Published in PC Hardware

Rockchip talks quad A12, coming next year

by on17 October 2013


LTE, Mali-T624, 28nm

Rockchip doesn’t get nearly as many headlines as it should, but today it’s in the news thanks to an interesting little quad-core SoC, slated for launch in early 2014.

The RK32xx might be the world’s first Cortex A12 part to hit the market. It’s a 28nm quad core with potentially powerful Mali-T624 graphics and apparently built-in support for LTE. It doesn’t sound bad, provided you like to keep track of ARM parts and know what the A12 is all about.

It is basically a replacement for the venerable A9. Contrary to what many people believe, the A15 wasn’t exactly designed as a direct replacement for the A9, it was designed as a bigger, more elaborate part. The A12 still offers 40 percent more performance than the A9 and the fact that Rockchip’s new part is 28nm means we should see higher clocks as well. A12 also supports big.LITTLE, although Rockchip’s RK32xx series appears to be limited to traditional quad cores.

Like Rockchip, the Cortex A12 isn’t getting enough press, although it looks like a very interesting product. It could bring a lot more performance to mid-range and low-end devices, and with new graphics and big.LITTLE scalability. According to ARM’s own numbers, it could end up as fast as last year’s custom Krait cores from Qualcomm, effectively bringing last year’s high end performance to cheap phones and tablets.

Rockchip says it could be the first to market with an A12 chip, but MediaTek is also working on an A12 chip and it should launch at roughly the same time. It is worth noting that A12 parts could put a lot of pressure on Nvidia’s Tegra 4i, which is based on a revised A9 design, although it should have superior GPU performance than most cheap A12 parts.

More here, bring your translator.


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