How to Upgrade Firmware for Rockchip RK3066, RK3188, RK3328, RK3288, RK3399 Devices with the Command Line in Linux

Previously I wrote an article entitled “How to Flash Rockchip RK3066 / RK3188 Firmware in Linux” explaining how to use a graphical tool called RkFlashKit to upgrade firmware on Rockchip devices using a Linux computer. This tool had some limitations, and it would just have a subset of features of RkAndroidTool (Windows), and it was not possible to flash “update.img” type of firmware which are often provided and flashed with RkBatchTool in Windows. Luckily there’s now a command line tool called upgrade_tool that allows you to flash the “update.img” firmware files directly from Linux. I’ve already shown how to use it with Radxa Rock, but it’s buried with other instructions, so I’ve decided to make a separate post. This has been tested in Ubuntu 14.04 with Radxa Rock (RK3188) and Measy U2C (RK3066). Ready? Let’s start by downloading and extracting upgrade_tool. You may want to add the installation path to your PATH, or copy it to /usr/local/sbin directory. Now download […]

ARM Cortex A15/A17 SoCs Comparison – Nvidia Tegra K1 vs Samsung Exynos 5422 vs Rockchip RK3288 vs AllWinner A80

We’re now starting to get quite a few players with ARM Cortex A15 cores on the market, as well as some with ARM Cortex A17. So a comparison table of different quad and octa SoCs might be a useful thing to do. I’ve put aside SoCs such as HiSilicon K3V3, and OMAP5, and focused on the four latest processors: Nvidia Tegra K1 (32-bit), Samsung Exynos 5422, Rockchip RK3288 and AllWinner A80. I haven’t included Mediatek MT6595 and Qualcomm SnapDragon 805, because the two companies mainly focus on smartphones and tablets (although it appears to be slowly changing for Qualcomm), documentation is usually difficult or impossible to find, and in the case of Qualcomm they use their own ARMv7 Krait cores. I’ve highlighted some features in green, in case a particular SoC appears to have an edge. Rockchip RK3288 AllWinner A80 Nvidia Tegra K1 Samsung Exynos 5422 CPU 4x ARM Cortex-A17 @ 1.8 GHZ 4x ARM Cortex-A15 r4 @ 2.0?? GHz […]

Rikomagic MK902 II Android TV Box with Rockchip RK3288 Coming Soon

Rikomagic MK902 is an Android mini PC powered by Rockchip RK3188 quad core processor, and there’s even a Linux version. The company has announced it has been working on an upgrade of the device named MK902 II, and powered by Rockchip RK3288. It will initially sell with Android, but I would not be surprised with a PicUntu version is also sold later, and even an MK 902 II Chromebox could hit the market, since Rockchip released Chromium OS overlay files for RK3288. They’ve also provide MK902 II specifications: SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU System Memory – 2G DDR3 Storage – 8 or 16 GB flash + micro SD slot (up to 32GB) Video Output – HDMI, AV Audio Output / Input – HDMI, stereo audio (via AV port), optical S/PDIF, microphone Video Codecs – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265, AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, MVC (1080p) Sorenson Spark, MVC […]

Linux Kernel Source Code and Chromium OS Overlay for Rockchip RK3288

A few days ago, we’ve seen Chromium OS running on Rockchip RK3288 development platform. I’ve been informed the source code could have already been released via the newly registered rkchrome github account with Linux kernel 3.10.30 and the overlay files to build Chromium OS for RK3288. There’s also a u-boot repository but it is currently empty.  This Linux kernel can also boot Rockchip RK3188 based Radxa Rock development board, but more tests are needed to see if it’s really usable. I’ll have a look at the Linux kernel, and try to build it, and leave the Chromium OS part for later or other people. Let’s retrieve the source code:

We’ve got two kernel config files related to Rockchip in arch/arm/config:

But since this is a recent 3.10 kernel with support for Flattened Device Tree support, and multi-platform support, there’s not much to be seen in these files, and we have to go to arch/arm/boot/dts/ where we can find […]

