Rockchip preps quad-core ARM processor

Chinese processor manufacturer Rockchip remains on track to launch its RK3188 quad-core SoC in February. The chip – manufactured using 28nm HKMG process technology – is built around an ARM Cortex-A9 design clocked at 1.8-2.0 GHz.

The SoC boasts a quad-core Mali-400MP GPU (up to 500 MHz) and is reportedly 20%-30% faster than Nvidia’s Tegra 3, while chalking up similar performance numbers to Samsung’s Exynos 4412.

The RK3188 supports OpenGL 2.0 as well as OpenVG 1.1, and is capable of rendering 1080p HD video playback at 60 frames per second, or 1080p HD H.264 and VP8 encoding at 30 frames per second. The chip is even powerful enough to drive dual-panel displays and handle resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 pixels.

Rockchip says it remains on track to send samples of its latest SoC to hardware partners in February, which means the quad-core processors are likely to start appearing in devices by March or April.

As Liliputing’s Brad Linder notes, Rockchip may not be all that well known in the US compared to industry heavyweights like Qualcomm, Samsung or Nvidia.

Nevertheless, the company’s low-cost chips are quite popular in China where they are used to power dozens of budget Android tablets and PCs-on-a-stick, such as the Z2C, Kimdecent and MK803.