Next-gen Android TV boxes can pack all the right upgrades

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  • Amlogic’s upcoming S905X5 chip features a 6nm process node, which reduces power consumption by 50% and improves performance.
  • Along with the new processing node, the S905X5 has a “next-gen CPU” and Mali-G310 GPU capable of rendering the UI in 4K HDR resolution, which offers better visuals.
  • Other upgrades include Dolby Atmos, eARC, variable refresh rate, dual 4K 60fps decoders, H266 support and possible AV1 support, resulting in a significantly improved user experience for devices with the fifth-gen chip.

You might not have heard of Amlogic, but its chip powers almost all popular Android-powered streaming boxes and TVs. It also includes Google Chromecast and Walmart’s excellent Onn 4K streaming box. Many of the best Android and Google TVs from the likes of Xiaomi and others also use company-supplied SoCs. Now, SEI Robotics has teased its next-gen box using Amlogic’s upcoming chipset, which packs some major upgrades. This could pave the way for even more powerful and efficient Android TV streaming boxes and televisions to hit the market.

The Amlogic S905X5 chip is built on a 6nm process node, which claims a 50% reduction in power consumption at the same performance level. This should lead to a huge leap in performance and efficiency. For comparison, current-gen Amlogic SoCs use an ancient 12nm node. Given that streaming boxes and TVs are constantly plugged into power outlets, increased efficiency may enable manufacturers to design smaller boxes and streaming sticks.

In addition to the new processing node, the Amlogic S905X5 has a “next-gen CPU”, which may be the Cortex-A510. It will be coupled with a Mali-G310 GPU running at 1GHz, capable of rendering the UI in 4K HDR resolution. The best streaming sticks and boxes can playback content in 4K, but they are limited to rendering the UI in full HD resolution.

Other significant upgrades include Dolby Atmos, EARC, variable refresh rate, dual 4K 60fps decoders, H266 support and more. AV1 support isn’t mentioned, but it should be there because Amlogic’s fourth-gen chipset already supports the royalty-free video coding format.

Don’t expect new Android TV boxes and streaming sticks using this new Amlogic chipset to go on sale anytime soon. According to Mishal Rahman’s sources, the chip will enter mass production in Q2 2024, likely at the end of the quarter. Therefore, devices using Amlogic’s fifth-gen chip are unlikely to hit the market before Q3 or Q4 2024.

This means that the rumored 2023 Google Chromecast is unlikely to use the new Amlogic chipset. But the SoC could allow Google to offer a more powerful 4K Chromecast with an even sleeker design. The current model powered by the Amlogic S905X3 chip is already old in the tooth, with its limited 8GB storage space and lack of AV1 codec support being a major issue.

When new Android TV boxes using Amlogic’s fifth-gen chipset arrive, however, they are expected to provide a significantly better user experience than current-gen Android TV boxes and televisions.

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