Project Ara gets new custom-made SoC as Google partners with Rockchip
Google’s ATAP, the team behind Project Ara, has announced in a Google+ post that its third iteration of Project Ara will be getting a new custom-made processor as Google partners with Chinese chip maker Rockchip.
Getting a processor to work nicely with Ara’s technology has always been a big challenge, but the new effort will see the next generation of Project Ara feature a mobile System on a Chip (SoC) with a native, general-purpose UniPro interface, that “can function as an application processor in an Ara module without the need for a bridge chip,” Ara lead, Paul Eremenko, wrote.
Rockchip launched in back in 2001, and is best known for producing fabless semiconductor components for mobile Internet Platforms. The company partnered with Intel back in May in an attempt to accelerate its Intel architecture and communications-based solutions.
By creating a SoC with modular tech built-in, allowing it to be easily swapped out and replaced, it will simplify Ara’s design and allow users to switch and upgrade with greater ease. “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,” Eremenko explained.
The Rockchip SoC is already in the works, replacing the Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processors powering previous Ara prototypes. The team however, will not revealing the hardware until the third design of the Ara appears in early 2015.