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Thread: Great news: Ara will be shipped to developers this fall

  1. #1
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    Great news: Ara will be shipped to developers this fall

    Google's ATAP division has finally given us some firm details on the last date of I/O. Project Ara will be shipping to developers this fall, with a consumer model coming in 2017.

    -ara-jpg

  2. #2
    Here's the source article: http://www.wired.com/2016/05/project...phone-is-ready

    That's great news but OP should have specified that in its current form, the phone will not be entirely modular. All the crucial parts will be fixed: CPU, RAM, storage, screen.

    So that's quite the downer. I'd have obviously prefered the full, real, modular version that was initially shown. And I'm still wishing for that.
    Without full modularity, the Ara doesn't differ that much from competing modular phones.

    But at least this early Semi-Ara will kick off the ecosystem, and that's very important.

  3. #3
    From what I've read, it's almost certainly there will be storage modules available.


    It's hard to find up to date info on the performance, but the link below (2015) states 10Gbit message transfers via GreyBus/UniPro-M, but modules can have multiple simultaneous connections, so it may be possible to parallel that to multiply rates - that's not clear to me yet.

    https://lwn.net/Articles/648400/

    If it's 10 Gbit only, that's in the same range as 1xThunderbolt or 1xPCIe3. Not sure RAM would be much use at that speed (*), but storage, definitely, co-processors (**). I'd guess it may be enough for current mobile GPU's too(?).


    <gratuitous PC analogies>
    I know it's not the fully upgradable solution you might hope for (after they seemingly demoed something on those lines already). It's the equivalent of having to scrap your CPU/SoC/RAM/screen/mobo each time you upgrade any one of these, but hopefully the software side will evolve towards more distributed processing, to remove some CPU/RAM upgrades from needing a new base phone. If the mobo architecture changes, you may need to junk the RAM/SoC anyway.


    The screen is quite a biggie though - tying that to the chassis does mean chucking your monitor out on a mobo upgrade/vice versa, which from the PC analogy viewpoint feels really wasteful.
    <\gratuitous PC analogies>


    I'm hoping the modules continue will work with future generations of the platform. *Maybe* (#) even allowing things like porting the user partitions physically to a new base phone (or other Ara platforms) - that way, the base phone just feels like a [rather expensive] module.





    (*) but then I'm thinking PC rather than mobile - what rates do you get on mobile architectures for RAM?


    (**) particularly specialised processing with a lot of work, but low IO - an unimaginative, but illustrative concept might be a compression system on a module - doesn't necessarily need massive transfer rates, but means processing could be offloaded from the main CPU)


    (#) I'm hoping - not straight forward, but with JIT coming back to Android, apps may happily start up on a new base phone

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Spyrdo View Post
    Here's the source article: http://www.wired.com/2016/05/project...phone-is-ready

    That's great news but OP should have specified that in its current form, the phone will not be entirely modular. All the crucial parts will be fixed: CPU, RAM, storage, screen.

    So that's quite the downer. I'd have obviously prefered the full, real, modular version that was initially shown. And I'm still wishing for that.
    Without full modularity, the Ara doesn't differ that much from competing modular phones.

    But at least this early Semi-Ara will kick off the ecosystem, and that's very important.
    Yes, I agree with your point. We only need the full modular version which was shown initially. A little bit disappointed.

  5. #5
    Ok. I'm happy for the news. Not so happy for the date (2017 but when at the beginning or at the end?) and for the technical cartheristics of the phone (not entirely modular, all the crucial parts will be fixed: CPU, RAM, storage, screen). I was very interested in the model with the biggest screen (4 x 7 modules) but now I think that this version will not arrive.......

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by johnson View Post
    Yes, I agree with your point. We only need the full modular version which was shown initially. A little bit disappointed.
    Second that. I can't able to change the things which I want to. This is not what I expected on ARA.

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