Budget ARM licensee Rockchip has been bawling out its wares on the streets of Barcelona as the company announces its newest RK30xx platform. Rockchip provide the internals for a variety of low-cost android tablets, often based on last year's technology. The newest system will be based on ARM's dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400 GPU and Artisan Physical IP Process Optimization Pack (nope, us neither). The chips will clock to 1.4GHz and be able to decode 1080p video and even support 3D displays. The whole package will ship as a "turnkey" solution, i.e. one any manufacturer can buy in bulk and shove inside a tablet, meaning that plenty of the budget slates released in the second half of the year will have identical internals. First engineering samples arrive in March and if you're interested in starting your own tablet business, head on past the break to get the details.
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Rockchip Licenses a Wide Range of ARM IP for Turnkey Solution Targeting Mass Market, Cost-Effective Android Tablets

Rockchip RK30xx platform significantly lowers Bill of Materials (BOM) cost and reduces design complexity for customers

FUZHOU, China & CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rockchip, a leading Chinese fabless semiconductor company and mobile Internet System-on-Chip (SoC) solution provider, today announced its next generation RK30xx platform, targeting the mass market, cost-effective Android tablets. The new platform is based on wide range of ARM® Intellectual Property (IP) that Rockchip has licensed, including dual-core ARM Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ processors, ARM quad-core Mali™-400 MP Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and an ARM Artisan® Physical IP Process Optimization Pack (POP) for the Cortex-A9 processor. The RK30xx platform is a turnkey solution that reduces design complexity and enables faster time-to-market for Android tablet manufacturers, enabling them to address fast changing consumer demands.

"The tablet market is growing rapidly, and putting greater demands on semiconductor companies to deliver cost-effective solutions that can sustain an ever-increasing level of graphics, video and gaming performance, while still being energy-efficient"

The combination of Rockchip's market-leading design experience for mobile Internet devices and high-performance, energy-efficient processor and GPU technologies from ARM has resulted in a platform that delivers captivating 3D gaming experiences and fluent HD video playback, as well featuring a rich set of memory interfaces and peripherals.

"The tablet market is growing rapidly, and putting greater demands on semiconductor companies to deliver cost-effective solutions that can sustain an ever-increasing level of graphics, video and gaming performance, while still being energy-efficient," said Mr. Feng Chen, Chief Marketing Officer, Rockchip. "The partnership enables us to use proven mobile Internet technologies from ARM and provide a high-performance, low-cost and easy-to-design platform. This turnkey solution is ideal for customers to quickly adopt for their Android-based tablet devices. The combination of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and the POP has enabled the highest performance with the lowest power in the fastest time possible. Rockchip has been able to deliver a highly efficient processor implementation on a 40nm LP process."

"ARM is committed to providing advanced processor, GPU and physical IP technologies to our Partners. This enables them to innovate for complex, smart system applications, such as mobile Internet," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president and general manager, processor division, ARM. "We are pleased that Rockchip, whose solutions are already being used in many mobile Internet products, has chosen a range of ARM IP for their innovative, next generation RK30xx platform. We look forward to their continued success in the Android tablet market."

The Rockchip RK30xx platform features:

Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with up to 1.4GHz speed, implemented with Artisan Processor Optimization Pack (POP)
Quad-core ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1
Full memory support, including DDRIII, DDRII, and LPDDRII
High performance dedicated 2D processor
1080P multi-format video decoder
1080P video encoding for H.264 and vp8
Stereoscopic 3D H.264 MVC video codec
Embedded HDMI 1.4a, supporting 3D display
Embedded 60bit/s ECC, supporting MLC NAND, E-MMC, i-NAND and booting
Support of dual panel display and dual camera

Availability

Samples of the Rockchip RK30xx platform will be available in March 2012.

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