8227L MCU updates

Updating the 8277L_Demo or the APLS 8227L android headunit.

The MTK8227L is a processor type of chip first produced in 2013. In its day, it was groundbreaking, low cost, and a (then) massive 4 cores to run Android.

Unfortunately, the years have passed, and processors for Android headunits are now many times quicker than the old AC8227L chip.


The MCU is an android headunit, including the 8227L, the overseeing Micro Controller Unit (MCU). It is a processing chip with some supporting RAM and I/O. This is a mini computer on a microchip. This microchip and its RAM runs Android and control the headunit functions.

More Speed

Owners of the quad-core 8227L-based Android headunits want more speed to keep up with the modern apps and even just modern expectations of what Android can do based on the latest mobile phone.

Lack of RAM

The 8227L ALPS and 8227L_Demo units only have a maximum of 2 GB RAM, but many only had 1 GB and faked. RAM will be a very limiting factor for your Android headunit. Modern Android is hungry for RAM. While back in the yesteryear of 2013, 1 GB of RAM was sufficient and relatively expensive, move on the current year, and 1 GB or even 2 GB RAM is too little. The limit on 8227L RAM is not the cost as the price of RAM is dropping. The 2 GB limit is hard-wired into the fabric of the 8227L chip. The 1 GB RAM +fake 2 GB description is dishonest and has nothing to do with the chips.

More Clock Cycles

More clock cycles and more cores are how the processors make such leaps in performance every 18 months. New Processors are produced that are quicker and often more power efficient than the previous generation. More clock cycles = faster Android headunit. It is the same processing power you are aware of in your phone. Every next generation of phones is quicker than the last; apps demand it, and users demand it. There is no difference with the Android headunit; if you want it quicker, get the later generation, just as you would with a phone.

Stuck in 2013

Unfortunately, the 8227L ALPS Demo SoC and its other names are still being produced to the original 2013 specification. It runs a limited 4 cores at a low clock speed of around 1.1 GHz. These junk chips are still used to dupe people when fitted to power an Android headunit. If you think a quad core is sufficient for your needs and are happy with 2 GB RAM, think again; think if you would be happy with a phone from 2013 to use today.

8227L MCU updates

Confusion reigns high because Microsoft teaches people to update the software to fix problems. Many think an update to the software or the firmware in the MCU will fix the lack of clock cycles, and it won’t. The MCU firmware runs in the MCU chip that runs the functions of the head unit. To get a faster headunit, you need a faster processor and more RAM. Updating the MCU with different firmware won’t make it faster.

MCU update problems

Updating the MCU is loaded with potential problems and zero gain. The MCU can be corrupted during the update,e or quite commonly,y the wrong file is installed. In the mistaken understanding that all 8227L Demo ALPS units use the same firmware, the file from one model is incorrectly flashed into the headunit, and you end up with a bricked 8227L.

Don’t Flash

Don’t update the ALPS 8227L, MTK8227L, or 8227L_DEMO units in the expectation of a fix. You are much more likely to do some serious (as in irrecoverable) damage to your Android headunit. Flashing firmware off the net is a good way to stop things from working. There is no Windows CD you can borrow from a friend to reinstall the good MCU firmware for an Android headunit; it just doesn’t work like that. If you mess up the flash, you have a few ways to get it back to work.

Did you take a backup first?

Do you know how to restore it?

Do Factory Reset

You may just be better off (although this can have problems) factory restoring the 8227L_Demo. This procedure is used clear out the junk and the good apps, then reinstall the few good apps you need.


But the ALPS DEMO 8227L will still be technology from 2013, no matter what you do to it.

8227L specifications


CPU has 4 cores of ARMv7 Processor rev 3 (v7l). Clock speed is 1118,0 MHz. Graphics Processor is Mali-450 MP

Android HeadUnit
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I am an Android headunit enthusiast with years of experience with in-car entertainment installation, upgrade and design. Encouraging everyone who wants a change to their android headunit to try a different car launcher :)

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  1. I have a few 8227L AHU’s. They do (pretty much) everything I need a “Car Stereo” to do. I would not like it as a dedicated tablet, but it will run my GPS apps, Torq app, make phone calls, play MP3’s from a micro-SD card, and stream music from my phone as I am driving my car. I just started using Android Auto and this seems to be installed on many older AHU’s in order to sell the old stock sitting on the shelves. I just wish I could update my 8227L with the firmware to run AA or CP.


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