an A10 device fast, Amazon has this tablet for $84 with overnight shipping available.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2012 04:21PM by Jeff.
Re: Machines with Allwinner A10
July 10, 2012 04:47PM
Ops! It had changed quite a bit since I read it.
beltal
Re: Machines with Allwinner A10
July 17, 2012 03:43AM
Re: Machines with Allwinner A10
July 17, 2012 09:09PM
Isn't the Allwinner A13 a worse chip than the Allwinner A10? If that is the case, none of the items you listed is what we are looking for.
This is an excellent thread in this excellent forum.
Keep up with your interesting work, and thank you very much for sharing with the community!
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
August 03, 2012 08:35PM
What is the difference between Allwinner A10 and Allwinner A13? Just trying to find some info on the A13.

Thanks
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
August 04, 2012 10:57PM
In case anyone doesn't want to search through many pages to find out. (and none of those linked in the post you pointed to say so). The A13 is an A10 without SATA and HDMI.
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 02, 2012 04:31PM
The post at the top of this thread is a bit outdated, although still relevant. It was probably one of the first, if not THE first, post that was made to this forum. When the post was made there was very little information about the A13, and very few devices which had it - consisting only of cheap tablets. The A13 did not then work with GNU/Linux. So there was not a need to post anything about it. The A13 devices were added later, primarily due to the fact that Rhombus is making a device based on it, and that it reportedly now works with GNU/Linux.

Since A10 devices are priced near to what an A13 device costs, and it is hard to use the A1X devices without HDMI, I have a hard time recommending an A13-based device. So I saw little need to add to this post. But yeah, that information should have been more prominently posted in the beginning. . . but then again the forum is entitled Allwinner A10. ;)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2012 06:07AM by gnexus.
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 18, 2012 04:09AM
Just in case you haven't seen them there's some silly cheap MK802s going around now, $50 and less.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=mk802
http://dx.com/s/mk802
http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale/wholesale-mk802.html
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 18, 2012 12:21PM
That is because MK802 has fixed voltage regulator, and will likely be discontinued soon for a newer model that resolves the VR issues. Personally I would choose something else due to that, even if it costs a bit more.
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 18, 2012 04:52PM
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 19, 2012 01:51AM
According to this http://img03.taobaocdn.com/imgextra/i3/134922319/T2CS46XXBdXXXXXXXX_!!134922319.jpg and this http://i00.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/160/712/496/496712160_697.jpg image it looks like the MK802 II has power protection, and they're pretty cheap too.
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 19, 2012 10:14AM
Quote

I also heard they've shipped the A9 dual core model already.

A9 dual core is not an Allwinner chip. It is likely a MT6575.
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
September 20, 2012 04:11PM
gnexus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
Quote

I also heard they've shipped the A9 dual
> core model already.
>
> A9 dual core is not an Allwinner chip. It is
> likely a MT6575.

Of course you're right! not Allwinner:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-Core-Mini-PC-Android-4-0-TV-Box-IPTV-1-2GHz-Cortex-A9-Google-USB-Dongle-HD-/140852138958?pt=US_Internet_Media_Streamers&hash=item20cb7113ce
Re: What is the A10? Specs, Devices and Resources
November 06, 2012 10:21PM
doesnt the A13 have a cut down memory architecture as well ?
Hi all,

thank you for your precious informations around there.

I have an Eken T01a tablet, and i need to have a TTY console to debug boot sequence while my customized sdcard.

you mentioned that there is a serial port near the nand, marked 011001.

could you tell me which one it is on my photo ? (3+3 pins aligned or the near 2+3?) : https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A3GWZuqDG1lYPn


i could then try to check the pins signal and test it

there are also rx and tx note near the processor, is it the same?
Re: What uses the A10? Dev. platform, Mele Ax000 and tablets
January 09, 2013 12:45PM
dagoo, please create a new topic for questions.
I know this article has some photos with soldering done: http://linux-sunxi.org/Hyundai_A7HD

------------------------------------------------------------
My A10 tablet (Point Of View [NL] ProTab2XXL 10" ICS)
Hi Guys,
This is from india. I have one query on A10 custom module development.In A10 there is 9 ports.Each port having different set of pins with different multiple functions.My doubt can i configure a single pin alone for a function or i have to configure whole port itself.

Say Example
In A10 datasheet page number 38 there is shown multiple functions of port B.I am using PB0 and PB1 for I2C, then am using PB5,PB6,PB7,PB8 and PB12 for AC97. This is how we are taking the pinouts. Please let us know is this is correct or not.

Thanks in Advance
Re: Query about multiple function selection in a single pin
January 10, 2013 10:42AM
Quote

can i configure a single pin alone for a function

Yes. That is correct. Each pin can have multiple functions that are configurable in the hardware initialization config (script.bin) file. The guys on IRC should be able to help if you have trouble with a particular pin configuration.

BTW this is one aspect of the AXX that I very much like. It would give more functionality and reliability, however, if the hardware config was stored in some type of non-volatile u-boot variable rather than in a simple text file loaded after uboot. Early Compaq PC's also used to store the BIOS config in a text file. The reason that method was discontinued is that if the HDD was erased the system could not boot. Same goes for Allwinner devices. On Allwinner devices the config is theoretically supposed to be in NAND. It is an inexpensive way of storing the config. for Android. But it is not so reliable when the script.bin is on removable storage as is required when using the std. linux-sunxi SD card setup. It would be better to keep it in a specialized NAND partition or on a separate NVRAM chip.

Quote
axl
I know this article has some photos with soldering done: http://linux-sunxi.org/Hyundai_A7HD

Eken T-01 is different from that. The port near the nand, marked 011001 may work. I never had the opportunity to try. I was told on IRC that you can also trace the serial from the SoC to a couple of pads right next to the SoC. You can use the SoC pinout diagram to assist. Checking the IRC logs from last fall would give a full log of that discussion. There may also be pics somewhere. I find it quite amazing that after all this time there is STILL not more information on things like that. . .
Re: Query about multiple function selection in a single pin
January 10, 2013 11:23AM
Quote
äxl
dagoo, please create a new topic for questions.
I know this article has some photos with soldering done: http://linux-sunxi.org/Hyundai_A7HD

Thanks äxl, i'v actually just do an answer+question post relative to affirmation of a uart pinout on the T01A mainboardboard

Quote
gnexus
Checking the IRC logs from last fall would give a full log of that discussion.

Thank you too, i'll give a try, but have to search how much pins are used (4,3,2..)

Could you please send me a link to the IRC logs please?
Re: Query about multiple function selection in a single pin
January 11, 2013 11:44AM
Quote

Could you please send me a link to the IRC logs please?

Below is a link to all the arm-netbook IRC logs:

http://ibot.rikers.org/%23arm-netbook/

I forget the exact date of the T01 serial conversation, but it was right about the time of the very first posts I made to this forum. You may also be able to do a Google search of something like "gnexus + Eken T-01 + serial + rikers.org" There were also some links to pics of the T-01 PCB that were posted. In addition there was also a guy with a T-01 about that time who posted about updating the tablet to a larger battery. He also had good pics of the PCB. Hope that helps.
Re: Query about multiple function selection in a single pin
January 12, 2013 02:09AM
This IRC log's got an embedded search:
http://irclog.whitequark.org/arm-netbook/

Also, does this help?
http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/pinouts/

------------------------------------------------------------
My A10 tablet (Point Of View [NL] ProTab2XXL 10" ICS)
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