Google releases Project Ara Module Developers Kit with design guidelines

Google releases Project Ara Module Developers Kit with design guidelines
Just a few days ahead of Google's first ever Ara Developers' Conference, scheduled to be held from 15 April to 16 April, the company has released the Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK).

The newly released MDK version 0.10 covers guidelines for developers for designing Project Ara smartphones, creating valid module dimensions, components and layout for power pads.

Paul Eremenko, Head, Project Ara said in a Google+ post, "Today we're announcing the first release of the Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK) v0.10. This is a very early version but our goals are to give the developer community an opportunity to provide feedback and input, and to help us ensure that the final MDK - anticipated at the end of 2014 - is elegant, flexible, and complete."

The post clarifies that Google plans to release the final MDK version by the end of 2014.

The Project Ara design scheme comprises of what Google calls an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place, while a module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter or some other customisable hardware unit.

The MDK documentation further reveals three different Ara skeleton sizes namely, mini, a basic unit; medium, a mainstream unit, and jumbo, a phablet-style model.

Notably, Google will be the only provider of Ara skeletons as of now and the search engine giant plans that the smaller modules will come from third-party developers.

"Next week, we're hosting the first Project Ara Developers Conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View," Eremenko added.

Project Ara's official site explains, "The Module Developers Kit (MDK) defines the Ara platform for module developers and provides reference implementations for various design features. The Ara platform consists of an on-device packet-switched data network based on the MIPI UniPro protocol stack, a flexible power bus, and an elegant industrial design that mechanically unites the modules with an endoskeleton."

Earlier, Google gave the world its first glimpse of the Project Ara modular prototype smartphone at the 'Launch' event in San Francisco. A Project Ara team member demoed a non-functional Wi-Fi model of the first modular smartphone.

In January, when Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, the Mountain View giant kept Project Ara (and the Motorola Advanced Technology unit) with itself.


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