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【转】高清播放机芯片介绍  

2011-02-12 17:44:46|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Media Player Chipsets
This page gives some technical background to the history of Media Player chipsets.

Media Players all use a SoC (system on a chip) design whereby all hardware functions are contained within the chipset (video, sound, LAN, interface. etc). For this reason it is sensible to group players of similar chipset together as they will have the same raw performance. The differences come in firmware (software running on the chipset) although in practice firmware is often also very similar between players of the same chipset family (often being just a rebrand of the manufacturer's 'base' SDK version). This page lists all HD Media Player chipsets, grouped by manufacturer. A table allowing sorting by chronological order, clock Mhz. etc is at the end.


Sigma Designs

The first 1080p HD Media Player chipset was the 863x from Sigma Designs. It spawned a whole series of Media Players from early 2008 onwards and it was these players that kick-started the Media Player revolution. Important players based on the 863x chipset are the original WDTV and the Popcorn A-100 NMT. The Sigma 863x is clocked at 300Mhz and has now been superseded by newer chipsets. Limitations of the Sigma 8635 are a slow user interface, limited DTS support, and a general lack of power.

Sigma released both Sigma 864x series and Sigma 865x series chipsets in late 2009, with the first player featuring the 8643 (Popcorn Hour C-200) shipping in September 2009, and the first 8655 player (WDTV Live) arriving in October 2009. The Sigma 864x and the 865x are related and similar chips, with the 864x being the more powerful.

The Sigma 864x is clocked at 667mhz. The 8643 and 8642 are identical except that the 8642 is a Macrovision version allowing for the ability to play copy protected DVD / Blu-Ray. The 864x chipset is significantly more powerful than the 865x series, despite the product number being lower.

The Sigma 865x is clocked at 500mhz. All the 865x variations are similar, with the 8655 being marginally the most powerful. The 8655 uses 64bit RAM whereas the 8653 uses 32bit and the 8655 has six video DACs whereas the 8653 has four. The only benchmarks we could find give identical scores so real world performance is likely identical. The 8654 and 8652 are copy protection (Macrovision) enabled versions of each allowing for the ability to play copy protected DVD / Blu-Ray. One notable deficiency in all the Sigma chips is the inability to play RMVB files.

Early 2011 will see updates to both the 865x and 864x chipsets. The 865x range will be upgraded with the 8656, offering Gigabit LAN. The Sigma 864x range will be similarly upgraded with the 8646 and 8647 chipsets. They will offer improved performance (800Mhz), Gigabit LAN, and hardware 3D video acceleration.

2011 will also see the introduction of the next generation of Sigma chipsets.

The 865x range will then be suceeded by the 8670, offering a 700Mhz clock, 30% lower heat, and hardware 3D video acceleration. This is expected in mid 2011. Late 2011 will then see the introduction of the 8910 chipset incorporating VXP image processing for superior video quality, and 1080p 3D. This chip will be aimed at premium players and will be dual core running at 1200Mhz.


Realtek

The Realtek 1283 / 1073 chipset range appeared in mid 2009 and is clocked at 400mhz. A flood of cheaper Realtek based Media Players arrived through 2009, shaking up the Media Player market. Major players of this generation include Xtreamer, Asus O!Play R1, and ACRyan Play!On. The 1073 and 1283 are the same chip with the same performance, but the 1283 has added capabilities of recording and DTV. The Realtek 1073DA is an early release that is unable to downmix DTS whilst the 1073DD is the most common version and can downmix DTS.

It was revealed in February 2010 that neither the 1073DA, 1073DD, or the 1283 can passthrough (bitstream) Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA. In response to this in early 2010 Realtek started shipping enhanced + versions of it's chips. The 1073DD+ and 1283+ can both passthrough DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD. Some players use a chip that is marked 1073C, 1073C+, or 1283C+. As far as we know these chips are exactly the same as the DD+.

The Realtek RTD 1055, 1085, and 1185 chips are the successors to the 1073 series. All three chips run at 500Mhz so providing a small performance increase. Otherwise the chips offer the same comprehensive format support as the previous generation. The new chips run cooler than the old series, hopefully eliminating the need for cooling fans in some players. All chips run the same Realtek SDK4 Casablanca, offering a much better user experience (aesthetically, added media indexing, thumbnails..) even from the stock SDK.

The Realtek 1055 launched in late 2010 and is a non-network version with limited RAM (only 16MB flash and 128MB DDR). It boots in 7 seconds.

The 1085 and 1185 are due to start shipping in Spring 2011. Both chipsets are network enabled and benefit from the addition of Gigabit networking. The 1085 has 512MB flash RAM, 256MB DDR and an integrated Flash enabled browser. The 1185 has all the features of the 1085 whilst also being DVB-T / PVR capable (so equivilant to the old 1283).

In early 2011 we bagan to see players using a Realtek 1183 chipset. This is a cut-down version of the previous generation 1283 (10/100 LAN, 400Mhz, DVB-T). A Realtek RTD1183 chip passed DivX certification on 01-May-2009 (see here) eight days after the 1283 passed the same certification, indicating that the 1183 is fundamentally of the same generation as the 1073/1283.


Other Manufacturers

The AmLogic 8626H (Apollo) chipset was launched in early 2010 as a budget alternative to the Realtek 1073. It runs at 400mhz and appears to be at least equal in decoding performance to the Realtek chips whilst being even cheaper. The 8626H's main drawbacks are that it does not support lossless HD-Audio or WMV / VC-1. The Amlogic 8613 is an older Amlogic chipset used in the WDTV Mini and is unable to decode 1080P.

The Telechips 8900 series, as previously found in car entertainment systems is clocked at 500Mhz and offers performance roughly on a par with Sigma 865x chips. This chipset is used in the HDX Bone.

The Boxchip F10 appeared in late 2010, is SoChip SC9800 based (currently also used in some high-end portable media players), and offers full 7.1 downmix. Clock speed is as yet unknown but decoding performance has been shown to be comparable with 1073 based players. The Boxchip is a low cost solution and has allowed Media Players to be more inexpensive than ever before.

Players using Intel chipsets started to appear in late 2010. Both Google TV and BoxeeBox use the Intel CE4100. This chip runs at 1.2Ghz and reports state it is capable of 90Mbit/s h.264 video, making it roughly on a par (for h.264) with the 667Mhz Sigma 864x series. As a general purpose chip it will however be much superior.

Other chipsets that we've come across but have little information on are MStar D7M26L/6M68/SC9800/TCC8900 and Amlogic7226/7228/8618.

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