Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. Ltd. is licensing cores from both ARM and Imagination for graphics rendering in its latest pair of mobile processors designed for use in tablet computers.
The RK3188 and RK3168 chips are ramping into production on a 28-nm high-K metal gate (HKMG) CMOS process from Globalfoundries Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.).
The RK3188 is a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor that is specified to run at 1.6-GHz clock frequency with a quad-core Mali-400 GPU, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1, running at up to 600-MHz. The junior chip in the pairing, the RK3168, is a dual-core Cortex-A9 married to a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1. No maximum clock frequency was given for the PowerVR core.
Rockchip (Fuzhou, China) has used the ARM architecture for most of its system-chips but started in graphics with a core licensed from Vivante Corp. before turning to ARM's Mali. The use of PowerVR in the RK3168 is thought to be Rockchip's first engagment with Imagination Technologies Group plc.
The technology is based on Globalfoundries' gate-first approach to HKMG, which has been in volume production for more than two years. Globalfoundries is moving to gate-last for bulk CMOS at the 20-nm node.
"We have chosen Globalfoundries as our strategic source partner of 28-nm HKMG because their state-of-the-art 28-nm HKMG process has allowed us to ramp our products with very high yields in a relatively short timeframe," said Chen Feng, vice president of Rockchip, in a statement issued by Globalfoundries.
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