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CedarX is the name of Allwinner's proprietary multimedia library for hardware accelerated video and image decoding, for the hardware video engine (also incorrectly called VPU) found inside all their SoC series.[1][2]

After some pressure caused by the controversies [3] [4] [5] [6] surrounding the license of this library, Allwinner released a new library called Sunxi-CedarX [7] , which is a rewrite that up to now only partial implements some codecs as open source, letting the rest of the codecs and features such an encoding dependents of a closed source plugin binary.



CedarX is the name of a software library, that works in conjunction with a hardware block to offer hardware accelerated decoding and encoding of video codecs.

This hardware block doesn't have a name. Or at least Allwinner doesn't uses a marketing name to call this hardware block, and in the general the datasheets and marketing materials for each SoCs only have references to a video engine or sometimes VPU. See this page for more about naming.

Disadvantages Allwinner's CedarX technology and libraries:

  • Allwinner's own CedarX proprietary libraries are known to have no clear usage license, so even if the source code for some versions is available the terms-of-use is unknown in open source software. Allwinner is slowly working towards to resolve this issue.

Reverse engineering

The video engine was and is currently being reverse engineered with successful results. To the point of making possible an experimental vdpau implementation capable of being used to play videos.


CedarX official source code libraries and third-party forks

The following are old and obsolete, is not recommend for any use.

Possibly irrelevant observations

  • There seems to be a distinction in the Android code between audio decoding ("CedarA") and video decoding ("CedarV").


  1. http://www.j1nx.nl/buildroot-xbmc-on-mele-a1000-allwinner-a10/ Buildroot XBMC on the Mele A1000 (Allwinner A10)
  2. http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/11/12/xbmc-for-linux-on-allwinner-a10-devices-it-works-sort-of/ XBMC for Linux on AllWinner A10 Devices? It Works! (Sort of)
  3. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Allwinner-GPL-Violate-Proof
  4. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Allwinner-Obfuscating-Code
  5. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=allwinner-stripped-symbols
  6. https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Allwinner-Actions-Internally
  7. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Allwinner-CedarX-New-OSS Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code

See also

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