Sigma Designs 8910 & 8670 for Media Players/Streamers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-05-2011, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Sigma Designs is coming out with new chipsets for media players and streamers...

here is this press release:
http://www.marketwire.com/press-rele...gm-1374816.htm

Anyone know any new media players or companies planning to use this powerful chipset?

Cheers!

Cameron
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 06:35 AM
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The 8670 will be widely used.

I know of various manufacturers with players lined up, including some who had previously been Realtek only switching to Sigma. There is an ongoing battle in the background between Sigma and Realtek for manufacturer support.

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post #3 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iboum View Post

The 8670 will be widely used.

I know of various manufacturers with players lined up, including some who had previously been Realtek only switching to Sigma. There is an ongoing battle in the background between Sigma and Realtek for manufacturer support.

Is the 8670 dual core like the 8910 is?

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 06:45 AM
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No, it is similar to the 8652 but faster (700Mhz I think), produces less heat, and incorporates 3D acceleration.

http://www.sigmadesigns.com/products.php?id=137

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 06:49 AM
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If Sigma's track record holds up, we won't see these anytime soon.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavySeal View Post

If Sigma's track record holds up, we won't see these anytime soon.

I agree, maybe 12 -18 months from now.

The SMP8646 hasn't shown up yet to the best of my knowledge. Dune said "We would like to note that according to our expectation the first mass production 8646 chips should be available from the manufacturer around Q1 2011."
http://dune-hd.com/news/144-future-upgrades.html
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-06-2011, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iboum View Post

The 8670 will be widely used.

I know of various manufacturers with players lined up, including some who had previously been Realtek only switching to Sigma. There is an ongoing battle in the background between Sigma and Realtek for manufacturer support.

That is certainly true. Except for Amlogic, which leaves me a bit miffed about what this company is doing. I mean even the SoChip/BoxChip guys have what appears to be a strategy aside from all the secrecy.

One development that's been interesting is that the SoC manufacturers are exploring the possibility of getting in with the content providers at the chip level rather than leave it up to system builders to meet the volume/implementation requirements. What this means is that a future SoC could offer premium content streaming as a part of the core SDK capability, much like how UPnP support is built-in these days. I don't know how far they would get with this approach, but these are the kinds of competitive edges that the SoC manufacturers want to be able to offer.

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post #8 of 23 Old 01-10-2011, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post
That is certainly true. Except for Amlogic, which leaves me a bit miffed about what this company is doing. I mean even the SoChip/BoxChip guys have what appears to be a strategy aside from all the secrecy.

One development that's been interesting is that the SoC manufacturers are exploring the possibility of getting in with the content providers at the chip level rather than leave it up to system builders to meet the volume/implementation requirements. What this means is that a future SoC could offer premium content streaming as a part of the core SDK capability, much like how UPnP support is built-in these days. I don't know how far they would get with this approach, but these are the kinds of competitive edges that the SoC manufacturers want to be able to offer.
I agree with you... I was at CES 2011 this weekend and that was the response I got from media player manufacturers... NetFlix and VOD...

Cheers!

Cameron
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-10-2011, 01:38 AM
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I liked the Sigma Designs 8670 and 8910 demo with their OpenGL capability exposed (nice 3D coverart browsing) using the Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX531 IP for 3D graphics.

I think the Realtek 1185 platform is pretty interesting too and one of the media streamer manufacturers is coming up with an interesting product based on that.

By the way, I heard that the BoxChip company doesn't have any license for the decoders it is implementing in its chips. Does anyone know where we can find the details? (Are the licensees for all the codecs like H264, VC-1 etc. available somewhere for us to see?)

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post #10 of 23 Old 01-10-2011, 08:44 AM
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the announcement of an xbmc port for these newer chips is VERY exciting.
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-19-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b curry View Post

I agree, maybe 12 -18 months from now.

