It is not often that this happens; Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Company’s latest chip, the RK3066 has proved to be more than a match for its famous competitors – the likes of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, Tegra, TI OMAP and Samsung’s Exynos. This company from Mainland China has been manufacturing low power silicon chips for a lot of entry level tablets, smartphones, PMPs, digital frames and other devices. Not only that, it’s also found its way into set top boxes.

Powerful entry

Powerful entry

This first generation dual core chip was first unveiled at Computex Taipei 2012 and was based on the ARM Cortex A9 processor using a Mali 400MP GPU. To make the chips affordable, the manufacturing process was kept at 40nm. As reported, the initial consensus was that the RK3066 didn’t have the guts to compete with the rest. However, after carrying out a few benchmarks, the results were quite surprising. 

Most would discount heavy duty performance from this chipset, but the results of the Basemark 2.0 ES Taji benchmark with tablets running at 1024 x 78 and 1280 x 800 screen sizes were particularly impressive. The chip even beat the 28nm Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 that has a Krait Core and an Adreno 225 GPU. 

Interesting results

Interesting results

Rightware’s PowerBoard list also started showing three new RK3066 powered tablets on the top three positions well above the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Asus Padfone and even the Nexus 7. Though, it’s important to note that the test carried out was the Basemark 2.0 ES Taji benchmark that only classifies 3D performance. The tablets were capable of clocking 30 fps at high def resolutions. 

Rockchip has some local competition in MediaTek, HiSilicon and a few others, but overall these are promising signs for the company. Better performance is definitely a welcome sign, but there a lot of factors that come into play when you define better performance. As we’ve seen with a range of processors in the past, there’s the all important battery life, heating issues and optimization that need to be taken care of. Most Androids have been suffering from poor battery life and the ones with more cores have had heating issues as well. If Rockchip manages to address these problems with even a substantial amount of success, we could see a whole new flurry of manufacturers trading loyalties.

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