The MT8163 V/A is an SoC processing chip found in Android Headunits.
But is this processing system a good choice for an Android headunit?
The initial letters that precede the numbers are ‘MT,’ which indicates the chip’s design is by MediaTek company. As the chip design is licensed or copied, it may appear with a different initial letter code, but the 8163 can still be seen.
Although the MT8163 has only four processing cores (Quad-Core), they are of a reasonably modern design. This makes the MediaTek chip cheap to produce but able to run modern software and access more modern features (* than the 8227L quad-core).
The Quad Core configuration is cheap but will never run very quickly. Even with the clock set to the maximum of 1.5 GHz, only four cores remain. Expect this to perform like an entry-level processor from 2015. Not quick by modern standards, but this is reflected in the lower production costs due to its more straightforward design.
Design ideas around the MT8163 are for a tablet that can run a PC/Laptop web browser, and this requires more processing power than a mobile browser app.
The graphics capability includes 3D graphics (OpenGL ES 3.1). But the 3D capability is not commonly used for an Android headunit. Not many people play games on the in-car entertainment Android, unlike many tablets used to play games. This 3D feature further shows that this processor is aimed at tablets rather than in-car use.
13 MegaPixel camera support will go unused when integrated into an Android headunit. Much of this wasted silicon would have been better put towards more cores for a faster speed when used in-car.
Integrating these features on the SoC means that costs are reduced. Not having to buy and fit extra components to run the features means lower costs. But this is only relevant if your final product will use these features.
4 ARM Cores
The MT8163 uses the ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore in a configuration of 4 cores. These A53 Cores are based on modern 64-bit technology essential for future Android versions. Remember that there are only 4 of these A53 cores. A modern SoC for an Android headunit would employ 6, 8, 10, or more of those cores to perform better.
The chip is capable of running single-channel DDR3 (and LPDDR3). This is very cheap and low-speed RAM nicely matched to the low processing power of the 8163 V/A SoC.
Headunits fitted with this 8163V/A chip are equipped with a maximum of only 2 GB RAM. This limitation is due to the poor 32-bit DDR control employed in this chip and an oversight in designing a modern SoC that limits its usefulness in many systems.
16/32Gb is common on the MT8163 chips. Not much by modern standards, and the 16Gb option will impact the number of apps you can install.
The SoC controls the wifi with more modern specifications of wifi 4 (a/b/g/n) on both 2.4 and 5 GHz. While the chip is capable of this, the system builder may not add support for this advanced feature to reduce costs further.
The SoC controls FM radio, and a tiny portion of the silicon is devoted to FM Radio.
Bluetooth 4.0 is included on the MT8163 SoC processor.
The silicon on the chip handles GPS signal processing.
To answer the questions, is the MT8163 V/A a good processor?
Then the answer to this is no.
The limited number of cores, even the modern cores, restrict the speed the headunit can run at. Coupled with a poorer amount of RAM, any headunit based on the MT8163 will perform slowly compared to your modern phone. Having 3D capabilities or high-megapixel camera support makes no sense for an Android headunit in a car entertainment system. You can find faster and more helpful Android headunits based on more modern and better-specified chips.