UIS8141 Processor

You can find the Allwinner UIS8141 chip powering some Android Headunits but is it any good?

We take a look at the QuadCore SoC chip.

Allwinner

Allwinner are a company with it’s roots in China. Experts at making low power processing chips. Their story started in 2007 and are still going strong today. The Allwinner chips make their way into phone, tablets and android headunit, to name but a few. Anywhere than needs a low power, low cost processor, could have an Allwinner inside.

UIS8141

The UIS 8141 is a quad core processing chip based on the ARM technologies Cortex A7 cores. This design of core was first used in the technology of 2011 devices. When these cores are combined with a graphics core you get a SoC – system on a chip. The UIS8141 is a SoC. It is the processing cores of this chip that are important for an android headunit.

The 4 cores of the UIS8141 are clocked at between 1.3Ghz and 1.4Ghz.

Cortex A7

The A7 is old technology. A 32 bit processing core (modern processors are 64bit). It has a low clock speed of about 1.3Ghz. The idea was to combine multiples of the A7 and other ARM Cortex core to build multicore processors. This multiple cores can give many advantages, particularly in power consumption and ideal for mobile phone and tablet use. Devises that used batteries benefit from the cortex cores design.

Quadcore

There are 4 of these Cortex A7 cores in a single UIS8141. This is where it get the quadcore name from. While four cores may sound a lot, it is very low compared to modern standards. Less cores means lower power, both electrical power – like good battery life in a phone. But also low computing power like a lagging game or slow to boot.

Low Cost

The low cores count and old technology of those processing cores leads to a lower cost device.

More cores = more cost to produce.

Modern cores technology is more expensive to licence and produce.

Old technology cores = cheaper price product.

RAM/ROM

Old design chips are limited to the older standards.

A maximum of 2Gb RAM can be fitted to the UIS8141 SoC. This is the maximum RAM this quadcore can use. It was typical to see the UIS8141 with only 1Gb RAM. Thankfully this is less common now because modern apps and uses require much more than even the maximum of 2Gb RAM to run well.

Less RAM means less cost. You can think of the RAM chips as 1Gb each chip. Fitting two RAM chips costs more than just fitting one chips. Your RAM chip stock lasts twice as long and the factory has to pay for a replenishment RAM delivery half as often. This can be a considerable cost when RAM was expensive.

The downside to fitting less RAM is the lower performance. The Android needs RAM to run its apps. It also needs RAM to run itself. 1Gb leaves only 786Mb for apps, 2Gb only leaves about 1.5Gb for apps when android has taken its share. You need more than 2Gb RAM to run android quickly and smoothly.

UIS8141 any good?

No.

The UIS8141 is based in very old technology. It is not up to providing a modern experience due to its low number of cores, low clock speed and limited access to RAM.

It may be very cheap, but it is like a very old phone processor from 2011. This is not something most people would find acceptable in the 2020s, no matter how cheap it was.

UIS8141 is similar in design to the 8227L and its clones. All to be avoided for use in an Android Headunit for an enjoyable experience with multiple apps.

See also SC7731 for similar specification SoC.

Pie-Man
Pie-Man
Android guy who loves his android head units as much as he loves his cherry pie.

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