PX3 Processor in Android Head unit

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

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

No, the PX3 is not considered a fast processor.

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

No. The PX3 is not a modern processor. There are many newer processors for android head units available today.


The PX3 SoC Processor was a real 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. This is a dedicated android headunit chip. No silicon is wasted, everything was designed for the in car use from the ground up. This means all the chip is used for the job and nothing is wasted. It costs money to build more complicated silicon chips and then to not use the parts dedicated to a mobile phone is just wasteful and expensive.


Rockchip designed the PX3 processor with in car entertainment at the heart. 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 later ran android 6. This indicates the age of the design and the android versions it can run are very old, in keeping with its design age.


The PX3 is a QuadCore chip. This is very limiting when comparing with more modern processor designs. The 4 cores are not up to the job of running a modern android headunit.


The PX3 has four Cortex-A9 MP cores with a clock speed up to 1.6GHz.
32 bit operation.
A NEON co-processor and Floating Point Unit (FPU) are included on the chip. These additional units greatly increase the low processing capabilities of those 4 cores.

PX3 block diagram
RockChip PX3 ARM cores and Block Diagram


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

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


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

RAM supported is 32bit 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 is silicon that you would never seen in a phone. There is ADAS Algorithm support. This Advanced driver-assistance systems integration gives system builders the option 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 software of a modern processor.


The PX3 is a very 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. While the 4 cores do not provide enough processing power to run a modern version of android and give an enjoyable experience. Avoid all the quadcores, including the PX3. The best time for PX3 has past, many years ago with much better and faster chips available today.

An android-headunits.com staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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