The SMP8646 hasn't shown up yet to the best of my knowledge. Dune said "We would like to note that according to our expectation the first mass production 8646 chips should be available from the manufacturer around Q1 2011."
http://dune-hd.com/news/144-future-upgrades.html

What's on their site now is:
"We would like to note that according to our expectation the first mass production 8646 chips should be available from the manufacturer around late Q3 2011 (closer to September-October 2011)."

Disappointing.
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-20-2011, 12:16 AM
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As far as the 8646 is concerned, there is nothing to be disappointed about, the 8646 offers nothing over the 8642 that is worth waiting for.

However, if this means that the other, newer SoC discussed in this thread are going to be delayed, probably for another year even, it's very disappointing indeed.

Sigma need to speed up things a bit. Due to very strong competition and high growth rates, mobile (phone, tablet) processors are becoming very powerful very fast. The already announced Nvidia Tegra quad core that is going to be released later this year will supposedly offer performance comparable to the first Intel Core Duo desktop processors, more than fast enough for any kind of HD streaming, thanks to additional hardware video acceleration. There is no reason why the ARM based, low power Tegra couldn't be used for streaming devices, too.

And then there's Intel who will continue to improve their mobile / embedded platforms because they desperately need to enter new growth markets due to the traditional desktop / server segments stagnating. The days of Sigma and Realtek sharing the market between them, resulting in slow development cycles and innovation, or even bug fixing for that matter, are over.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-20-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by high_definitely View Post

As far as the 8646 is concerned, there is nothing to be disappointed about, the 8646 offers nothing over the 8642 that is worth waiting for.

Here is what I gather:
-Better sleep modes
-Gigabit internet
-Slight speed boost
A guess:
Given it's 2 years since 8642/3, probably 8646 is built on one process node lower. That would give lower idle and load power consumption.

If all this is true it would fix all the main flaws of 8642/3.
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-20-2011, 08:31 AM
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Gigabit ethernet is not a necessity, even for the highest bitrate Bluray content, so that's not really an advantage, at least as far as streaming is concerned. 'Slight speed boost' isn't a true benefit either, as most of the better GUIs are more than fast enough already. I give you better sleep modes, but that's hardly worth waiting for now, is it?

AFAIK, there is no die shrink, the 8646 is built on the same architecture. The only difference are the higher clock rate and additional L2 cache.

http://www.sigmadesigns.com/uploads/...SMP8640_br.pdf

The 8910 will be a different beast altogether.
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post #15 of 23 Old 02-20-2011, 10:09 AM
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Hmm 8646/8670 still stuck in hdmi 1.3 era, that like 2007?
Anyone knows when xbmc on original xbox was launched?
Scratch that, when sigma can play my dvds like my 10+ yr. old dvd player could I'll be impressed.
Progress is slow, very slow me thinks.
Luckily I've just bought a 8642 player so they can take all the time they want. Sorry to prospective buyers
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post #16 of 23 Old 02-20-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by high_definitely View Post

Gigabit ethernet is not a necessity, even for the highest bitrate Bluray content, so that's not really an advantage, at least as far as streaming is concerned.

These boxes tend to serve as NASes as well.
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'Slight speed boost' isn't a true benefit either, as most of the better GUIs are more than fast enough already.

People always say the Popcorn Hour GUIs are slow.
Quote:


I give you better sleep modes, but that's hardly worth waiting for now, is it?

I know that the current Popcorn Hour players don't sleep. They idle at around 10W, or they turn off. Both are problematic. Apparently this is a problem with the SMP8643.
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AFAIK, there is no die shrink, the 8646 is built on the same architecture. The only difference are the higher clock rate and additional L2 cache.

That would be pretty useless of Sigma if true.
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The 8910 will be a different beast altogether.

That has a die shrink?
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-21-2011, 01:03 AM
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Who uses a streamer as a NAS? For those users, gigabit may actually be a benefit indeed, that's if the 8646 actually offers decent speeds (-> gigabit is more or less a gimmick as far as the WD Live Hub is concerned, for example, since the (albeit older and weaker) Sigma SoC is nowhere near powerful enough to make use of it). But as far as the streaming itself is concerned, as explained earlier, gigabit offers no advantage even with today's highest bitrate content. It may have been different if the 8646 offered full 1080p 3D support, which it doesn't.

