Rockchip’s RK3188 processor is one of the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 chips around. The 28nm quad-core processor outperforms the chips found in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Google Nexus 7, for instance. And it’s a relatively inexpensive chip, which explains why it’s proven popular with Chinese tablet and TV box makers.
Most devices featuring the RK3188 processor ship with Android 4.1 or Android 4.2. But soon you may be able to run Ubuntu, Fedora, or other desktop Linux operating systems on an RK3188 device.
Developers can use this source code to try to port Linux-based operating systems (such as PicUntu) to run on these devices.
While the RK3188 chip is faster than almost any ARM-based processor released before mid-2012, it’s still not as fast as most x86 processors. So don’t expect Ubuntu to run as well on an MK802 IV as it does on a laptop or desktop PC with an Intel Core i5 CPU.
What’s exciting about the prospect of running Linux on this sort of device is that ARM-based hardware tends to be far cheaper and more energy efficient than devices with x86 processors. So you might be able to turn an $80 device like the Tronsmart T428 into a Linux-powered PC that can run desktop apps including LibreOffice, GIMP, Firefox, and more.
You could also turn a tiny ARM-based mini PC into a home media server or even a web server.
If you want to try your hand at helping make that happen, the source code is now available.