Telephony stack ports to Moblin, Moorestown  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Open-Plug is working to integrate its Linux feature-phone telephony stack with the Intel-sponsored Moblin stack for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) running on Intel's "Moorestown" processor. Open-Plug's ELIPS Linux Telephony Stack will voice-enable Moblin- and Moorestown-based MIDs when they ship next year, says the French software vendor.

A founding member of the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS), Open-Plug joined the LiMo Foundation a year ago. It was soon followed by most of the other LiPS members, as LiPS activities were merged into LiMo in June.

The ELIPS (Embedded Linux Plug-in System) Telephony Stack is a component-based framework and MMI (man machine interface) for 2G/3G cellular telephony and messaging, says Open-Plug. Aimed at mass-market phones, the open application development stack has shipped in millions of mobile devices, most recently in Sony Ericsson's J132 handset, says the company. Open-Plug's ELIPS is based on its "FlexibleWare" terminal platform technology and core "OP-Engine" technology, which uses the SoftBus to expose "a highly efficient communication media to the components," says the company. ELIPS is billed as an open platform that supports Linux, Java-MIDP, and other open standards.

Telephony stack ports to Moblin, Moorestown

ELIPS architecture
(Click to enlarge)

ELIPS products are said to include:ELIPS Studio -- a set of PC-based tools, including a software development kit (SDK), integration and validation tools, and a simulation environment (see left side of diagram above)

ELIPS Framework -- open application framework for mass market phones

ELIPS Reference MMI -- reference MMI integrating validated applications (WAP, MMS, Java, etc.), enabling the rapid development of mass market phones.

ELIPS Porting Layers -- porting layers for ELIPS framework, available on most wireless chipsets

ELIPS Tests Suite & Tests Framework -- a set of test components used to automatically test ELIPS Framework and ELIPS Porting Layers features

ELIPS Third Party Applications -- a set of pre-integrated and pre-validated applications (components) from Open-Plug partners such as Java and WAP/MMS appsMoorestown Moblin 2.0 MIDs get vocal

The heir to the Atom designs, Moorestown consists of a system-on-chip (SoC) and an I/O hub. Codenamed "Lincroft," the SoC will integrate a 45nm core, graphics, video, and memory controller onto a single chip, says Intel, greatly decreasing size and power consumption. The I/O hub, codenamed "Langwell," is said to support a range of I/O blocks such as storage and display, and to provide interfaces to third-party PMICs (power management ICs) and wireless products. Moorestown-based MIDs are expected to draw as little as one tenth the idle power consumed by today's Atom-based MIDs, says Intel.

Earlier this month, LG Electronics announced it was collaborating with Intel on a new line of MIDs based on Intel's upcoming Moorestown processor. Due to ship in 2010 when Moorestown is ready, the MID will run a Linux-based, MID-focused Moblin V2 distribution that will add cellular voice capability, says Intel. The LG MID is predicted to be "one of the first Moorestown designs to market," according to the companies. Another previous partner of both companies -- Ericsson -- will develop a 3G module for the new MID. Ericsson and Intel announced their collaboration on 3G devices for Moorestown in October.

LG's MID will apparently be one of the first devices to run the Linux-based, Intel-sponsored "Moblin V2 for MIDs" mobile device stack, which Intel says will add "cell phone voice capabilities." This is not to be confused with the Moblin V2 for Netbooks version, which was fast-tracked over the MID version, and should go Beta in the second quarter.

Stated Pankaj Kedia, director of global ecosystem programs in Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, "Intel's next generation MID platform, codenamed Moorestown, in combination with Open-Plug's telephony stack integrated with a Moblin based Linux OS, will set a new threshold for making this connected experience a reality by delivering a compelling Internet experience while supporting voice capabilities."

Stated Eric Baissus, CEO of Open-Plug, "We are very proud to be working with Intel and bringing our telephony capabilities to next generation MIDs."

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Android phone boasts 5Mpix camera  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Android phone boasts 5Mpix camera

[Updated: Feb. 25, 2009] -- General Mobile demonstrated a dual-SIM, XScale-based Android cameraphone last week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Based on a design by Chinese design firm Yuhua, the DSTL1 could be among the first Android phones to ship when it launches in June.

So far, the first shipping Android phones have both come from Taiwanese ODM (original design maker) HTC, including its new HTC Magic , which will be offered by Vodafone. Compared to HTC's Magic, the DSTL1 appears to have a slightly faster processor, and more memory and storage, but a smaller touchscreen and no support for faster "3G" data network technologies.

The DSTL1 is limited to tri-band GPRS and EDGE cellular support, but it is equipped with dual SIMs and dual baseband radios, enabling simultaneous reception for two different phone numbers. "Using two SIM cards in one phone is increasingly becoming an option because you no longer need to carry two mobiles on you at all times," explained General Mobile executive Melih Cogan, in an email. "You can use both a personal and a business number with a single handset, and save some money combining two different plans or network carriers. You can also use local pre-paid cards on your business trips."

The DSTL1 offers WiFi and Bluetooth radios, and a mini-USB port, but there is no GPS. The device will include accelerometers, although they were not activated during the demonstration, says the device's ODM, Yuhua (formally Yuhautel). At 4.4 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches, the phone is slightly smaller, but thicker, than the HTC Magic, and at 4.8 ounces, it weighs a bit more.

