The MSM8953 SoC has found it’s way into some recent android headunits. Also known as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 as it is more commonly known by in some circles.
Having 8 cores of ARM Cortex A53 this is an octacore processor. Running at upto 2Ghz is seen in some mid range smart phones under the Snapdragon 625 name.
The ARM cortex A53 design means this octacore processor is 64 bit capable, as you would expect with modern SoC processing power houses.
MSM8953 or SD625 for Android Headunit?
The android headunit market is picking up SoC chips from the phone and tablet designs which are often designed for low power drain with good performance. The android headunit, being connected to a car, with a big 12v lead acid battery or the alternator won’t benefit greatly from the low power features of these chips. Other than keeping the heat produced by the head unit down, the battery life problem is non existent.
Another compromise, but a step up from some of the processors still being used to run the android operating system. The SD625/MSM8935 would behave much as a mid range modern phone does. This SoC has eight ARM Cortex A53 CPU cores clocked at up to 2 GHz coupled to an Adreno 506 GPU for the display. Fitted with the 4Gb RAM these android headunits should perform acceptably and be in the top quarter of the android headunits for speed.
Modern processors used in android headunits bring more than just the benefits of greater speed. There are other spin-off gains. For the MSM8953 this comes in the guise of USB3 compatibility. If remains to be seen if all the manufacturers of the android head units build in the supporting hardware for USB3.0 connectivity.