December 21, 2014
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Project Ara crop

Google’s futuristic modular smartphone, Project Ara, is nearing its early 2015 release. As ‘early 2015’ gets closer, we’re beginning to hear more details about the device. So far, we know that we’ll be able to hot-swap most of the components, that it could potentially track users’ blood oxygen levels and that it will be sold through a Play Store-like online marketplace.

You might be familiar with talk of Toshiba providing Ara’s main processor, at least down the road a bit. It turns out Toshiba is actually providing silicone elements used on the backbone of the device, helping modules become interchangeable. So, who’s making the device’s main processor? Google explained in an update today that they will include a version of NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, the same processor found in Google’s Nexus 9, and the Marvell PXA1928. We’ll be able to see these processors running Ara devices in Google’s upcoming MDK v0.20 release.

What’s more, Google is also working with Toshiba to produce a Spiral 3 prototype which will feature a Rockchip processor that is designed specifically for the project and includes Toshiba’s UniPro bridge that lets it communicate with the other modules. We won’t get to see that prototype until the spring, though, so don’t get your hopes up that you’ll see it in early 2015.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the Developer’s Conference to see all of what Google has in store for us. However, this is a big update regarding the modular device, and we’re sure many fans of the project are excited about Ara’s new-found processing power.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee and music.
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