Allwinner Technology is a China-based fabless semiconductor company that designs mixed-signal SoCs and provides total system solution. Headquartered in Zhuhai, Guangdong the company currently employs about 500 people – 80% of which are engineers. It has a sales and technical support office in Shenzhen, China, and logistics operations in Hong Kong.
Since its founding in 2007, Allwinner has released more than fifteen SoC processors that have been widely implemented in Android-based tablets, as well as in smartphones, over-the-air OTT boxes, video camera systems, car DVRs, and car media players. In 2012 and 2013, Allwinner was the number one supplier in terms of unit shipments of application processors for Android tablets worldwide. According to DigiTimes, in Q4 2013 Allwinner lost its number one position in terms of unit shipments to the Chinese market to Rockchip. For Q2 2014, Allwinner was reported by DigiTimes to be the third largest supplier to the Chinese market after Rockchip and MediaTek.
From 2007 to 2011, Allwinner introduced its F-series processors, F10, F13, F18, F20, F1E200, F1C100, F20. This series runs Allwinner's self-developed operating system Melis2.0, which is now mainly used in vehicle multimedia system, E-ink reader, video intercom system etc.
In 2011, the company became an ARM processor licencee, and subsequently announced a series of ARM Cortex-A8 powered mobile application processors, including A10, A13, A10s and A12, which were used in numerous tablets, and also in PC-on-a-stick and media center devices. They have also been adopted in free hardware projects like the Cubieboard development board.
A2x and A3x family
In December 2012, Allwinner announced the availability of two ARM Cortex-A7 MPCore powered products, the dual-core Allwinner A20 and quad-core Allwinner A31. Production of the A31 started in September 2012 and end products, mostly high-end tablets from Chinese manufacturers, appeared on the market in early 2013, including the Onda V972. Allwinner was the first to make this ARM processor core available in mass production.
In March 2013, Allwinner launched its quad-core Phablet processor A31s. Based on quad-core cortex-A7 CPU architecture, this processor allows 3G, 2G, LTE, WIFI, BT, FM, GPS, AGPS and NFC using a minimum of external components.
In October, 2013, Allwinner released its second dual-core A23, touted to be "The most efficient dual core processor" for tablets. The A23 CPU frequency runs up to 1.5 GHz, and test data indicated that the power consumption of an A23-powered tablet is low, music playback power consumption (offscreen) can be as low as 48mA.
In June, 2014, Allwinner announced the A33 quad-core SoC that is pin-to-pin compatible with Allwinner's A23. The new SoC features four Cortex-A7 cores with 256 KB L1 cache, 512 KB L2 cache and a Mali-400 MP2 GPU. A new feature is the support of OpenMAX API. Allwinner has positioned the A33 for entry-level tablets, targeting quad-core tablets priced from $30 to $60, and in July 2014 announced that it has started mass production of the chip.
On June 30, 2014, Chinese brand Onda officially released its octa-core Onda V989 tablet, which is based on Allwinner's octa-core A80. This is the first Allwinner A80-based tablet that is available to consumers, priced at CNY 1099 (~US$177).
In September 2014, Allwinner announced the A83T, an octa-core tablet processor that packs eight highly energy-efficient Cortex-A7 cores that can run simultaneously at up to around 2.0 GHz. It also includes a PowerVR GPU. The first tablet with the chip is expected to hit the market in Q4 2014.
In July 2014, Allwinner announced that its first 64-bit tablet processor was to hit the market soon.
The V-Series are video encoding processor targeting applications such as smart DVR, IP camera and smart home applications. It has a similar configuration of the A series SoC, but with extra feature such as Digital watermarking, Motion detection, CBR/VBR bit rate control mode.
The Allwinner SoC family includes A-series, which is intended for Android OS, and F-series, which is intended for the company's self-developed Melis operating system.
The A-Series, including the A10, A20 and A31 SoCs, have a proprietary in-house designed multimedia co-processing DSP (Digital Signal Processing) processor technology for hardware accelerated video, image, and audio decoding, called CedarX (with subprocessing called "CedarV" for video decoding and "CedarA" for audio decoding), able to decode 2160p 2D and 1080p 3D video. The main disadvantages with CedarX technology and associated libraries is that Allwinner's own CedarX proprietary libraries have no clear usage license, so even if the source code for some versions is available the terms-of-use is unknown in open source software, and there is no glue code for any other multimedia frameworks on GNU/Linux systems that could be used as a middle-ware, like for example OpenMAX or VAAPI.
