Rockchip RK3288 beats everyone to Coretex-A12, Mali-T760, and H.265

CES 2014: Impressive SoCs come from unexpected places at unexpected prices

Rockchip logoIt looks like Rockchip is about to fire a warning shot across bow of the top-tier of ARM SoC vendors with their new RK3288. This chip is not just the first A7 device to hit the market, or the first Mali-T76x bearing SoC, it also has one really unique and useful feature.

Originally the Rockchip RK3288 was supposed to sport an ARM Coretex-A17 core, the one that was renamed the A12 a bit ago. Unfortunately that change happened after the marketing materials for the RK3288 were printed up as you can see below. On the up side that is about the only thing SemiAccurate could find even remotely negative about this upcoming SoC.

Rockchip RK3288 spec poster

Hastily renamed core bearing RK3288 spec sheet

You may notice that the sign at the CES Rockchip booth says, “is Coming!” something our sources say will happen at MWC. That means about 3-4 weeks until the debut of the first ARM Coretex-A12 part and it will be from Rockchip. The A12 should erase a lot of the negative sentiment surrounding the A15 and be the price/performance leader in the high-end phone space this year.

Possibly more important is another likely first, the upcoming Mali-T760 GPU sporting all the latest mobile goodies is on board. Which version of that line? The spec sheets say that it is a quad-core MaliT76x which from our understanding of the ARM naming system means it will be called anything but the ARM Mali-T764 that you would expect. SIGH. In any case The RK3288 should have booth a lot of GPU power and a complete feature set too, both together are a rarity in the market.

The last bit is probably the most important one, a full hardware H.265 decoder. While there are a few hardware H.265 implementations out there for pure video work, Rockchip looks to have another first in bringing H.265 to tablets and phones. Full 4K video on your tablet in hardware is no easy task and while others are just discussing the possibility, Rockchip is going to deliver it in single digit weeks.

So with the release of the RK3288 later this month, Rockchip is putting the big guys on notice. They will not only be first with the new ARM CPU cores and GPUs, they will be the only player SemiAccurate knows of with a full hardware H.265 implementation. If the early rumors SemiAccurate moles are whispering in the background are true, the RK3288 is not only going to be a damn fast part, it will be a decently priced damn fast part with one pretty amazing and unique video decoder. Keep an eye on the RK3288, everyone is saying Rockchip did a great job with it.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate