Peddler of cheap SoCs, Rockchip, is building its next generation chips at Globalfoundries (GloFo).
The chips are manufactured using Glofo’s 28nm High-K metal gate process and they are based on the A9 core. The process allows them to hit 1.8GHz. The RK3188 and RK3168 are designed with low end tablets in mind and they aren’t really that spectacular by today’s high-end SoC standards.
However, they are one of the first uses of Glofo’s 28nm node for mainstream SoCs and they may be a sign of things to come. Chen Feng, vice president of Rockchip, praised Globalfoundries for its ability to ramp products with very high yields in record time. The chips already sampled to potential customers earlier this year.
Glofo’s 28nm-SLP technology is ideally suited for the next generation of smart mobile devices, enabling designs with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, lower standby power and longer battery life. The technology offers a combination of performance, power-efficiency and cost that are ideally suited for the cost-sensitive mainstream mobile market.
Although Rockchip, MediaTek, Allwinner and other China-based SoC makers aren’t capable of competing in the high end just yet, they are doing quite well and the popularity of cheap white-box tablets in some markets could help them grow and develop rapidly, using off-the-shelf technology and manufacturing.