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Development continues apace on Google Advanced Technology and Projects Group’s Project Ara, the company’s initiative to build a modular smartphone. The next round of developer conferences are right around the corner in January, but ATAP has shared some new details about the development process on its Google + page – like news that it’ll support the powerful Tegra K1 processor from Nvidia.

Explains ATAP on the post:

“For the AP modules, we have been working with our friends at Marvell and NVIDIA to create two separate reference designs and form factor module prototypes around their PXA1928 and Tegra K1 processors, respectively, using a Toshiba UniPro bridge ASIC to connect to the on-device network. You can anticipate seeing these as part of the reference designs in our upcoming MDK v0.20 release.”

The Tegra K1 “super chip” was unveiled at CES in January of this year, and has appeared in the Nexus 9 tablet from Google and HTC, as well as Google ATAP’s Project Tango tablet prototype. The Tegra K1 will be but one option for CPU for use in the Project Ara smartphone, in addition to the aforementioned Marvell PXA1928, as well as a custom system-on-a-chip from Rockchip. The post says that the Rockchip AP “with native UniPro” will be ready for the third prototype iteration coming in the Spring.

In short, there will be a lot of good options for consumers to plug into their smartphones when Project Ara makes its way to the world sometime in 2015. It’s exciting to know that Google is going the extra mile to ensure that users will really be able to build the smartphone that works best for them. While the Tegra K1 may be one of the more powerful mobile processors out there, it might also be one of the more power-hungry options available, meaning that we can buy less battery draining processors if we don’t plan on using our smartphones for too much heavy computing.

I’m still super stoked about Project Ara and all its potential. Hopefully we’ll hear more details by the time the developer conferences roll around next month.

[Sources: Google ATAP on Google +, 9to5Google]

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