Android phone boasts 5Mpix camera

General Mobile DSTL1
(Click to enlarge)

The DSTL1 stands out with its 5Mpix Sharp camera, which offers automatic focusing technology. The phone also boasts 30fps video capture and playback, as well as video chat and a built-in FM radio. The Android-interface phone offers applications including Google Maps, Weather Forecast, and the Ebuddy messaging app, which is said to support MSN, Yahoo Talk, Google Talk, and AOL messaging.

Under the hood

The DSTL1 is based on Marvell's PXA-310, a pin-compatible, video-enhanced version of the PXA-320 that shipped in 2007. The ARM11-based "Monahans" SoC runs the Intel-designed XScale architecture, and is clocked to 624MHz. The DSTL1 has 128MB SDRAM and 4GB flash internal, plus a 256MB flash card, expandable to 8GB.

Other specifications listed for the DSTL1 inlude:Applications processor -- Marvell PXA-310 (624MHz)
Baseband processors -- 2 x NXP 5209
Memory -- 128MB SDRAM
Flash -- 4GB internal; 256MB flash card; expandable up to 8GB
Cellular -- 900/1800/1900MHz GPRS/EDGE (dual SIMs)
Display -- 3-inch TFT WQVGA (240 x 400) from Sharp
WiFi -- 802.11 b/g
USB -- Mini-USB
Bluetooth -- Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, SPP, A2DP, AVRCP, OPP, HFP
Camera -- 5Mpix auto focus with Flash Sharp brand camera
Web and messaging -- HTTP, WAP 2.0, MMS, email
Other features -- accelerometers, FM radio; support for business card readers; anti-theft support
Multimedia support -- MP3, WAV, MIDI, AMR, 3GP, MPEG4, AVI (DIVX); JPG/GIF/BMP/PNG
Video recording -- QVGA video recording and decoding at 30fps; video chat
Document support -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF
Battery -- 1200 mAh; 240 minutes talk time; 150 hours standby
Accessories -- Extra battery, USB cable, earphone, AC adapter
Weight -- 4.8 oz (135gr)
Dimensions -- 4.4 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches (112 x 54 x 16mm)
Operating system -- Android (Linux/Java)Availability

General Mobile has not formally announced the DSTL1. However, it will be launched commercially at the end of the second quarter, says Cogan. More information on the General Mobile DSTL1 should be here .

DSTL1 ODM designer Yuhua also recently introduced a slightly lesser powered, single-SIM Android smartphone hardware/software reference design called the Xphone-SDK .

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Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

NTT DoCoMo is distributing nine new NEC and Panasonic handsets that comply with the LiMo (Linux Mobile) Platform. Designed for its 46-million user Japanese HDSPA FOMA network, the phones all support up to 7.2Mbps downlinks, and most offer touchscreen, Bluetooth, and GPS.

( Click for larger views of the NEC DoCoMo Prime series N-01A phone )

The nine new LiMo phones are part of a new wave of 22 DoCoMo phones introduced over the last few months, including models from Fujitsu, Sharp, and other vendors. The phones supplant earlier 90Xi and 70Xi series handsets, such as the 906i and 706i . LiMo announced the nine new phones this week, along with its new R2 release, and six new members for the now 54-member mobile middleware consortium. The nine new LiMo devices bring the number of commercially available LiMo handsets to 33, says the LiMo Foundation. Like these new handsets, the majority of LiMo handsets have been NEC and Panasonic phones destined for DoCoMo users (though Motorola's many recent Linux phones have also been touted as LiMo-compliant).

Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

NEC's N-02A and N-03A Style phones

The new DoCoMo phones all offer support for NTT DoCoMo's FOMA High-Speed 7.2 Mbps HSDPA network. Some models add 3G high-speed international roaming, says NTT DoCoMo. Some have touchscreens and Bluetooth, and some offer Adobe Flash Lite, easier ugprading, as well as batch downloads and data transfers.

As usual, the DoCoMo phones are divided into different series that offer fairly similar specs, even when built by different manufacturers. The series are:Style series -- Offered in a variety of fashionable designs and colors, the Style models offer GPS and Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback. They also support terrestrial digital broadcasting. The N-02A and P-02A models offer Bluetooth.

Prime series -- This successor series to the DoCoMo 90Xi series typically includes higher-end phones with 800 x 480 touchscreens and touch sensors. All the Prime models listed below offer GPS, Bluetooth, and Adobe Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback, and support for terrestrial digital broadcasting.

Smart series -- Designed for "adults" (in other words, no goofing around), the Smart series emphasizes the slimness of the handsets, with all four models measuring 13mm or less in thickness. All the Smart models listed here provide Adobe Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback and support for terrestrial digital broadcasting, but there's no GPS capability, and only the N-04A has Bluetooth.

Pro Series -- NTT DoCoMo also provides several BlackBerry like "Pro series" models from Nokia and other vendors, but none of them offer LiMo support.

Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

DoCoMo Smart series N-04A
(Click to enlarge) 

The latest LiMo-compliant handsets from NEC are said to include:DoCoMo Prime series N-01A -- The NEC's touch-enabled N-01A (pictured at top) features Synaptics ClearPad 3.2-inch, 480 x 854-pixel touchscreen, as well as Synaptics Enhanced Gesture Recognition (EGR) technology. EGR is said to enable single-finger gestures like Tap, Double-Tap, Press, and Flick, plus multi-finger gestures, such as Pinch. The N-01A measures 4.4 x 2.0 x 0.7 inches (113 x 50 x 17.6mm) and weighs 4.9 ounces, or 139 grams. The phone supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 8GB, says NEC, and comes in Misty Lavender, Precious White, Fine Black, and Passion Pink.

