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Thread: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

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    Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    We will see a lot more Project Ara development news early next year.
    Read more.

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    I still don't get the overall point of this project.

    It's very clever, and the high-speed "unipro-m" bus for connecting things together will surely get more widespread adoption now it's being used by something, but otherwise, why?

    Well, being able to slot in a replacement screen if it breaks would be handy. And a hot-swappable battery module is useful. And cannibalising components might be fun/useful once you've got a few older modules in the drawer...

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Quote Originally Posted by sykobee View Post
    Well, being able to slot in a replacement screen if it breaks would be handy. And a hot-swappable battery module is useful. And cannibalising components might be fun/useful once you've got a few older modules in the drawer...
    And thats prob what I'm looking forward to, I love tinkering with my phones etc (been running custom roms on my Android devices since the original HTC Magic) so this is just taking it to the next step. I never have the latest and greatest phone out there, I have the one that suits my wants/needs and this phone will hopefully allow me to create my perfect phone (and change it on a whim)

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    The reason this project has come about is the throwaway nature of current technology that when you buy a new device, you throw away the old one (not always, I resell mine or recycle). The big thing for the project is not just modularity but say you've been using your current configuration for say 12 months which is the average lifetime of current generation handsets and it's getting a little slow with current day applications and load, instead of buying a whole new handset, you just pop the SOC out and the new version in at a much lower price. I'd rather spend ~£100 on a new SOC to give my phone a speed boost than ~£300-500 for the new handset with better speeds.

    That's where Project Ara is heading. It will take a long time to adopt and it seems to be going well as more and more companies are starting to turn their heads towards this design. It's much easier to sell components at <£100 a pop than a whole new handset at >£300.

    This will however potentially break down the phone + contract system.

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    This will however potentially break down the phone + contract system.
    You say that like it's a bad thing

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    This may be the only guaranteed way to get a phone with the a few see removable battery for in the future. Not long ago we took this feature for granted and then the Google Nexus movement happened.

    I jus hope they don't actually seal some type of master battery in the that can die and kill the rest of the mobo with it. Also I hope they allow for SD card modules (not micro)

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    As an owner of a Samsung Galaxy S4, i could kinda see the point of this project. There are certain new features that release every year that make a new phone interesting, but rarely does so much change that it warrants a yearly refresh for me. For me, the changes in the SOC are so minimal of importance for me (especially as i don't game on it), and going beyond 1080p on the display is not something i would pay for. However, newer batteries and a better camera are features that i would upgrade for. I'm just afraid this will break the trend of more phones becoming waterproof

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    This will however potentially break down the phone + contract system.
    Thats already happening - o2 are leading the way at the moment with "refresh" where they clearly separate the cost of the phone from the contract, and if you look around the other networks their Sim-only deals are generally improving and becoming more and more popular. Give it a few more years and I expect the others to follow o2's lead in splitting the cost. Handsets are just too expensive to subsidise anymore, particularly since most people make use of inclusive minutes rather than spending on their calls.

    I'm curious how this turns out - with enough support it could be great

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    I have seen o2 and their refresh scheme and think it's a good idea. Everytime Three call me up offering a new contract I say until they do a contractual upgrade or a refresh scheme, why would I need a new contract on top of my existing one!

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    As fun as it is to bash the established contract system I think it needs to be taken with care as there is two very different experiences. You either get it right, or you get it wrong.

    I pay £31 a month for a HTC One m7, about ~6 months after release. I get unlimited data and texts and 600 minutes on 3, which since I live in a large town, gives me free 4g. I will pay £744 by the end of the contract. Subtract £500 for the phone and that means I've spent £244 on a sim only contract. Thats just over £10 a month. I've never used over my allowance. And have in fact took advantage of 3's 'Feel At Home' feature in Honk Kong and Australia, which has saved me a lot of money! - I feel I've played the 'contract phone' game and won.

    My little sister (the idiot she is) 6 months ago (maybe more, just before the iphone 6 was announced) picked up an 16 gb iphone 5c on Vodafone with unlimited minutes, texts and 4gb of data (or something of that ilk) for £51 a month! That's £1,224 over 2 years. About £550 for the phone means £674 for two years of sim only, which is roughly £28 a month. She gets those sky sports and spotify unlimited value add things but never uses them, so they don't add much value! She has defiantly lost out on the 'phone contract' game! (she didn't ask for my opinion, she just went for it)

    Cost effective deals are out there to be had you just need to shop carefully! I also got £50 worth of cashback at the time! While I can't defend the preying on the uninformed, just bashing the system that can work in your favour doesn't make sense
    Last edited by Jowsey; 23-12-2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: quoted wrong guy, removed it.

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    I have yet to be convinced these will work out cheaper in the long run but will surely keep an eye on it.
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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Yep, very rarely does the contract cost - the off-contract cost of the phone work out better than a sim-only contract. Particularly if you go for a Nexus or Moto-G/E rather than the latest big-name top-of-the-bells-and-whistles £700 phone.

    I'm dreading ever having to move to the US. £15/m for unlimited data and tethering, and the closest equivalent I can find there is $80/m (£52/m), with limited tethering!

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    I have yet to be convinced these will work out cheaper in the long run but will surely keep an eye on it.
    The only way I can see this working out cheaper is if you only upgrade the SOC every two years (or slower). But since everyone here is a PC enthusiast I don't think we can sit still for that long on all the rest of the out-dated tech! Speakers, cameras, batterys, storage modules, sensor packs and SOC's. We will find something to update every now and then!

    My really appreciate of this project is the environmental savings it could yield and the ease at which repairs should become.

    Battery no longer holding charge? New battery modyle - £30.
    SD card no longer showing as mounted? New SD card modyle - £40
    Dead the unthinkable and dropped your phone into a pool from the fourth floor balcony of a hotel? Get your phone and let it dry out. Salvage what still works. SOC and exo-skeleton broke? Man, £180 for parts.

    All the above would probably write of modern phones very quickly. My battery is intergrated so when it dies and refuse to hold charge for more than a couple hours I WILL have to get a new phone which is costly and damaging to the environmental, both in production and in disposal of my current phone.

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    I stopped with 12+ month contracts few years ago.

    Currently using :

    Moto G 4G (£120) + 64GB MicroSD (£20)
    Three 1 month rolling £15 p/m
    Unlimited 4G + Tethering Allowed (Used for Nexus7 and sometimes laptop / GF iPad)
    2000 Minutes (5000 3-to-3)
    5000 Text

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    Quote Originally Posted by sykobee View Post
    I still don't get the overall point of this project.
    It's very clever, and the high-speed "unipro-m" bus for connecting things together will surely get more widespread adoption now it's being used by something, but otherwise, why?
    Well, being able to slot in a replacement screen if it breaks would be handy. And a hot-swappable battery module is useful. And cannibalising components might be fun/useful once you've got a few older modules in the drawer...
    Theoretically, it's a win-win for the manufacturer and the consumer. Plus for the consumer is pretty obvious - that they can configure their phone to suit their needs, heck, even reconfigure to suit a different circumstance. So if you were going on holiday you might want a higher-res camera module and a high capacity battery. The plus for the manufacturer is that - for example - they can offer six different configurations without having to build (and stock) six different phones.

    Unfortunately the cynic in me is wondering how they're going to screw this up. I mean, taking a hypothetical example, it's obvious that Samsung would prefer that your Samsung Ara only used Samsung modules, and so on, so there's an incentive to lock in the user.

    As to the discussion on contract v's sim-free, it's pretty easy to spend 30 minutes checking out the options and then trade off one against the other. For example, I decided to buy my phone and then get a SIM-free contract, but my daughter thought it better to still have a contract phone, but pay the maximum up front to reduce the overall bill. Horses for courses...

    Career status: still enjoying my new career in DevOps, but it's keeping me busy...

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    Re: Nvidia and Marvell will provide SoC modules for Project Ara

    This could be great.

    Imagine adding a better camera to it as your going out and doing want to carry around your expensive D-SLR.
    Imagine having a party and adding better speakers.

    This appeals to me in more ways you can imagine

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