RockChip RK 3188 – Two of the first quad-core MPUs made with 28nm process


A few of our latest quad-core tablets are powered by RockChip RK 3188, such as our 9.7″ retina display tablet M110 ($199). Here we are going to review this power MPU.

Rockchip is a series of SoC (System on Chip) integrated circuits manufactured by Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Company. These integrated circuits are mainly for embedded systems applications in mobile devices such smartphones, tablets , e-books, set-top boxes, media players, personal video and MP3 players.

Rockchip processor is an ARM licensee and uses the ARM architecture for the majority of its projects. It was first known for their RK 27xx series that was very efficient at MP3/MP4 decoding and was integrated in lots of low-cost MP3/MP4 products.

And now, Quad-core chipset from Rockchip is finally arrived. Rockchip RK3188 is the first MPU with a quad-core CPU, and is also the world’s second MPU after Qualcomm APQ8064 quad-core mobile chip that is made with 28nm process.

(A) Chinese first quad-core CPU using 28nm process

This is the first Chinese quad-core chipset wich based on 28nm quad-core chipset, this process is specifically designed for mobile devices, the battery life has increased dramatically and more robust performance. Said that compared to 45nm LP SoC low-power technology, new process performance increase of 55%, 60% power saving in Rockchip RK3188 HKMG technology (FYI: Samsung Exynos 4412 is uses the same technology).

(B) A9 performance is stronger than A7

Before RK3188 was launched, most of quad-core phone and tablets were using nVidia Tegra 3, Samsung Exynos 4412, which are based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. Rockchip RK3188 is also based on the ARM Cortex-A9.

ARM Cortex A9 is not the latest ARM platform, Cortex-A7 is. The Quad-Core MPU from AllWinner is actually based on A7. It is believe Cortex A7 is more efficient on power management and consumes less battery power, however, A9 is better in term of performance.

(C) The RK3188 chipset leads to the arrival of the 4G era

(D) 40nm vs 28nm technology, more lower power consumption

RockChip RK2188 is one of the first MPUs made with the latest 28nm process. 28nm process is the latest process technology. Chips made by 28nm process is smaller than those made by 40nm, therefore, consumes less power and runs faster. It is amazing to see a Chinese design house is now using the most advanced process technology on their chips. 28nm foundry process was just released by the foundry TSMC. Apple and Samsung’s last MPU used in iPhone 5 and iPad 2 were made with 28nm process.

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