Rockchip RK3288 based Android and Chromium OS Tablets and TV Boxes (Video)

After the first RK3288 Android TV boxes started to be promoted on Alibaba, and the first RK3288 board was shown, Rockchip is currently showing their quad core Cortex A17 processor in reference designs, tablets, and TV boxes running Android or Chromium OS at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Charbax interviewed the company, and the first demo was a development board connected to an LCD display running Chromium OS, which is said to handle 30 tabs without issues. Rockchip RK3288 is now advertised as being a quad core Cortex A17 with a Mali-T764 GPU, but when Rockchip representative was asked, he strangely denied to comment on whether it was a Cortex A12 or A17, as both are very similar. He also said the GPU was a Mali-T760MP4… If this seems all confusing that’s because it is… Some interesting things are H.265/HEVC support for 4K2K videos, and HDMI 2.0 for 4K @ 60 fps video output. Moving on, some TV boxes and […]

Ugoos UT3 Rockchip RK3288 based Android TV Box (Board Pictures and Specs)

We’ve already seen RK3288 based Android TV boxes and sticks started to be advertised on Alibaba, and today Ugoos contacted me and shared some pictures and specs of their PCBA for Ugoos UT3 Android 4.4 TV box based on Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 + Mali-T764 GPU SoC. Here are the specs of the board and product: SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core CortexA17 @ 1.8GHz + Mali-T764 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1 System Memory – 2GB DDR3  (Option: 4GB) Storage – 8GB NAND Flash (Options: 16, 32 or 64GB) + micro SD card slot (up to 32 GB) Connectivity – 100M/1000M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz) and 802.11 a/c using external Wi-Fi antenna, Bluetooth 4.0 (option?) Video I/F HDMI 1.4a output (female) up to 4k2k @ 30 fps, 1080p60 AV output (3.5mm jack) HDMI input (female) up to 1080p Audio I/F – HDMI in and out, AV out, optical S/PDIF, microphone […]

Rockchip RK3288 based Android Mini PCs and TV Boxes Are Starting to Show Up (Wholesale)

Rockchip RK3288 based devices should be available soon. At the end of last month, I read Pipo was about to introduce RK3288 Tablets at the Hong Kong electronics fair this month, and yesterday I’ve been informed some RK3288 mini PCs and TV Boxes had started to appear on Alibaba. RK3288 HDMI TV Dongle (D368) D368 mini PC is said to come with the following specs according to a product page on Alibaba: SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex-A17 with Mali-T7xx 3D GPU (OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0,and OpenCL 1.1) System Memory – 2GB DDR3  (Optional:1GB) Storage – 8GB NAND Flash (Options: 4GB and 16GB), micro SD card (up to 32GB) Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4a (Resolution 4K and 1080p60 support) Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac, optional Bluetooth 4.0. Video Codecs Decode – H.265, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC Encode – H.264, H.265,VP8, MVC(1080P) Max H.264/H.265 datarate – 60 […]

ARM Interview about Cortex A17 Processor [Video]

When ARM announced their new Cortex A17 core, I could not quite understand why they would release another core with performance and features somewhat similar to Cortex A12 and Cortex A15. Charbax interviewed Nandan Nayampally, ARM VP of Processor Marketing, at Mobile World Congress 2014 and everything is much more clear now. Cortex A17 is based on A12, but adds support for big.LITTLE processing support with Cortex A7, and further improves performance. In some work loads Cortex A17 can currently match Cortex A15 performance, and by 2015, Cortex A17 will have performance similar to A15, and replace it in mid range devices as it has a lower footprint and lower cost. High-end products will switch to 64-Bit with Cortex A53 or A57 next year. The interviewee did not say this explicitly but it could be many companies will simply skip Cortex A12, and directly use Cortex A17, just like Rockchip decided to do with RK3288. One last interesting point is […]