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Saturday 14 February 2015

eInfochips, Toshiba to jointly build chips for Google's modular phones

Ahmedabad-based tech firm eInfochips has tied up with Toshiba to jointly build and design chips for 'Spiral' range of Google's first modular smartphones. Modular phones are customisable smartphones wherein users can add or remove hardware-cum-software modules based on their requirement.

The firms have jointly developed chips for the base plate of the smartphone as well as chips for potential modules. Among the Spiral range of phone, Google is likely to launch Spiral-3, the third edition of the modular smartphones by mid-2015, it has been learnt. The third edition Spiral-3 is a modular mobile phone prototype under Google's 'Project Ara'.

They could add a sensor to test if water is clean. They could have a battery that lasts for days. They could have a louder speaker, gaming console, or use the smartphone as their car key. The possibilities are endless. To enable modular smartphones, eInfochips and TAEC offer the ARTOS12 Google Ara Development Kit for the 1x2 Module that uses Toshiba bridge chip technology and eInfochips engineering services.

The kit features MicroSD and USB slots enabling developers to store data and interface to external devices.  The Toshiba T6WR6XBG general-purpose bridge used in the development kit supports optional interfaces such as UART, I2C, I2S, SPI, and GPIO on the 1x2 module. The Ara 1x2 module development kit also includes high-speed interfaces for connection to the application processor bridge, USB drivers and quick-start documentation. Engineering services, distribution, support, release management and product delivery of ARTOS12 Google Ara development kits is provided by eInfochips.
eInfochips, in addition to being the development and support collaborator for the ARTOS12 Development Kit, will also offer its expertise on Google Ara modules with custom design and engineering services. These include platform porting, multimedia integration, application development, and performance optimization, among others. Companies seeking first-mover advantage on Google Ara modules can leverage eInfochips experience in this domain to accelerate development cycles. Having contributed to over 500+ hardware and software product designs, eInfochips can address gaps in the development of Project Ara smartphone module hardware and software.
According to Parag Mehta, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at eInfochips, “eInfochips is one of a handful of global engineering services companies with the experience in hardware, software and system design needed to deliver world-class Project Ara smartphone modules.”
"This will enable companies and individuals to design and innovative modules. This will be much similar to what emergence of mobile applications did for millions of software developers," said Kazi.
The smartphone will have Android platform and will come in three different sizes. The modules, categorized in three dimensions with 1x1 inch, 1x2 inch and 2x2 inches, will be certified by Google. The patent and IPR rights of the phone will remain with Google.
Already 20-30 large global corporations are working for different modules including camera, memory, display, speakers among others.