DoCoMo Style series N-02A -- This slim 4.3 x 2.0 x 0.5-inch (109 x 50 x 12.9mm) phone weighs 3.7 ounces (106 grams) and offers a 5.2-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth. Its 3.2-inch TFT LCD display provides 480 x 854 resolution, and there's also a tiny OLED sub-display. The N-02A supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 8GB, says NEC.

DoCoMo Style series N-03A -- This design collaboration with confectionery chef Pierre Herme may look good enough to eat (especially in Apricot Orange), but it may go down a bit hard. Measuring about the same as the N-02A (both models are pictured above), measuring 107 x 49 x 12.9mm, it offers a slightly smaller, lower resolution 3-inch, 240 x 427 display and a 2-Mpixel camera. Other colors include Chocolate Brown, Vanilla White, Macaroon Pink, and Cassis Blue.

DoCoMo Smart series N-04A -- The sleek, slide-style N-04A (pictured above) measures only 4.1 x 2.0 x 0.5 inches (103 x 49 x 12.9mm), and weighs only 4.2 ounches (120 grams). Equipped with a 3-inch 480 x 854-pixel TFT display, it provides a 3.2-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth, and supports a 2GB/8GB SD memory capacity.

Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

Panasonic Prime P-01A
(Click to enlarge) 

The latest LiMo-ready handsets from Panasonic Mobile Communications include:DoCoMo Prime series P-01A -- This Panasonic model (pictured at right) is the only new DoCoMo phone covered here that lacks both a touch panel and touch sensors. The P-01A sports a "double-open" design in that it opens both sideways and lengthwise for convenient portrait and landscape views. Slightly smaller and lighter than NEC's Prime "01A" model, at 108 x 50 x 16.9mm and 122 grams, the phone boasts an impressive 640 hours of standby time using 3G, as well as 200 minutes of talk time. In addition to its 3.1-inch, 480 x 854-pixel display, it offers an OLED sub-display, and there's a 5.1-Mpixel camera. The handset supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 16GB, says Panasonic.

DoCoMo Style series P-02A -- Panasonic's slide-style P-02A is a quite bit thicker than NEC's Style phones, measuring 4.4 x 2.0 x 0.7 inches (112 x 50 x 17.9mm), and it weighs considerably more at 4.8 ounces (137 grams). It offers a 3.1-inch, 480 x 854-pixel TFT display, and like the P-01A, provides 2GB/16GB microSD support. The phone also offers a 5.1-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth, and is available in Sapphire Pink, Diamond Black, Pearl White, and Emerald Green.

Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

DoCoMo Smart series P-05A
(Click to enlarge) 

DoCoMo Style series P-03A -- Like the P-01A, this "double-open" handset opens both sideways and lengthways. Slightly smaller and thinner (14.7mm) than the P-02A, it also offers a smaller 3-inch, 240 x 427-pixel display, but unlike the P-02A it offers a sub-display, and it's OLED-based. The phone's memory support is the same, but its camera offers only 3.2-Mpixel resolution, and it comes in only white, black, and pink.

DoCoMo Smart series P-04A -- The sleekest new DoCoMo of them all, the flip-open P-04A measures 4.3 x 2.0 x 0.4 inches (110 x 50 x 9.8mm) and weighs only 3.7 ounces (105 grams). It ships with a 3-inch, 240 x 427-pixel TFT display, offers a 3.2-Mpixel camera, and supports 2GB/16GB of SD memory.

DoCoMo Smart series P-05A -- Identically sized as the P-04A, the no-nonsense P-05A (pictured above) also shares the same display and memory configuration, but lacks a camera and is limited to a single Ma Bell-esque color: Solid Black.Availability

All nine of the new LiMo-compliant DoCoMo phones are available now for FOMA network users, says NTT DoCoMo. More information may be found at this NTT DoCoMo page .

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Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6

SSV announced an x86-compatible computer-on-module (COM) that measures 3.2 by 1.1-inches (81 x 28mm), and targets TCP/IPv4-6 embedded networking applications. Attaching to custom I/O boards via "DIL" (dual in line) sockets, the DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 runs an IPv6-ready Debian Linux stack on a 300MHz Vortex86SX system-on-chip (SoC).

The DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 is aimed primarily at industrial and laboratory environments, especially embedded gateway and data logger applications that require low-cost TCP/IPv4-6 connectivity, says the Hannover, Germany-based SSV. The unobtrusive DNP/2486 can add networking and remote monitoring interfaces to existing products, and in some cases may have enough processing cycles left over to replace any existing micro-controller the product may have, says the company.

Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6

DIL/NetPC DNP/2486
(Click to enlarge)

The DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 is built around a DMP Electronics Vortex86SX SoC clocked to 300MHz. The SoC packs numerous functions into its tight 27x27mm package, including a 32-bit, x86-compatible CPU, plus extensive northbridge and southbridge functions. On-chip controllers include serial, parallel, USB, GPIO (general purpose I/O lines), watchdog timer, counter, and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller. With its 0.13 micron process, the Vortex86SX is said to consume only 0.9W at 300MHz, and 0.2W at 66MHz.

The DNP/2486 mates the Vortex86SX to 64MB of SDRAM and 1GB of NAND flash. I/O interfaces include Ethernet, USB, serial, GPIO, and SPI. An 8-bit expansion bus offers support for interrupts and chip selects, says the company.

Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6

DNP/2486 block diagram

Specifications listed for the DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 include:Processor -- Vortex86SX 32-bit x86 300MHz
Memory -- 64MB SDRAM with DDR2 interface at 133MHz
Flash -- 1GB NAND flash for OS boot image and data
Expansion -- 8-bit I/O bus
Networking -- 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet
USB -- 1 x USB 2.0 Host interface with HS (480Mbps), FS (12Mbps), and LS (1.5Mbps) support
SPI -- 1 x SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) with one chip select output
Serial -- 2 x 16C550/16C552-compatible UART-based serial ports (one with all handshakes)
GPIO -- 20-bit General Purpose Parallel Port Interface
Other I/O -- 3 x interrupt inputs, 4 x chip select outputs with x86 I/O addresses
Other features -- Watchdog timer; 2 x LED for LAN status and traffic; in-system programming
Dimensions -- 3.2 x 1.1 inches (82 x 28mm); 64-pin JEDEC DIL-64 connector; 2.54mm centers
Power -- 3.3 Volt; supply voltage 3.3 VDC (+- 5 percent); 350mA current, typ. @ 300MHz (600mA max.)
Operating Temperature -- 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)
Operating system -- Linux O/S (MIN-Linux) pre-installed with Kernel 2.6.16 (or ROM-DOS 6.22 O/S); upgradeable to Linux 2.6.16 and Java 6 J2SE JRE (MAX-Linux)The DNP/2486 is pre-installed with SSV's Debian-based "MIN-Linux" distribution, which uses a 2.6.16 kernel. The distro is said to be upgradeable to a "MAX-Linux" implementation, by adding a Java 6-compatible J2SE ("standard edition") runtime environment.

SK29 starter kit

SSV offers the DNP/2486 with an optional "SK29" starter kit (pictured below). It includes a carrier board with a DIL-64 socket for the DNP/2486. The board also provides an Ethernet port and two RS-232 ports, as well as a breadboard for individual adaptations, says the company.

Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6

DNP/2486 (top) and SK29 starter kit (bottom)

The SK29 kit also includes a CD-ROM with an Eclipse-based Java development environment, TCP/IP stack, web server, Telnet server, TFTP client, and FTP server. Other features include a Java runtime environment, "extensive" class libraries, and the OpenVPN and OpenSWAN utilities, says the company. Customers may also purchase an "Independence Upgrade Kit" that enables developers to create hardware-independent embedded networking applications that can run on different 32-bit platforms, says SSV.

The 3.2 by 1.1-inch, DIL-64 format COM is said to be swappable with other DIL/NetPC modules. A year ago, SSV introduced a DIL/NetPC/5370 module that incorporated an Analog Device Blackfin DSP and was aimed at VoIP applications. Earlier DIL/NetPC models typically used ARM-based SoCs.


The SSV DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 and SK29 starter kit appear to be shipping now. More information on the DNP/2486 may be found here , and more on the SK29 kit may be found here .

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Debug tool migrates to MIPS32, Cortex-A8  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Debug tool migrates to MIPS32, Cortex-A8

Ronetix continues to add to its library of firmware for its Linux-friendly JTAG/BDM emulator and flash programmer. The PEEDI JTAG/BDM Emulator and Flash Programmer now supports MIPS32 processors, and in recent months Ronetix also added support for processors based on ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-M3 cores.

Existing firmware for the PEEDI ("powerful embedded Ethernet debugging interface") includes packages supporting ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, XScale, ADI Blackfin, Freescale Nexus-enabled PowerPC and ColdFire processors, and most recently, Freescale's PowerPC-based PowerQUICC II Pro processors.

Debug tool migrates to MIPS32, Cortex-A8

Debug tool migrates to MIPS32, Cortex-A8

PEEDI, front and back

The PEEDI firmware supports both debugging and flash programming on MIPS32 and ARM Cortex-based processors, says Austria-based Ronetix. The company lists Microchip's PIC32 microcontroller and the Infineon ADM45120 processor under its supported MIPS32 targets.

Since the PowerQUICC announcement in December, the company has also apparently added support for the ARM Cortex cores. The company lists only one specifically supported processor based on the Cortex-A8: the Texas Instruments OMAP3530 , the most powerful of the four OMAP35x SoCs that shipped last year. Ronetix also listed only one chip running the older Cortex-M3 core, ST's STM32 microcontroller.

The PEEDI's built-in "Flash Programmer" supports programming (via JTAG) of over 900 NOR flash devices, as well as 8-bit and 16-bit NAND flash devices, says Ronetix. Because PEEDI supports several flash profiles, developers can program a complete Linux system at once, including U-Boot, the Linux kernel, and the JFFS2 root filesystem, says the company.


The MIPS32, Cortex-A8, and Cortex-M3 firmware updates for the PEEDI JTAG/BDM Emulator and Flash Programmer are available now. More information is available here .

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Linux device bridges 3G, WiFi in Spain  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Linux device bridges 3G, WiFi in Spain

Telefonica Espana will offer a pocket-sized, hacker-friendly, Linux WiFi/3G bridge/router to its customers, according to supplier Novatel Wireless. The MiFi 2352 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot connects up to five WiFi users to Telefonica's 3G HSPA network, which is capable of downstream data rates of 7.2Mbps.

( Click for larger view of the MiFi )

Telefonica has been a European pioneer of "3.5G" HSPA networking, which is based on WCDMA technology developed by Qualcomm and China's national telecom provider. Telefonica's mobile customers reportedly enjoy data rates of 1.4Mbps upstream, and 3.6Mbps downstream. PC users, meanwhile, can purchase Huawei E270 USB modems said to double those rates on the same network.

