PX3 Processor in Android Head unit

The Rockchip PX3 processor is found in some Android head units.

Is the PX3 a good processor for an android headunit?

No, the PX3 is no longer a good choice for a modern Android head unit

The the PX3 a fast processor?

No, the PX3 is not considered a fast processor.

Is the PX3 a Quad Core?

Yes, the PX3 has 4 cores, making it a QuadCore processor.

Is the PX3 a modern processor?

No. The PX3 is not a modern processor, and many newer processors for Android head units are available today.

Dedicated

The PX3 SoC Processor was a natural step forward in its day—a chip dedicated to powering a car infotainment head unit. The PX3 was made for that job. This is not a throwback from a mobile phone overproduction, and this is a dedicated Android headunit chip. No silicon is wasted; everything was designed for in-car use from the ground up. This means all of the chip’s silicon is used for the job, and nothing is wasted. Building more complicated silicon chips costs money, and not using the parts dedicated to a mobile phone is just wasteful and expensive.

Rockchip

Rockchip designed the PX3 processor with in-car entertainment at heart. The first design sheets show a date of 2013; the latest revision is from around 2016. The early Android headunits ran KitKat4.4.4, while the latter ran Android 6. This indicates the age of the design and the Android versions it can run are ancient, in keeping with its design age.

QuadCore

The PX3 is a QuadCore chip. Compared to more modern processor designs, this is very limiting, and the four cores are not up to running a modern Android headunit.

PX3

The PX3 has four Cortex-A9 MP cores with a clock speed of up to 1.6 GHz.
The Armv7-A instruction set is limited to 32-bit operation.
A NEON co-processor and Floating Point Unit (FPU) are included on the chip. These additional units significantly increase the low processing capabilities of those four cores.

PX3 Block Diagram

PX3 block diagram
RockChip PX3 ARM cores and Block Diagram

Video

The PX3 SoC design has basic video capabilities included in the design.

Quad-Core Mali-400MP4 GPU that supports OpenGL and ES1.1/2.0
• A Dedicated high performance 2D processor built in

RAM

With the 32-bit cores, the RAM is limited to 2 GB. This is another limiting factor in using the PX3 as a modern Android headunit processor. Modern processors can run with over 8 GB RAM due to their advanced 64-bit design.

RAM supported is 32-bit DDR3-1066

The cheaper DDR3 is a cost advantage but gives a slower overall response for RAM-intensive operations.

In Car SoC

Being an in-car SoC design, the PX3 has some features included in its silicon that you would never see in a phone. There is ADAS Algorithm support. This Advanced driver-assistance systems integration allows system builders to add this technology and have the processing in hardware. This was a step forward by RockChip for their PX3. But now, ADAS can all be handled in the software of a modern processor.

Disappointing

The PX3 is a poor choice for a modern Android head unit experience. The disappointing boot time is expected to be 25+ seconds from cold. The 32-bit system severely limits the quantity of RAM that can be fitted. The four cores do not provide enough processing power to run a modern version of Android to give an enjoyable experience.

Avoid all the quad-cores, including the PX3.

Many years ago, the best time for PX3 passed with much better and faster chips available today.

Marshmallow
Marshmallow
I am an android-headunits.com staff blogger. I have been using Android on my devices for many years and have learned a lot about the features and best hardware to keep up with the latest Android versions. I also make the coffee ☕

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