Full specifications?


#1

Hi,

I’m shopping for set top boxes and I was wondering if there is a more detailed list of specifications for the Vero 4k+ (or the previous one for that matter). I know about this basic list of specs, from the main website:

  • SoC: AMLogic S905D Quad Core 1.6GHz 64-bit ARMv4 aarch64 (source)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 ram
  • Network:
    • Gigabit ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F)
    • Wifi 802.11ac 433Mbps (AP6255)
    • Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6255)
    • IR receiver (external)
    • RF receiver (internal)
  • Storage:
    • 16GB microSD (UHS-1 SDR at 104Mhz, possibly up to 128GB, source, KLMAG2GE4a-A001controller?)
  • Connectivity:
    • 2xUSB 2.0
    • HDMI-2
  • Power: 5V, 2A (10W? source)
  • 9 x 9 x 2cm / 3.5 x 3.5 x 0.75 inches, 140 grams / 5 oz

But there are virtually no details on any of those components. What is the SoC used? Which processor architecture? I assume it’s an ARM processor, but which one? What’s the latency on that RAM? How about the wifi, BT or IR/RF chipsets?

Which bootloader is used? u-boot? I know OSMC is a Debian derivative which is great, but how much does it derive? Are there plans to bring those contributions back into Debian upstream?

(Some preliminary answers here:

  • Linux kernel: 3.14, binary blobs for mali. mainline boots and Mali can run with GBM (WIP: only 2 channel out and HDMI 1.4)
  • custom uboot, will be mainlined?

How open is the Vero? are the hardware designs freely available? How much of it is under NDA?

It would be great to see more details on those specs for us free software enthusiasts looking at using the device as a more generic platform. I’m particularly interested to hear if it would be possible to run a mainline Linux kernel and a standard Debian distribution on this machine.

I’ll update this post with details from reply as we go along.

Thanks!


#4

agree completely, when i was shopping for the 4k+ i almost didn’t buy as there was almost no real info on it.

kernel is stuck on 3.14 like most chinese sbc’s due to blobs (mali) instead of open drivers.

ethernet phy is realtek 8111 i believe.

cpuinfo shows naff all:

Processor : AArch64 Processor rev 4 (aarch64)


#5

As far as I know it’s a AMLogic S905D…


#6

thanks both of you, i’ve updated the summary and will keep updating as more details come along. users can supply a lot of this information… for example, just running lshw -short as root would help tremendously… :slight_smile:


#7

Yep, it is:- https://fccid.io/2AI57-VERO4K/Internal-Photos/Internal-Photos-3944155


#8

lshw doesn’t show anything useful either, pretty much everything just returns “Vero4KPlus”, hardware info has been seriously sanitised it seems


#9

awesome reference, thanks! i think we can see the Samsung chip number in there as well which could shed some light on the SDcard capacity. If I read this right, this would be a KLMAG2GE4a-A001 chip which would be the SDcard controller (or is that 16GB memory onboard)?

I can’t make out anything else in there unfortunately… You’d think the FCC reference would tell us what the wifi firmware actually is…

This letter submitted to the FCC also confirms the “schematics”, “block diagram” and “operational description” are “confidential” (or at least confidentiality was requested).


#10

Hello,

Most of the information you’re asking has been made publicly available, but granted, not in one place. I’m not sure how beneficial it is to others on the sales page. I can appreciate that some are concerned about the older kernel; but hopefully they are given peace of mind by the support commitments made on the site.

WiFi is AP6255 for 433Mbps 802.11ac and BT 4.2. Realtek RTL8211F is muxed in with the internal PHY to provide Gigabit Ethernet.

The IR receiver isn’t the same as the RF receiver: one is external and one is internal.

Bootloader source is at https://github.com/osmc/vero3-uboot.
When we move to mainline, we will use the mainline UBoot.

OSMC is considered a Debian derivative. The changes we make for OSMC are beneficial for us downstream but not for Debian’s overall project goals. We do work with them however on issues and test sid in advance.

Linux 3.14 today.
Mainline can be booted now; and Mali can be run with GBM (which is the future of video decoding for Linux and Kodi). But output is limited to 2 channel out and HDMI 1.4 modes. So it’s a WIP.

They are not.

Sam


#11

Blobs are available for 4.9 and mainline kernels. We have a 4.9 tree, but there’s not much benefit in moving to to it.

The mainline tree doesn’t offer feature parity at the moment but is getting there. It becomes appropriate for use with V4L2/GBM in Kodi v19.

Sam


#13

Just to clarify: you are saying the hardware designs are not freely available or not under NDA? :slight_smile:

Also, thanks for the clarifications so far, but could we get more info on the other parts of the device? For example, what about the IR and especially RF receiver? How do those work? How hackable are they? What’s the range and “transparency” of the signal (e.g. i know IR doesn’t go well through wood, but will RF?) What about the memory? Soldered? Latency?

Thanks again!


#14

I’m confused - are you saying the Wifi and Ethernet are muxed together? I’m not a hardware specialist, but that seems like a strange configuration…

I have otherwise included in your response in the original post.


#15

We don’t plan to release these publicly.

Well IR can be impacted by the environment. There is an external receiver included if you wish to hide the device behind the TV or in a cabinet.

The IR receiver can be used to record custom remote profiles via irrecord. There are a number of presets available under My OSMC -> Remotes.

The RF dongle is only used for the official (included) remote. You can also pair a remote via Bluetooth too.

No. The Ethernet has to PHYs (internal and external) which are muxed together. The external PHY is used for RGMII.


#16

IR requires line of sight.