Novatel Wireless offered scant information on its MiFi device when it was announced in December , and although the company has yet to post a detailed spec list, it has now revealed some more details, such as a GPS capability.

After installation of a Telefonica SIM card for HSPA, the MiFi device can distribute the HSPA bandwidth among up to five WiFi-capable devices within a 10-meter radius, says the company. The MiFi relies exclusively on the cellular network for its upstream link, and apparently cannot route traffic over a WiFi hotspot, when available, nor over wired Ethernet (it lacks an Ethernet port). MiFi seems intended exclusively for mobile teams that need to quickly set up ad hoc workgroups in places with little or no existing Internet infrastructure.

Another option might be to use a modern Linux distribution on a notebook equipped with a supported 3G data card (Web reports suggest Telefonica's Huawei E270 works under at least some Linux distributions). Starting with Fedora 10 , Linux gained a version of NetworkManager supporting the easy creation of ad hoc networks, as shown in the screenshot below:

Linux device bridges 3G, WiFi in Spain

Fedora 10's snazzy NetworkManager
(Click for review of Fedora 10)

Mobile and location aware

As previously reported, the pocket-sized MiFi will offer a battery that can power the device for four hours under active use, and 40 hours while idle. Other new details include a MicroSD slot supporting high-capacity cards up to 16GB, and on-board GPS capabilities.

Novatel Wireless confirmed that the MiFi runs an open embedded Linux operating system, and the company says it will encourage the development of third party applications for the MiFi. Meanwhile, planned applications include auto VPN, automatic syncing of email, location-based applications, and optional remote management capabilities for enterprise IT managers. User-specific "landing pages" will be available on the device that "consolidate and personalize mobile Internet services," and act as a platform for wireless operators to offer content and services, says the company.


The MiFi will be commercially available from Telefonica in Spain in the first quarter of 2009, says the company. In other Telefonica news, the Spanish carrier recently announced it would ship a LiMo-compliant phone sometime this year

Linux-ready 3G modules target netbooks, MIDs

Mobile dev platform supports Linux  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Mobile dev platform supports Linux

Texas Instruments (TI) announced an MDP (mobile development platform) using its OMAP3430 system-on-chip (SoC). Available with a Linux BSP (board support package), the "Zoom OMAP34x-II" includes a 4.1-inch multi-touch display, eight megapixel camera, GPS, HDMI output, and a forthcoming pico projection module, says the company.

(Click here for a larger view of TI's Zoom OMAP34x-II MDP)

Targeting smartphone and MID (mobile Internet device) application developers, the Zoom OMAP34x-II is built around TI's OMAP3430 . The SoC runs Linux, Windows Mobile, and Symbian operating systems on an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 core.

Mobile dev platform supports Linux

(Click for details) 

The Zoom OMAP34x-II was developed by Logic Product Development, which has built previous development kits for TI, including its OMAP35x SOM-LV baseboard and Zoom OMAP35x dev kit, which were targeted at medical device development. The baseboard (pictured) and Zoom kit were based on TI's OMAP35x platform, which was released after the handset-focused OMAP34x, in different models targeting a variety of compact and mobile consumer electronics devices.

The new OMAP34x MDP design includes both a QWERTY keyboard and a 4.1-inch WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen display. The MDP uses a capacitive touchscreen, which is billed as supporting multi-touch operation. An even more distinctive hardware feature, once it arrives, will be the device's DLP (digital light processing) Pico Projector module (pictured below), which TI says will be available around the middle of this year.

Mobile dev platform supports Linux

TI's Pico Projector
(Click for details) 

The feature-packed OMAP34x-II uses TI's WL1271 , a single chip that provides it with 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, Bluetooth, and an FM transmitter/receiver, according to the company. The device will also be available with a 3G modem, and can support "any third-party modem" via an extension card, the company says.

The OMAP34x-II includes an eight megapixel camera, GPS, and dual accelerometers "for differential detection." Meanwhile, wired interfaces include HDMI, composite video, audio I/O, and USB, says TI.

In addition, the Zoom MDP has a 200-pin expansion connector, intended for linking the device to an available debug board. Though TI didn't provide a picture of the latter, it said the debug board includes gigabit Ethernet with an RJ45 connector, five USB ports, a UART, and JTAG connectors.

According to TI, the Zoom OMAP34x-II comes with 256MB of low-power DDR memory, and 512MB of NAND flash storage. The device also has a "6-in-1" SD/MMC slot, and is supplied with a 16GB SanDisk eMMC memory card, the company says.

Features and specifications listed by TI for the Zoom OMAP34x-II MDP include:Processor -- OMAP3430 (clock speed n/s)
Memory -- 256MB of DDR RAM and 512MB of flash storage
Display -- 4.1-inch WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive touchscreen
Keys -- QWERTY keyboard, plus eight function keys and five-way controller
Wireless:WAN -- 3G modem (optional)
WLAN -- 802.11b/g/n
PAN -- Bluetooth
FM transceiverOther I/O:Audio I/O (2.5mm connectors)
Dual microphone inputs
Stereo speakers
HDMI port
Composite video outout
Mini USBExpansion:SD/MMC card slot
200-pin expansion connector (debug interface)Power requirements -- n/s
Dimensions -- 140 x 121 x 21mmAccording to TI, the OMAP34x-II MDP works with an open-source Linux BSP based on kernel 2.6.11. The device is also being demonstrated at this week's Mobile World Congress with a separately available Windows Mobile 6.5 BSP developed by Bsquare.

