Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor to be included in Project Ara

by: Jimmy WestenbergDecember 21, 2014

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.

  • Nabeel

    Project Ara must be Affordable…atleast under a grand..?

    • MasterMuffin

      Depends on the specs you want

      • Justin Robertson

        I want a super awesome its over 9000 snapdragon clocked at 6.66 GHz and 800 GB of ram, with a 85 inch screen and ultimate car speakers, how much?

        • MasterMuffin


          • Munchic Pham

            Nope, that’s actually unafordable at all

          • Justin Robertson

            $$$$$$$, there, when can I get my phone

          • MasterMuffin

            You’ve been a naughty kid. Coal for you!

          • Justin Robertson

            Lmfao, but I wanted a nexus 6…

          • Mike Reid

            Or wait a few years and it will be $61. (When almost nobody wants it anymore.)

  • TrueWords

    Project Ara would be both hit and affordable.

  • DDT

    They will probably ship it with a heatsink module for free… Tegra K1 is just failed battery sucker

    • Timothy Hann

      Are you serious? *BEEP……….BEEP amd fanboy alert!

  • Frank Grimes, Jr., Jr.

    Who honestly wants this? What demographic is Google trying to sell this phone to? What does this device offer over a refined device like a current flagship?
    I just don’t see a reason to trade my beloved G2 for a modular phone that just wants to keep sticking its hands in my pockets. I’m already an iteration behind, and I’m completely happy with my UX. Ara just sounds like a (headache-inducing) gimmick.

    • DDT

      Google approach: throw anything at the wall, see what sticks, ad ADS.

    • renz

      AFAIK not google idea. i think the first one to come up with the idea was phoneblok and motorola? if i remember correctly phoneblok was looking for crowd funding or something before project ARA exist. obviously not for all people. but i was surprise when google intend to make it reality because mobile phone success was because of integration.

      • Fun

        The first one to actually start on it is the ATAP team from Motorola(owned by Google at that time) They had been working on it fir over a year before the Phoneblock video came out.Later on, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo but kept the Ara project together with the ATAP team for now.

    • ac1480

      I want one. I travel a lot and changing out different functions will be great for me. Going over seas install a second Sim card so that I can get a local Sim and add more drive space for movies. And take out LTE antenna to save battery life.

    • Fun

      i would want one. This phone is on the brink of revolutionary existence much like the iphone had revolutionised the concept of ‘smartphones’. True that it may lag a bit in it early days but with commitments and supports from other companies, it can beat out other smartphones.And I think that Ara could beat the crap out of G2( ’cause it’s old)

  • J_Pod

    “Toshiba is actually providing silicone elements…” Silicon is not silicone. One is used for making processors and electronics, the others is used for making rubbery things. Unless of course Ara will be as bendable as a rubber chicken, but that sounds like something Samsung would do not Toshiba and Google.

  • flye

    does this means that’s the end of nexus series?

  • crutchcorn

    OH MY GOD YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lillipop2

    Although it is not yet commercially available, the modular smartphone of Google has already competitors, including in the side of the company Vsenn designed by a former Nokia and another Finnish rival, named PuzzlePhone.

  • qualitypointopm