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Rockchip to launch CPU for Android

Rockchip to launch CPU for Android

Rockchip's RK2808 will see its first use in an Android-based PMP before being rolled out into a smartphone handset for China 3G.

ARM could be getting a bit of competition in the ultra-low voltage CPU market with Chinese chip maker Rockchip getting in on the act.

According to an article over on PMP Today, the company has designed a range of new processors for the next generation of Chinese smartphones – with the most notable being the RK2808, a processor expressly designed for devices running Google's Android mobile platform.

The company, which has previously specialised in mobile internet devices, hopes that its new processor will bring improved multimedia capabilities to Android-based devices to address what it calls “poor multimedia functions, which [are] recognised by the industry.

The company is looking to launch the first Android-based handset with the RK2808 chip on-board some time after October – with an Android-based PMP device acting as the testing ground before Rockchip wets its feet in the new mobile 'phone market. With support for mobile TV functionality and the ability to play back up to 720p content, it could prove a winner.

Owing to its home-grown nature, the Rockchip processor could well reduce the manufacturing cost of a smartphone: being able to undercut ARM's offerings and coupled with the open-source nature of Android, Rockchip could well be on track to offer an excellent deal to its Chinese customers.

The company has yet, however, to offer an idea of just how much cheaper their processor offering will be compared to ARM's solutions: while the lure of a homegrown solution will be popular in China, the company will have to offer a convincing price point to other markets in order to tempt people away from the safe solution.

Is this a good development for Android – and smartphones in general – or should companies concentrate on licensing existing ARM technologies rather than fragmenting the market with their own innovations? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

6 Comments

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chrisb2e9 13th July 2009, 15:29 Quote
I always like to see more products on the market. customer choice is never a bad thing.
kenco_uk 13th July 2009, 15:35 Quote
If I'm reading it right, is it 65nm and 600Mhz? How ultra low voltage is it?
perplekks45 13th July 2009, 16:16 Quote
Competition ain't bad. Now we'll just have to wait for 3 things:

1. Price
2. Performance
3. Availability
DiegoAAC 14th July 2009, 00:53 Quote
If they making a 'chip' for android, they must have a linux port for that chip so it must be MIPS-like, ARM-like or something-like-that. But I guess that they are building a android-like knock-off platform (using an GUI that seems to be android) for brands like 1-lTC
docodine 14th July 2009, 07:06 Quote
Being a smaller company, wouldn't they not be able to undercut ARM?
lp1988 14th July 2009, 08:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Competition ain't bad. Now we'll just have to wait for 3 things:

1. Price
2. Performance
3. Availability

2. Is never going to be enough for the generel crow in here (not until you can get one with a i7 or the like)
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