Google Partners With Rockchip to Make a Custom System on a Chip for Project Ara

To power its Project Ara modular smartphone project, Google has made partnership with Chinese mobile-internet  ‘System on a Chip’ (SoC) solution provider, Rockchip. This move is expected to help to create a mobile SoC with a native, general-purpose interface, so that it can function as an application processor in an Ara module without the need for a bridge chip, Paul Eremenko, Head of Project Ara, Google ATAP wrote in a Google+ Post.

Also Read: Why Google is thinking ‘Modular’?

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. We expect to be able to demo the Rockchip UniPro processor in our third design spiral, with a prototype anticipated in early 2015.

Project Ara


Image Source: KitGuru

Launched in 2001, Fuzhou Shi-based Rockchip is known as fabless semiconductor company focusing on mobile Internet Platform. The company’s products targeted on Mobile Internet terminals like smart-phone/MID/Internet TV/e-Book and portable multimedia entertainment terminals including MP3/PMP.

In May, it had partnered with Intel to accelerate its Intel architecture and communications-based solutions. According to Gizmodo, For Google and Project Ara’s needs, Rockchip’s custom SoC will need to work in a strange modular environment, meaning the chip will act more like an application processor rather than being the heart and soul of the device.

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