One of Google’s ongoing ambitious projects is Project Ara, the modular smartphone letting you swap internal components at ease. One of the questions surrounding the project lately has been about which companies will sign on to deliver parts for the smartphone, and we are finally now seeing some news regarding this.
Toshiba will be supplying chips for the smartphone, an oddity considering that the current chip market has been saturated by giants NVIDIA, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Intel. The company will provide three different types of processors for the device, for both modules and the phone itself. The units are expected to go into mass production in the beginning of 2015.
Google reportedly started working with Toshiba on Ara back in October of last year, and the partnership has resulted in the creation of chips which “can accurately control the flow of data and electrical signals between the modules and the phone itself.”
It is also noted that Ara devices will come as cheap as about $50, though we don’t quite know what this low-end package will contain.
Toshiba has been given preferred status for Ara, but where it gets interesting is the fact that the company will be made the only chipmaker for the phone a year after its rollout. Our interpretation of this is that other chipmakers won’t be able to make competing processor modules for Ara, killing the dream of true modularity, but we seemingly will have to wait and see.