This promotional video demonstrates the OMAP34x-II MDP
(click to play)
Source: TI

The Zoom OMAP34x-II MDP is being demonstrated this week at TIs' MWC stand, Hall 8, #8A84. The device will ship in April for approximately $1,150 without the 3G modem, or $1,400 with it, according to Logic PD and TI.

Further information may be found on the TI website, here , and the Logic PD website, here .

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Wind River acquires GUI developer  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Wind River acquires GUI developer

Wind River will buy Tilcon Software, a vendor of Linux-compatible, embedded GUI (graphical user interface) toolkits targeting industrial, defense, medical, automotive, and mobile devices. Alameda, Calif.-based Wind River will pay $3.5 million for Tilcon, of Ottawa, Canada, in a deal set to close Feb. 27.

( Click for palette of GUIs developed with Tilcon's IDS )

The private-held, 18-employee Tilcon recently announced a version of its GUI toolkit designed to work with Wind River Linux and VxWorks. Tilcon's Interface Development Suite (IDS) 5.5.5 for Wind River features a drag-and-drop interface builder, property sheets for customizing appearance, behavior, resources, and actions, and a "wide" range of GUI and HMI objects, the company says. There is also a GIS application development module and Rhapsody UML (unified modeling language) support.

According to Wind River, the Tilcon software will be applied to both its OS platforms "across multiple device types and target vertical markets." Wind River specifically mentions environments in which programmable graphics are replacing or augmenting analog gauges and dials. Tilcon's IDS requires little or no coding, says the company.

Wind River acquires GUI developer

Tilcon IDS screen displays

IDS is based on the Tilcon Embedded Vector Engine (EVE), pictured at the bottom of the above diagram. EVE manages display and user interaction events as a service to distributed API clients. Working directly with native RTOSes such as Linux, EVE interacts with core graphics libraries, including WindML, Win32, Photon, and OpenGL ES .

Stated Ken Klein, CEO at Wind River, "Wind River's acquisition of Tilcon will differentiate and expand our VxWorks and Linux platforms value proposition across many device classes, with the initial focus on vertical markets with immediate graphics opportunity such as industrial and medical applications."

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Webinars teach basic embedded Linux skills  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Timesys will host a free, four-session webinar series devoted to building a Bluetooth-enabled home automation device using Atmel's ARM9 AT91SAM9263-EK Evaluation Kit. Starting with the first session on Feb. 26, the bi-monthly webinars will teach basic embedded Linux development skills, while showcasing Timesys's LinuxLink 3.0 subscription service, says the company.

Each webinar will include a mix of presentations and hands-on exercises devoted to building a networked remote sensor control device based on the low-cost AT91SAM9263 system-on-chip (SoC), says Timesys. The home automation device gathers data from an accelerometer via a Bluetooth short-range wireless connection, and then changes the state of the controlled devices via GPIO.

The four sessions cover typical embedded Linux development tasks, including assembling a development environment, configuring and booting an initial Linux image, customizing the kernel, and assembling a root filesystem, says Timesys. By the end of the fourth session, the completed design should be available, deployed in on-board flash, including a touchscreen graphical control interface displayed on the attached LCD. The resulting Linux platform will then be freely available to session attendees via the LinuxLink Test Drive Program, says the company.

The sessions showcase Timesys's new LinuxLink 3.0 embedded Linux development subscription service, which was launched last month . The updated service offers a new build engine and web-services-based automation, plus a new interface and Toolkit. As with the previous LinuxLink, the new version is said to offer collections of Linux sources, gathered and updated from thousands of community sources, and patched and configured for a wide variety of processors and development kits. In addition, version 3.0 uses web services technology to package a new build service called the "Embedded Linux Factory." The Factory build engine ensures "repeatable builds from source with a scriptable GNU-based environment," says the company.

Stated Gregory Quiggle, VP of Marketing for Timesys, "These webinars will serve as a great means to introduce embedded developers to the power of open source Linux."


This first of the four free bi-monthly webinars on ARM9 Bluetooth device development is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2009 at 11:30AM EST, says Timesys. More information may be found here .

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Chinese thin clients run Linux  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Chinese thin clients run Linux

A ShenZhen China-based manufacturer is shipping several thin clients that run embedded Linux and target educational, government, business, taxation, and medical organizations. SZ Bencse Electronic Technology (Bencse) offers the entry level J5200, plus four higher-end H-5800 models, and ships worldwide at affordable prices, it says.

( Click for larger view of the Bencse H-5800 thin client )

Both the J-5200 and the four H-5800 models run Linux on Intel Celeron processors clocked at 566MHz. The devices differ solely in terms of memory allotment, with the J-5200, H-5800D, and H-5800T models offering 64MB SDRAM, and the H-5800H and H-5800A models offering 128MB, with all the models expandable to 1GB. The breakdown is different for DOM (disk-on-module) allotments, with the J-5200, H-5800D, and H-5800H thin clients providing 32MB DOMs, and the J-5200, H-5800T, and H-5800A offering 128MB. All models can be upgraded to 256MB DOMs.

Chinese thin clients run Linux

Bencse J-5200

All five thin clients appear to be otherwise identical, supporting up to 1280 x 1024-pixel displays. The J-5200 and H-5800 models are all equipped with an Ethernet port, serial port, and two USB 2.0 ports. Each uses the same 8.9 x 2.2 x 10.6-inch chassis, with VGA out and audio I/O connections, as well as parallel and PS/2 ports. Consuming 35 Watts at full load and 25 Watts standby, the thin clients are rated for operating temperatures ranging from 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C).

