Updated Project Ara modular phone to get new processor

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.

Google says that a prototype with the Rockchip CPU will be available in early 2015.

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.

"You can expect to see a major new MDK release and new developer hardware, followed by our second Developers Conference later this year," Google said.

Current Project Ara phones that are supposed to be shipped to contest winners are being delayed in another bit of Ara news. According to Google, they were coated with an incorrect material, and Google hopes to ready and ship the corrected version in about two weeks.

Are you excited about the progress that Google is making with Ara?

Source: Google+

 

Reader comments

Updated Project Ara modular phone to get new processor

63 Comments

These little bits and pieces are mouthwatering....I cannot wait to see the final product and to see if it ever actually sees the light of day

I hope it does. It's such a great idea and allows people to create a phone that fits their needs.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

Wait does that mean the OEM wars that have been raging for the last several years will be over? We can use both Samsung and Moto bits together?

Does this mean Richard is unemployed?

That would be cool never to have to upgrade stuff like the wifi , GPS, Bluetooth etc... and only pay for ram and processor. I suppose after a couple upgrades the motherboard will become outdated though.

Unfortunately, I doubt this will ever be released at the consumer level.

How does this tie into the news from a few months ago that Toshiba was supposedly going to be the exclusive provider of CPUs for this?

Apparently, Toshiba began working with Google on Project Ara in October 2013, and “was approved as a preferred supplier for this line, the only Japanese company to be given that status.” Furthermore, Nikkei notes that the company will become the “sole chipmaker for the phone about a year after its rollout.”

a year after....

With smartphones getting cheaper by the day. I don't see much point in Ara at this point.

Posted via Android Central App

Go look up what they hope to sell the base model for and get back to us with a correction of your statement

Well if you're hunting for the best deal for the money, buy last year's "high end" Windows Phones because they seem to tumble in value like a stone. I see ARA as SO MUCH more than just a cost driven platform.

First is the tailoring. For example I don't mind a thicker phone as long as I get better battery, or replaceable battery, which seems to have gone away with the current generation devices. Or I want to run a more powerful CPU/GPU, even though it limits battery time. Or I want the next resolution screen. Second I could see specialist companies, not currently in the mobile space, get in on the ARA platform. Let's say I want a larger more capable camera. Perhaps Olympus or Nikon want to offer camera modules, and there will be competition there. Or for the largest ARA, I want 3D camera capability. Niche markets that the big phone companies, and the carriers are not interested in serving. But with ARA there could be a space for these niches, because the platform will be there. Of course, it will still require some volumes to be interesting for the manufacturers to get in and cater to these niches. With 1.8 billion mobile phones/tablets sold every year, and 38%, or around 675 million devices being Android, even if only 1% of the Android customer want this, it's still 6-7 million devices.

And those wanting to go on the cheap can buy the used stuff when those with deeper wallets or higher desire carry out upgrades.

This is the future. Easy to update any part. Or replace outdated ones.. Customization my friends

Posted via Android Central App

Really?
This Is About As Boring As Watching Grass Grow..
It's Google.. I get that.. but still, if you sell 10K of these I would be shocked.
For a handful of Geeks sure.. something new and different to play with.. for the rest of us? eh..No.
Would you really give up the Thrill of opening up the box and seeing your shiny new Cellular Phone for opening up a piece of Tin Foil to see your shiny tiny new little CPu or Ram Chip? I think not.. you would become So Bored So Fast of the same design with new inners.. For the Hundreds of Bucks these things cost, you want the *Whole Phone* not a piece of one.

Exactly man, stop thinking and let that guy do it for you. He's clearly on the ball. I'm never having another original thought without asking him first.

Posted via Android Central App

Did I say: Really? TDIZZEL ????????? or SirBobafett?????????
Was I talking to YOU PERSONALY???
Your Ignorance is showing... badly.
Don't fence with me boy.. you'll loose everytime... Learn to give *YOUR* opinion... I know I'm one of the Smarter ones here.. but Stop hanging on every word I say.. like so many of you do..
Just give your opinion and move along.. If you want the device, then you are one of the ***10K*** that I referred to... Learn To Read before you try your futile attacks.

Well, I would hate to "loose" to you, especially since you're one of the smarter ones here. And I love your 2 dot ellipses. They really show how smarter you are. And dat capitalization! Whew! You're just a genius. I should've never "personaly" stirred this hornets nest.

Cripes. That guy would probably not be able to fit two 4x2 legos together even if they came with instructions.

Posted via Android Central App

I disagree with your opinion. This will appeal to the same customer base that builds their own computers. That market is pretty huge. It'll also appeal to the people who want the next best thing, but can't afford to purchase an entire phone when the next best thing is basically a more powerful CPU and GPU or RAM or Camera. I personally am looking forward to this project.

Well, looking at my half of the generation it's quite a lot of us. Most of the older people don't have the tech know how, and then their is the Mac crowd. But most gamers build their own PC's as well as the people that know that it's a lot more cost effective. So there's that.

Posted via Android Central App

I thought they were going to have it ready for consumers with the first few months of 2015? Well this is the future, it is going to wipe everyone out of business. Only thing I am concerned about is waterproofing. I thought the point of project Ara was, if one part breaks, you can just replace it. While if it isn't waterproof and you drop it in water, you would have to replace (almost) everything

Posted via Android Central App on 1+1

It's like reverse engineering on a mammoth corporate level to find out how they made their own technology. Unless they find Jimmy Hoffa or God, the whole Ara thing is techno - masturbatory. Seems fun at the time then it's like duh...

2 Questions: why isn't the entire frame of this thing the battery? And how fast would all this shit fall apart under the wrong conditions aka every day use?

The frame is the motherboard and display. I'm pretty sure this will have a back that snaps into place over the components.

I believe this will appeal to almost nobody. It's awkward fiddly and confusing. I doubt you'll be able to build a phone as complete as the moto g for the same price. My opinion - please don't take offence

n5

I doubt that. There is a massive market for people who build their own computers. I think this will fit into the same slot and utilize the same customer base.

Massive is way too big a term.

Been a geek, programmer, tech guy for awhile now. Building stuff gets old.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah I was turbodörk for years. When it was time for a new computer, I priced out my Newegg options to build one.

Then I sighed and bought a laptop on Amazon.

I have NO interest in building a phone.

Heck I'm even suffering from ROM flashing burnout.

I just imagine it as similar to the Motorola X customized website. You log in and choose what you want and they'll send it to you. If you decide to upgrade something a few months later you just pop the back off, pop out the old part, pop in the new one, reboot or plug into a pc. And it's good to go in 5-10 minutes. I don't think that's a huge put off. I can't imagine it would be for most people either. Buy new phone for 600 or upgrade a couple parts for 200. Just makes sense to me I guess.

I disagree. Have you watched any of the videos? It soooo simple. One button electromagnet to release the modules. This is like playing Lego with 6-10 pieces. If this confuses someone, they likely wouldn't own a smart phone in the first place...

I'd gladly put together my own phone. I don't know anything about pc builds, but I get this stuff.

Posted via Android Central App

I like to think of this as hot rodding meets the pocket. I personally think this holds a lot of promise. I do think that when purchasing the individual components it will ultimately cost more to "buy" the entire phone, but it will also be smaller, more manageable (read affordable) payments when upgrading. With that in mind, I'm going to start holding my breath and hope I don't pass out before this comes to fruition.......

Posted via Android Central App

Rockchip... Really? I had very bad experience with RK3188, we should stay away from rockchip for right now.

Posted via Android Central App

I am an Ara advocate. I love this idea and that Google is actually innovating. I am a buyer of this the moment they'll let me.