New SDK2.0 software nets big performance gains on Rockchip RK3188 SoC

rk3188sdk20Rockchip has announced the release of a new SDK2.0 firmware for its popular RK3188 SoC CPU.

The Chinese ARM chip maker made the announcement of a new firmware design for the quad-core processor that offers a surprising gain in performance levels.

According to, among the features are the ability to playback video on screens up to 2048×1536-pixel (Retina) resolution without frame loss at up to 60 frames per second (fps). Chip engineers have also managed to squeeze out 30% better gaming speed from its Mali-400 MP4 quad-core GPU. It’s also passed Google’s 4.2.2 CTS certification system with claims to be the first to do so.

You can also throw in improved power management for better battery life and Bluetooth 4.0.

However, the 30% improvement in gaming speed is significant. In the budget to mid-range tablet market, the RK3188 is in a deathmatch with Allwinner’s A31 and although the RK3188 comfortably outperforms the A31′s quad Cortex A7 cores in general processing, it cannot match the gaming speed of the PowerVR SGX544 MP2 dual-core GPU subsystem, which gives the A31 a superior gaming platform.

A 30% jump will certainly lean the balance back towards the RK3188, potentially boosting core performance from 7.2GFLOPS to as much as 9.36. That’s still considerably below the 12.8GFLOPS the SGX544 can obtain per core at the same clock speed, but it’s a lot better than it was. Still, it remains to be see how solid that ’30% performance gain’ is an under what conditions.

The Mali-400 MP4′s geometry rate may also increase from 44MTriangles/second to as much as 57.2 – again, that’s still below the SGX544 MP2′s 70MTris/second but it’s almost close enough, you mightn’t notice in actual game play (darn those benchmarks!)

Still, all in all, it’s an impressive gain from just software alone. You wonder what magic elixia they found to tweak so much extra speed from the same silicon.

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