The J-5200 and H-5800 models are touted as supporting Linux client OSes capable of connecting with Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Citrix MetaFrame. The thin clients can run local web browsers, and support remote management via SNMP. DHCP is also supported, though whether at the pre- or post-boot stage is unclear.

Bencse also sells several higher-end thin client models, as well as VPN systems that run Windows XP Embedded.


The Bencse J-5200 and H-5800 thin clients are available now at an undisclosed price, says the company. More information may be found at the Bencse site, which is available in English, here .

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Automation computers have dual PCI slots  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Automation computers have dual PCI slots

Advantech has added to its long-running "UNO" series of automation computers with fanless devices offering two PCI expansion slots. The UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 support dual- or single-core Intel CPUs, accept two CompactFlash cards and two hard disk drives, and run Linux, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Advantech's UNO-3282)

Advantech's UNO line of embedded automation computers dates back to at least 2004, when the UNO-2160 made its debut with a 400MHz Celeron processor. The products, which all feature fanless operation -- aided by metal cases with integral heat spreaders -- have come in a variety of form factors, with different types of expansion slots. For instance, the UNO-1170 announced earlier this month comes in a version with a PC/104+ slot.

Like their predecessors, the new UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 target industrial automation and control, but this time out, feature both PCI Express and PCI expansion slots. According to Advantech, the main board on these devices includes a one-lane PCI Express slot and a PCI slot. Using a bundled riser board, the single PCI slot can actually accept two PCI cards, for which apertures are provided in the system's case (see the photo at the top of our story.) However, the heat dissipation of dual cards "may affect thermal performance," the company warns.

The UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 offer passive cooling only, so this warning should be heeded. The systems are identical except for the processors they offer: the UNO-3272 is motivated by a 1.86GHz Celeron M CPU, while the UNO-3282 uses a Core 2 Duo L7400 clocked at 1.5GHz.

Automation computers have dual PCI slots

Advantech's UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 feature internal and external CompactFlash slots

Both devices come with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, apparently non-expandable, and also feature a plenitude of mass storage potential. For example, there are both internal and external Type I/II Compact Flash slots -- the latter visible in the above photo -- along with brackets that can accept twin 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives.

According to Advantech, each of the systems has an internal USB port, ready to accept a flash drive or dongle, along with four external USB ports. There are also four serial ports, two on the front of the boxes and two on the rear, two gigabit Ethernet ports, and dual PS/2 connectors for a keyboard and mouse.

The UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 include both VGA and DVI-D video outputs. The devices support dual displays with resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200 pixels, Advantech says.

Finally, when equipped with CompactFlash storage only, the devices are said to withstand shocks of up to 50Gs for 11 milliseconds. Operating range is said to be from 20 to 60 deg. C for the UNO-3282, and from -20 to 50 deg. C for the UNO-3272.

Features and specifications listed by Advantech for the UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 include:Processor -- Intel Celeron M 440 clocked at 1.86GHz, or Core 2 Duo L7400 clocked at 1.5GHz
Memory -- 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 512KB of battery-backed SRAM
Storage -- Dual slots for 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives, and dual Type I/II CompactFlash slots (one internal, one external)
Networking -- 2 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
Other I/O:5 x USB (4 external, 1 internal)
4 x serial (2 RS232, 2 RS232/422/485)
2 x PS/2
Line-level audio I/0Expansion:1 x PCIe x1 slot
1 x PCI slot (accommodates dual PCI cards via bundled riser board)Operating temperature:UNO-3282 -- -20 to 60 deg. C (-4 to 140 deg. F)
UNO-3272 -- -20 to 50 deg. C (-4 to 122 deg. F)Power requirements -- 9VDC to 36VDC, 100 Watt consumption
Dimensions -- 9.4 x 7.9 x 5 inches (240 x 200 x 130mm)
Weight -- 12.1 poundsFurther information

According to Advantech, the UNO-3272 and UNO-3282 come with "strong driver support" encompassing Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Vista.

Advantech did not release pricing or availability guidance for the devices, but both appear to be available now. More information may be found on the company's website, here .

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Windows device house comes to Linux, Android  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

A company specializing in featurephones and PNDs (portable navigation devices) based on Windows CE has taken a turn toward the Linux-based Android phone stack. At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week, Intrinsyc launched three tools aimed at helping OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) quickly integrate Android Linux phones.

Intrinsyc describes its three tools for Android integrators as follows:RapidRIL for Android is a radio interface layer that can be reused across multiple operating systems.

Telephony Test for Android is a script-based test suite that performs radiometric and systematic testing of Android telephony.

Telephony Modem Simulator is a software-only tool that allows application developers to test telephony-based use cases and boundary cases without the need for a hardware modem or network.Underscoring Intrinsyc's commitment to Android, David Manuel, GM of solutions engineering at Intrinsyc, stated, "[These tools] are the first in a series of Android software solutions planned by Intrinsyc."

Manuel added, "We offer expert Android engineering services in the areas of board support packages, power management, and application development."

Intrinsyc has development centers in North America and in Asia/Pacific, Manuel noted. The company has experience in both Linux and in handset development, he said.

Strategic shift toward Linux?

