HD 4K Smart tv box: Amlogic s912 vs RK3399

HD 4K Smart tv box: Amlogic s912 vs RK3399

As a professional smart tv box manufacturer, Android tv box developed to 2019, HD 4K playback is no longer a problem, but 4K technology license is still in Google, as far as I know, only one company has got 4K playback. Right, other brands only support 4K. Today, I took out two Smart Android tv box chips for comparison. H96 max rk3399, H96 pro h2 (S912 tv dongle), rk3399 belongs to Rockchip company, S912 belongs to Amlogic company.

S912 SoC Feature

High-end UHD HDR multimedia SoCs with 64-bit architecture, S912 is designed to enable all kinds of exciting user experiences with its high performance flagship octa-core CPU and T800 series GPU. It delivers immersive theatre-level home entertainment to the users with excellent audio and video processing capabilities. It also supports operator-level security and is a perfect choice for DVBOTT/IPTV STB and smart home applications. 

Specification parameter:

CPU: Octa-core 64-bit ARM® Cortex™-A53

GPU: Multi-core ARM® Mali™-T82

Video Processing: UHD 4K 60fps HW decoding, supports multiple formats including H.265/VP9 10-bit, H.264 and AVS+

HDR10 and HLG HDR processing FHD 1080p 60fps HW encoding, supports H.265/H.264

Video Interface: HDMI 2.0, CVBS and RGB888 output

Supports ITU 601/656 DVP camera input TS stream input

Audio Interface: S/PDIF, I2S and PCM input and output Stereo analog output Digital stereo MIC input

Security: Supports secure boot and secure OS

Ethernet: 10/100M MAC+PHY

IP License(Optional) : Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus

DTS Digital Surround, DTS HD, DTS Express

Real, DivX HD

Process: 28nm HKMG

Applications: DVB/OTT/IP STB, Smart TV dongle, Smart home.

RK3399 SoC Feature

Rockchip RK3399 is a low power, high performance processor for computing, personal mobile internet devices and other smart device applications. Based on Big.Little architecture, it integrates dual-core Cortex-A72and quad-core Cortex-A53 with separate NEON coprocessor.It also integrates Mali T860 MP4 GPU.

