Google's Project Ara devices reportedly will start at $50 and have a surprise processor maker
posted by Michael H. / May 21, 2014, 5:57 PM
Nikkei, it won't be any of the big names in processors like Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, Intel, or even MediaTek producing the processors for Project Ara devices. Instead, it will be Toshiba manufacturing semiconductors for the modular smartphones, and the company has been working with Google on the project since October. Toshiba will reportedly make "three types of processors for the phone, to be used both in modules and the phone itself". This seems to imply that not all Ara devices will have swappable processing modules, but that is unclear.According to
Toshiba will have samples ready by this fall, and will begin mass production in early 2015. The odd part of the report is that it says Toshiba will be a "preferred" supplier at first, but will become "the sole chipmaker for the phone about a year after its rollout". Again, it is unclear exactly what this means. It seems to say that Toshiba will have competition at first, but will ultimately become the only processor manufacturer for Ara, but that doesn't make sense, because it would leave other manufacturers with no reason to compete in the first place. It could be that Toshiba will be the only manufacturer that works with an official Google Ara device, but other devices in the Ara line from other manufacturers could be open to a range of modules from various suppliers.
However all of that shakes out, the report also gives a bit of information on the devices themselves. The report reiterates the news that Project Ara devices may sell for as little as $50 unlocked at first. Devices will range in size, and because of that size difference, they will be able to handle anywhere from five to ten separate modules. It sounds as though each will have the same basic functionality that you would expect, but the space for more modules would be used to swap in and out things like exercise trackers or extra batteries.
Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013
hmm, i wonder what toshiba can bring to the table
posted on May 21, 2014, 5:59 PM 3
Posts: 5645; Member since: Feb 10, 2013
I don't think Toshiba will be the only CPU maker for Ara The whole point of a modular phone is to give the consumer more choice and freedom, and allow him/her to get the phone they want without compromises I'm sure Intel & Nvidia will make CPUs for Ara, since they don't really have any OEMs using their CPUs for phones
posted on May 21, 2014, 9:39 PM 0
my ideal phone 5000mah battery dual speakers 4.4 kikat latest 32gb lte and at least 8mp camera and at least snapdragon 800
posted on May 21, 2014, 6:13 PM 7
There's a difference between idealistic and realistic.
posted on May 21, 2014, 6:36 PM 3
Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014
Yet it runs as smooth as any android device. It's funny how you start dissing even when he isn't dissing andorid; however, I do plan on owning android device unless apple includes sapphire on its display and bigger screen.
posted on May 21, 2014, 7:27 PM 5
Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010
So without any Qualcomm chips, I'm guessing it won't be available on Verizon. I knew something was gonna screw this up. And I thought the whole point was to choose the components you want, and upgrade when you need to. So are there gonna be other "exclusive" component manufacturers? They should've left this with Motorola, maybe they wouldn't have screwed it up.
posted on May 21, 2014, 8:57 PM 1
Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010
I am worried about this too. When I saw the title before reading the article...I just knew it was going to be Texas Instruments...boy was I wrong...lol.
posted on May 21, 2014, 10:26 PM 1
Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013
Or maybe one of the primary objective is to negate carriers after all no? My ongoing suspicion with the whole Moto to Lenovo debacle centers around the probability that El Goog had either tried to make Moto go full Ara and leave only X, G and E as the only non-modulars OR figured out that they can't juggle Ara while running Moto as it is (the latter seems likely). So they flipped the coin and posited that since there's this driverless car and other futuristic projects "chic" going on, Ara should get the "Google commitment" tag and Moto became the worthy multi billion dollars sacrifice. From the get go, ALL of the SoC major stakeholders (including minnows MediaTek, Rockchip, Allwinner etc) are the biggest calculated risk for Ara...
posted on May 22, 2014, 5:24 AM 0
Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010
So if they negate carriers, how will you use it? At this point, Verizon & Sprint require the phone to be approved for ANY kind of use. I believe with AT&T and T-Mobile you can just put one of their Sim cards in to get it to work. Either way, looks like no Ara in my future.
posted on May 22, 2014, 8:27 AM 0
Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 31, 2012
they made open source software! now they are trying to do the same with hardware!soon we can purchase AMOLED and DDR 4 rams from samsung and SD 805 from qualcomm and have a moded KERNEL from CM !!! everything open and easy to mod and customize!
posted on May 22, 2014, 3:46 AM 0
Posts: 1843; Member since: Aug 27, 2009
I hope this project does well. I'd like to see a fair amount of dev support for this, too. If the phone is affordable, I could easily see this getting into a lot of hands. I wonder if only Toshiba is really interested in making chips for this project? Qualcomm puts their chips in practically everything else, so maybe they are just waiting on the sidelines, to see how this project does, before it decides to put any real effort into making components for this project?
posted on May 22, 2014, 8:50 AM 0
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