Remember the Ara Project’s ambitious goal of making a framework for DIY mobile phones fraught with utter customization? The idea of a simple platform that the user could then pop on parts based one what they actually need and upgrade just the things they wanted was an enticing one. With little lag time, Google picked up the project and took it forward. There were recent hiccups with the beta units going out because of a manufacturing issue, but now the latest new is more positive.
Google has announced that its updated Project Ara is getting a new processor that will be even better. The processor from Rockchip is described in a Google+ post as being a “trailblazer” for the modular smartphone, which allows users to upgrade individual components rather than having to upgrade their entire phones as technology changes and progresses: ”
In other Ara news, we just kicked off an effort with Rockchip (http://www.rock-chips.com/a/en/index.html) to create a mobile SoC with a native, general-purpose UniPro interface, so that it can function as an application processor in an Ara module without the need for a bridge chip. We view this Rockchip processor as a trailblazer for our vision of a modular architecture where the processor is a node on a network with a single, universal interface–free from also serving as the network hub for all of the mobile device’s peripherals.” Sounds very good, indeed.
Current project phones will go out to contest winners as soon as the manufacturing issue is rectified.