Rockchip RK3288 was the first SoC from the company that was supposed to support HDMI 2.0 and 4K 10-bit HEVC, but the HDMI implementation was not perfect since it did not support YUV420 colorspace available on cheaper 4K television like mine (LG 42UB820T), and so I’m limited to 4K @ 30 Hz on RK3288, Rorkchip RK3368 fixed that, but the low cost processor does not support 10-bit HEVC. Rockchip is about to launch two new processor that should bring both features to the low end and high end of the market with RK3229 quad core Cortex A7 processor, and RK3399 hexa core Cortex A72/A53 processor.
Rockchip RK3229 specifications:
- CPU- Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.5 GHz
- GPU – ARM Mali-400MP2
- Memory I/F – DDR3-1866/LPDDR3-1333
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 1.4/2.2 + CVBS
- Video Codec – 4K2K 10-bit H.265 @ 60 fps (Up to 200 Mbps), 4K 10-bit H.264 @ 30 fps (Up to 250 Mbps) and 4K 8-bit VP9 @ 30 fps (Up to 200 Mbps)
- Video Encoder – 1080p H.264 and VP8
- Ethernet – 100Mbps (PHY)
- Audio Codec – Yes
- DRM – Widewine Level 1, PlayReady, Verimatrix
The processor also supports BT.2020 to Rec.709/Rec.601 conversion, and is pin-to-pin compatible with Rockchip RK3128. Boot time is about half of the RK3128 with the company claiming a 12 seconds boot time, and they also claim a smaller delay to start playing high bitrate videos compared to S905 and 3798M. One downside is that it only support Android 4.4, and there’s no Android 5.1 Lollipop or Android 6.0 Marshmallow SDK.
Rockchip RK3399 specifications:
- CPU- Hexa Core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 @ 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53
- GPU – ARM Mali-T864 GPU
- Memory I/F – Dual Channel DDR3/LPDDR3/LPDDR4
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0
- Video Codec – 4K2K 10-bit H.265
- Video Encoder – 1080p
- Ethernet – Gigabit
- Audio Codec – No
Information is limited for now, but we can already find some RK3229 TV boxes listed on Alibaba such as Vplus M9 selling for $25 in quantities, but I’m not sure information and pricing can be trusted on this page, as they mention both H.265 and VP9 4K video decoding, and this would be a big omission in Rockchip product table that I found on a NotebookItalia video filmed at CES 2016.
Rockchip RK3399 is particularly interesting as it is the first high-performance 64-bit ARM SoC announced by one of the three main Chinese TV Box SoC manufacturers: Amlogic, Rockchip and Allwinner.