Google might take most credit for Project Ara and its plan to make modular smartphones a reality, but according to Bloomberg, Toshiba has been the Japanese company who was silently helping to develop the chips that would make Project Ara a reality.
It is said that there are two different chips which make Project Ara work. The switch, which makes it possible to swap out different modules on the fly, and a bridge chip that allows each component to connect to the rest of the device. Google is said to have total control over the switch chip, white Toshiba has the liberty of selling the bridge chip to any company interested in building Project Ara modules.
Aside from chips, Toshiba is said to also be interested in selling modules, having be the first company to reveal swappable cameras. The company is to be working on a variety of components, including one that could add wireless charging. In addition to the latter, Toshiba sees a lot of potential in Project Ara beyond smartphones, stating that it could expand to other type of devices and the general Internet of Things.
There is still no set plan for a general release of the modular phone, though Google has recently confirmed plans for a market pilot test in Puerto Rico sometime this year.
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