  • CPU
    • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 MPCore processor and Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore processor, both are high-performance, low-power and cached application processor.
    • Two CPU clusters. Big cluster with dual-core Cortex-A72 is optimized for high-performance and little cluster with quad-core Cortex-A53 is optimized for low power.
    • Full implementation of the ARM architecture v8-A instruction set, ARM Neon Advanced SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) support for accelerating media and signal processing
    • CCI500 ensures the memory coherency between the two clusters
    • Each Cortex-A72 integrates48KB L1 instruction cache and 32KB L1 data cache with 4-way set associative. Each Cortex A53 integrates 32KB L1 instruction cache and 32kB L1 data cache separately with 4-way set associative
    • 1MB unified L2 Cache for Big cluster, 512KB unified L2 Cache for Little cluster
    • Trustzone technology support
  • GPU
    • ARM Mali-T860MP4 GPU, support OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0, OpenCL1.2, DirectX11.1 etc
    • Embedded 4 shader cores with shared hierarchical tiler
  • Memory
    • Dynamic Memory Interface (DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR3/LPDDR4): Compatible with JEDEC standard DDR3-1866 /DDR3L-1866 /LPDDR3-1866 /LPDDR4 SDRAM. Support 2 channels, each channel is 16 or 32bits data width. Support up to 2 ranks (chip selects) for each channel; totally 4GB(max) address space. Maximum address space of one rank in a channel is also 4GB, which is software-configurable
    • eMMC Interface: ully compliant with JEDEC eMMC 5.1and eMMC 5.0 specification. Supports HS400, HS200, DDR50 and legacy operating modes.
    • SD/MMC Interface: There are 2 MMC interfaces which can be configured as SD/MMC or SDIO. Compatible with SD3.0, MMC ver4.51
  • System Component
    • Timer: 14 on-chip 64bits Timers in SoC with interrupt-based operation for non-secure application. 12 on-chip 64bits Timers in SoC with interrupt-based operation for secure application
    • PWM: Four on-chip PWMs with interrupt-based operation
    • WatchDog: Three Watchdogs in SoC with 32 bits counter width
  • Video
    • Real-time video decoder of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, H.265, VC-1, VP9, VP8, MVC
    • H.264 10bit up to HP level 5.1 : 2160p@60fps (4096x2304)
    • VP9 : 2160p@60fps(4096x2304)
    • H.265/HEVC 10bit: 2160p@60fps(4096x2304)
    • MPEG-4 up to ASP level 5 : 1080p@60fps (1920x1088)
    • MPEG-2 up to MP: 1080p@60fps (1920x1088)
    • MPEG-1 up to MP: 1080p@60fps (1920x1088)
    • H.263: 576p@60fps (720x576)
    • VC-1 up to AP level 3: 1080p@30fps (1920x1088)
    • VP8: 1080p@60fps (1920x1088)
    • MVC: 1080p@60fps (1920x1088)
    • Support video encoder for H.264, MVC and VP8
  • Display
    • Embedded two VOP, output from the following display interface: One or Two MIPI-DSI port, One eDP port, One DP port, One HDMI port
    • Support AFBC function co-operation with GPU
    • HDMI interface: Single Physical Layer PHY with support for HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 operation. Support HDCP 1.4/2.2
    • MIPI interface: Embedded 3 MIPI PHY, MIPI0 only for DSI, MIPI1 for DSI or CSI, MIPI2 only for CSI. Each port has 4 data lane, providing up to 6.0 Gbps data rate
    • eDP interface: Compliant with eDPTM Specification, version 1.3. Up to 4 physical lanes of 2.7/1.62 Gbps/lane
    • DisplayPort interface: Compliant with DisplayPort Specification, version 1.2. Compliant with HDCP2.2 (and back compatible with HDCP1.3). There is only one DisplayPort controller built-in RK3399 which is shared by 2 Type-C.
  • Camera Interface and Image Processer
    • One or two MIPI-CSI input interface
    • two ISP (Image Sensor Processor) embed
    • Maximum input resolution of one ISP is 13M pixels
  • TYPE-C
    • Embedded 2 Type-C PHY
    • Compliant with USB Type-C Specification, revision 1.1
    • Compliant with USB Power Delivery Specification, revision 2.0
    • Attach/detach detection and signaling as DFP, UFP and DRP
    • Plug orientation/cable twist detection
    • Support USB3.0 Type-C and DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode on USB Type-C. Two PMA TX-only lanes and two PMA half-duplex TX/RX lanes (can be configured as TX-only or RX-only)
    • Up to 5Gbps data rate for USB3.0
    • Up to 5.4Gbps(HBR2) data rate for DP1.2, can support 1/2/4 lane mode
  • Audio
    • I2S/PCM: Three I2S/PCM in SoC. I2S0/I2S2 support up to 8 channels TX and 8 channels RX. I2S1 supports up to 2 channels TX and 2 channels RX. I2S2 is connected to HDMI and DisplayPort internally. I2S0 and I2S1 are exposed for peripherals
    • SPDIF: Support two 16-bit audio data store together in one 32-bit wide location. Support biphase format stereo audio data output. Support 16 to 31 bit audio data left or right justified in 32-bit wide sample data buffer. Support 16, 20, 24 bits audio data transfer in linear PCM mode
  • Connectivity
    • SDIO interface: Compatible with SDIO 3.0 protocol
    • GMAC 10/100/1000M Ethernet Controller: Supports 10/100/1000-Mbps data transfer rates with the RGMII interfaces. Supports 10/100-Mbps data transfer rates with the RMII interfaces
    • SPI Controller: 6 on-chip SPI controller inside
    • Uart Controller: 5 on-chip uart controller inside
    • I2C controller: 9 on-chip I2C controller inside
    • USB Host2.0: Embedded 2 USB 2.0 Host interfaces.
    • USB OTG3.0: Embedded 2 USB OTG3.0 interfaces.
    • PCIe: One PCIe port Compatible with PCI Express Base Specification Revision 2.1
  • Other
    • Temperature Sensor(TS-ADC): Embedded 2 channel TS-ADC
    • SAR-ADC (Successive Approximation Register): 6-channel single-ended 10-bit SAR analog-to-digital converter. Conversion speed range is up to 1MS/s sampling rate
    • eFuse: Two 1024bits(32x32) high-density electrical Fuse are integrated

The Complete Comparison: Amlogic s912 vs RK3399

Let us now compare the two competing devices in finer detail in the following paragraphs. We will examine them based on a few key parameters.


The above specification chart would have provided you input into the differences (and similarities) between the two competing chipsets. The RK3399 comes with two Cortex A72 cores coupled with 4 Cortex A53 cores in an asymmetrical core processing system. This ensures better power efficiency. You also have access to Mali-T860MP4 GPU that provides an improved performance with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0, OpenCL1.2, DirectX11.1. The Amlogic S912, on the other hand, comes with Cortex A53 on all cores and Mali-T820MP3 GPU.

In terms of playback, RK3399 offers you a power-packed performance and supports video codecs like 10-bit H.264 at 2160p@60fps and 10-bit H.265 at 2160p@60fps. In a layman’s language, this codec corresponds to 4K. In sharp contrast, the Amlogic chipset comes with support for only 8-bit H.264 at 2160p@30fps. This can be a massive issue for animation fans. However, the RK3399 does not support HDR.

The Benchmark Studies

The benchmark tests across the Amlogic S912 and RK3399 appear to provide an upper edge to the RK3399 when compared to the former. However, the single core Benchmark performance seems to be almost equivalent between the two competitors.

The tests have indicated that the RK3399 is more capable of handling the CPU dependent tasks and gaming more efficiently.

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