|SoC||cores||CPU||GPU||VPU||Video Decoder||Video Encoder||Package||Application||Examples|
1080p @ 30fps
19mm × 19mm
|Tablet, smart TV||Gooseberry, Cubieboard, MarsBoard, Fusion5|
14mm × 14mm
|HDMI Dongle||OLinuXino A10S|
14mm × 14mm
20mm × 20mm
|Tablet, E-reader||CCE Motion Tab TR71, OLinuXino A13
iView CyberPad iView-420TPC
1080p @ 30fps
19mm × 19mm
|Tablet, smart TV||Vivaldi Tablet Cubieboard2, OLinuXino A20, MSI Primo 73,
ampe a65, Apical M7098, RF M722JH,
Bmorn K80, 10moons X6, Cubietruck, MarsBoard, pcDuino, Banana Pi,GoTab GBT10,
|A23||BGA280 14x14mm 0.80mm pitch||Tablet||Kiano SlimTab 8|
|quad-core (A3x)||A31||4||PowerVR SGX544MP2||CedarX||2160P
|H.264 1080p @ 60fps||BGA609 18mm × 18mm, 0.65mm Pitch||Tablet, Smartphone, smart TV||Readboy G50, GoClever Orion 70,Foxconn InFocus,
Mele A1000G，Onda V972, Ployer MOMO19HD,
Bmorn K23, Ampe A10 Flagship, Epudo ES1006Q
|A31s||H.264 1080p @ 30fps||BGA460 18mm × 18mm, 0.80mm Pitch||Phablet,Tablet, smartphone, smart TV||iView CyberPad iView-788TPC,
MSI Primo81, Teclast P88s mini,
Ainol Novo 9 Firewire,
Fusion5 Xtra POWER4 Tablet PC,
Ployer momo mini, Gajah MD7019,
JWD m785, MELE AHD10A04,
Texet TM-7867, HP 8
|A33||Mali-400MP2||H.264 1080p @ 60fps||BGA282 14mm x 14mm, 0.80mm Pitch||Tablet||HP 7 G2|
|octa-core (A8x)||A80 Octa||8||big.LITTLE:
Cortex-A15 + Cortex-A7
|PowerVR G6230 (Rogue)||4K×2K@30fps||H.265/VP9 1080p@30fps, H.264 HP/VP8 4K×2K@30fps||FCBGA636 19mm x 19mm, 0.65mm Pitch||Phablet, Tablet, smartphone, smart TV||Optimus Board, Cubieboard 8, PCDuino 8, Onda V989, ZERO Devices Z8C Alice, Tronsmart Draco AW80|
|SoC||CPU||Memory||Video Decoder||Video Encoder||Package||OS||Application|
|F1C100||ARM9||SDR||720p||N/A||LQFP128||Melis 2.0||Car MP5, Car Headrest, Visual Bombox, Visual Radio|
|F1E200||DDR||1080p||N/A||eLQFP128||E-ink Reader, PMP|
|F10||DDR||1080p||N/A||LQFP176||Multimedia Box, HD Player|
|F13||DDR||1080p||MPEG4 720p @ 30fps||LQFP176||Car MP5|
|F18||DDR||1080p||MPEG4 720p @ 30fps||LQFP216||Visual Intercom System|
|F20||DDR/DDR2||1080p||H.264 1080p @ 30fps||BGA400||Car DVR, Multimedia Box, Mobile Karaoke|
Allwinner processor ecosystem
Allwinner Technology cooperates with around ten IDHs based in Shenzhen, China, who develop solutions based on Allwinner processors. They include iNet Technology, Worldchip Digital Technology, Sochip Technology, Topwise Communication, ChipHD Technology, Highcharacter Science and Technology, WITS Technology, Ococci Technology, Next Huawen Technology, and Qi Hao Digital Technology.
Apart from the white-box market, Allwinner processors can also be found in many brand products, including MSI, ZTE, NOOX, Skyworth, MeLE, Polaroid, Macromax, Archos, Texet, Onda, Ramos, Teclast, Ployer, Readboy, Noah, RF, Bmorn, Apical, Astro Queo, etc.
Free and open-source software support
Due to the low price of the A10 SoC, the fact that it has a special rescue mode, and the early availability of u-boot and linux kernel source (through several device makers), the Allwinner SoCs has been very popular with open source software developers. The linux-sunxi community is currently[when?] one of the most active ARM SoC communities, and the slightly older hardware has only very minimal dependence on firmware or binary blobs.
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- ARM processor licencee on ARM.com
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- Allwinner launches quad-core CPU A31s for phablets on Liliputing.com
-  on Allwinnertech.com[dead link]
- "Allwinner introduces A23 dual core processor". Liliputing. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
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- "AllWinner A33 Quad Core SoC is Pin-to-Pin Compatible with AllWinner A23". Retrieved June 11, 2014.
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- http://www.allwinnertech.com/en/news/compnews/Allwinner's%20first%2064-bit%20tablet%20processo.html/. Missing or empty
- cnxsoft. "AllWinner V10 and V15 SoCs Target Video Recording Applications". cnx-software. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
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- "A33 Product brief PDF". Allwinner download center. Allwinner. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "Allwinner UltraOcta A80 OptimusBoard to be Unveiled at 2014 CES". Allwinner. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- Sunxi Community website
- FOSDEM talk about the Sunxi Community on the FOSDEM website.
- Announcement of Allwinner membership on Linaro news site.