Dual-core ARM battle: RockChip’s RK3168 vs Allwinner’s A20

Two of China’s most popular chip brands, RockChip and Allwinner, are going at it again with new dual-core processor designs – RockChip with its RK3168 and Allwinner pushing its A20.

The two main differences are that while the A20 features the new low-power Cortex A7 design, Rockchip’s RK3168 uses the more powerful Cortex A9. ¬†Somewhat detracting from the A20 is that it uses a 40-nanometre production process, compared with RockChip’s 28nm build, so while the A20 might use a more efficient CPU design, the RK3168 uses a more efficient build, which is likely to cancel each other out in terms of power consumption.

One feature in Allwinner’s favour from a design perspective is that the A20 is said to have the same pin-outs as the original single-core A10. And given the A10 was the chip that largely started the mini PC/TV stick revolution, it would make ‘designer heaven’ to simply drop this chip in its place for instance double (or near enough to) performance.

In terms of graphics horsepower, the single-core PowerVR SGX540 may struggle to compete with the dual-core Mali400, but that may end up being more a function of the individual device clock rates. We’ll soon see.

CPURockchip RK3168Allwinner A20
Family ArchitectureARM Cortex A9ARM Cortex A7
Instruction SetARMv7-AARMv7-A
No of cores22
Clock SpeedUp to 1.2GHzUp to 1.2GHz
L1 cacheN/A128KB
L2 cacheN/A512KB
GPUPowerVR SGX540ARM Mali400 MP2
GPU Clock400MHz400MHz
GPU cores12
Semi production28nm40nm
Memory SupportDDR-DDR3, 533MHzDDR2-DDR3




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