The GUI of my 8642 based Neo TV550 is anything but slow. The Dunes aren't slow either, even with the pretty extensive external media management solutions like Zappiti. Very few people use the new Popcornhour NMJ interface, which is slow indeed, since there are good alternatives like YAMJ.

The Popcornhours aren't the only 8642 based devices. If Syabas aren't able to implement a proper power off function, which other companies have, they should be blamed instead. I actually agreed earlier that standby needs to be improved, but again, this is hardly a feature that makes the 8646 worth waiting for, especially if you already own a device that can be properly shut down.

Die shrinks cost money. The 8646 has a higher clock speed (800Mhz vs. 667Mhz of the 8642) and 256KB L2 cache. For that, you don't necessarily need to shrink the die. The 8646 is basically fully optimised version of the current architecture.
The 8910 will be based on a completely new architecture, offer 3D Bluray support and considerably higher performance, especially as far as the 3D graphics acceleration is concerned (making a port of XBMC feasible, for example). I don't know if there will be a die shrink since I can't look in the future, but it seems likely.

However, one area of concern as far as the new Sigma SoC generation is concerned is the more extensive support of DRM, Cinavia in particular, which is likely. While this is in stark contrast to an open platform like XBMC, Sigma could be forced to implement it by the time the devices hit the market. But that's all speculation for now, time will tell.
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post #18 of 23 Old 02-21-2011, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by high_definitely View Post

However, one area of concern as far as the new Sigma SoC generation is concerned is the more extensive support of DRM, Cinavia in particular, which is likely. While this is in stark contrast to an open platform like XBMC, Sigma could be forced to implement it by the time the devices hit the market. But that's all speculation for now, time will tell.

For future Netflix and other VOD may require DRM in media players... in the future we may have to make a choice? Online Streaming Content or Local Streaming Content?

Cheers!

Cameron
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post #19 of 23 Old 05-05-2011, 07:26 AM
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Hi there,

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I didn't see the point of starting a new one.

Does anyone know if the 8910 availability is similar to the 8646, or is expected to happen much later?

I would like to buy a Dune player, and if the 8910 is exected to be available 5-6 months, I might be able to wait for the release of the first players using it.

Otherwise, I might simply buy a Dune 3 base now, which can be had for very cheap, and upgrade to a 3D model next year when they are available.

Given the price of the Max/Smart models compared to the base 3.0, and the fact that the 8646 doesn't bring anything essential, it seems much more advantageous to got that way. That is, unless an upgrade to the 8910 will also be offered on the more recent models, but I doubt it would cost less than what I could get for the used Dune 3.0.
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post #20 of 23 Old 05-05-2011, 05:41 PM
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As an avid anime fansub watcher I was on another site and some boob remarked that fansubbers are going to to be using 10 bit encoding and most current media players would be rendered obsolete because "they can't handle 10 bit decoding?". I did some research and as far as I could devine the current Sigma 8643 and 42 can do it. So who's smoking dope-me or him?
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post #21 of 23 Old 05-05-2011, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zrdb View Post

As an avid anime fansub watcher I was on another site and some boob remarked that fansubbers are going to to be using 10 bit encoding and most current media players would be rendered obsolete because "they can't handle 10 bit decoding?". I did some research and as far as I could devine the current Sigma 8643 and 42 can do it. So who's smoking dope-me or him?

The 8643/8642 can handle 10 and 12 bits deep Color, as long as the firmware handles it. It has recently been added to the Neotv550, and is correctly detected on my JVC x7. So he was smoking dope!
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post #22 of 23 Old 05-06-2011, 12:12 PM
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. . . So he was smoking dope!

But that doesn't mean the rest of us weren't.
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post #23 of 23 Old 05-06-2011, 01:54 PM
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But that doesn't mean the rest of us weren't.

Absolutely!
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