Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Google Project Ara to Bring Modular Smartphones to Life

By Julie S | Feb 27, 2014 09:53 AM EST

Google Project Ara to Bring Modular Smartphones to Life
Google is launching Project Ara, an initiative that will let users create their own smartphones by mixing and matching hardware components. (Photo : The Official Motorola Blog)

Google is launching Project Ara, an initiative that will let users create their own smartphones by mixing and matching hardware components.

Project Ara was first introduced in October 2013 which aims to develop a free, open hardware platform that can be used in bringing modular smartphones to life. It is a project led by the Advanced Technologies team under Google's Android Division.

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During that time, the Advanced Technologies team partnered with 3D Systems, the maker of the first 3D printers and 3D-printing technologies for both the personal and industrial markets.

3D Systems took charge of manufacturing a combined multi-material and speedy production platform that will comprise conductive and functional materials. After the company has completed the materials, Google is now launching three Ara Developer's Conferences.

According to the Project Ara's website, Google is hosting three conferences for the initiative. The first one will be held on April 15 to 16 in Mountain View, Calif. It will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Modular Developers' Kit (MDK). Developers will also have a detailed walkthrough of existing and upcoming features of the platform, feedback sessions on the alpha MDK, and announcement of a series of contests for module developers.

The Alpha release of Ara MDK relies on its on-device networks' prototype implementation through the use of the MIPI UniPro protocol on FPGA on a low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) physical layer. However, the company clarified that future versions will be built on a more efficient and high-performing application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) implementation of UniPro on a capacitive M-PHY physical layer.

Registration for the first Ara Developer's Conference is now open for $100 per ticket ($25 for students), VentureBeat reported. Basing on the name of the event, it is mainly looking for developers. Those who are non-developers are welcome to join them during the live video streaming.

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