Intrinsyc comes to the Android and Linux device world after a strong recent focus on Windows CE. Originally an embedded hardware and services company, Intrinsyc raised $8M in 2005 to fund development of its "Soleus" featurephone stack. Built atop Windows CE, just like Microsoft's own Windows Mobile stack, Soleus targets lower-end, higher-volume devices than Windows Mobile. Intrinsyc launched Soleus at the 2006 Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Subsequently, few high-volume Soleus phones materialized, though the stack was used in some interesting products, like EliteGroup USB cellular modems , and the Mio Moov navigation stack. Our guess is that given all the operator-specific requirements, Intrinsyc have found it easier to create than market a great cellphone software stack.

During the last year, Intrinsyc has increasingly marketed Soleus in the PND (portable navigation device) space. The company underwent a 20 percent reduction in workforce last fall.

Additionally, Intrinsyc's former CEO, Glenda Dorchak , left in January for Linux-focused virtualization company VirtualLogix, which is also demonstrating Android technology at MWC. In a recent interview with LinuxDevices, Dorchak commented, "[At VirtualLogix], we plan to focus on Linux. As you know, I come from Intrinsyc, which has a focus on Windows Mobile and Symbian. But I have 'seen the light.'"

Apparently, so has Intrinsyc.


Intrinsyc's Android tools and development services appear to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

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Dell netbook sports HDMI port  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Dell netbook sports HDMI port

Dell has announced a netbook sporting both a 10-inch display and an HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) output. Available soon with Ubuntu 8.04, the Inspiron Mini 10 includes a 1.3GHz Atom Z520 or 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor, 1.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth, and optional, integrated ATSC tuner.

(Click here for a larger view of Dell's Inspiron Mini 10)

Dell netbook sports HDMI port

Dell's Inspiron Mini 12
(Click image for further information) 

As with its earlier Inspiron Mini 12 , Dell is using Intel's Z5xx Atom CPUs ("Silverthorne"), rather than the 1.6Ghz Atom N270 processor found in most netbooks. The Z5xx Atoms are smaller, use less power, and mate with an integrated chipset that saves even more power. It should, therefore, run cooler and last longer on batteries, although Dell has not published battery life claims.

Dell netbook sports HDMI port

Dell's Inspiron Mini 10
Dell touts the Mini 10's video prowess, with an integrated HDMI port (below) and optional ATSC tuner. The only other netbook we know of with an HDMI output is Asus's high-end N10 , which uses an Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics processor.

Dell netbook sports HDMI port

Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 has a novel HDMI port
(Click to enlarge)
HDMI aside, Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 has other typical netbook ingredients, such as 1GB of RAM, a 10/100 Ethernet port, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, a memory card reader, three USB ports, and audio I/O. The initially offered operating system is Windows XP Home, installed on 120GB or 160GB SATA hard disk drives, but a Ubuntu 8.04 option will be available soon.

While Dell is a proponent of wireless broadband, offering its earlier Inspiron Mini 9 for as little as $99 bundled with an AT&T data plan, the Mini 10 lacks an ExpressCard slot. However, the device's 802.11a/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities are said to be provided via PCI Mini Card slots, which apparently provide scope for a cellular modem. Both mobile broadband and integrated GPS will be future options for the device, according to a posting on a Dell company blog.

Dell netbook sports HDMI port

Speaking of options, while the device's 10-inch display packs 1024 x 576 pixels as standard, a 720p (1280 x 720) version will also be offered, according to the company.

Available in black, white, pink, red, blue, and green, the Inspiron Mini 10 features a keyboard that's "92 percent the size of a standard keyboard." The netbook weighs 2.86 pounds with a standard three-cell battery. A six-cell battery will also be available, the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Dell for its Inspiron Mini 10 include the following:Processor -- Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz) or Z530 (1.6GHz)
Memory -- 1GB of RAM (soldered-in, not expandable)
Display -- 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 576 resolution (1280 x 780 is a planned option)
Camera -- 1.3 megapixel webcam
Storage -- 120GB or 160GB hard disk drive
Networking -- 10/100 Ethernet port
Wireless:802.11g or 802.11a/g/n wireless networking
Bluetooth 2.1
GPS (forthcoming option)
ATSC tuner (forthcoming option)Other I/O:1 x HDMI port
Audio headphone out and mic in
3 x USBExpansion:SD/SDHC/MMC/MS card reader
2 x PCI Mini card slots (occupied by WiFi and Bluetooth cards)Dimensions -- 10.28 x 7.19 x 1.25 inches (261 x 182.5 x 31.77mm)
Weight -- 2.86 pounds (1.3kg) with three-cell batteryAvailability

The Inspiron Mini 10 will ship next month for prices starting at approximately $400, according to Dell. More information on the Inspiron Mini 10 may be found on the Dell website, here , and in a company blog entry, here . Also, the device is pictured in a slideshow offered by our sister publication , here .

WiFi-centric dual-mode Linux phone rev'd  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

WiFi-centric dual-mode Linux phone revd

Malaysian embedded-device firm Gupp Technologies is readying a new version of its Linux-based, dual-mode (WiFi and GSM) "Phreedom" phone. The "Phreedom-Monday" offers improved VoIP quality, according to Trinity Convergence, which is supplying its VeriCall Edge VoIP/multimedia stack for use in the updated phone.

( Click for larger view of the Phreedom-Monday )

The new phone, whose unusual name combines two words that are not typically associated, is due for shipment in the second quarter, says Gupp. It succeeds Gupp's original Phreedom phone, an interesting WiFi-centric dual-mode device that was launched into Malaysia's vibrant mobile phone market in 2007.

WiFi-centric dual-mode Linux phone revd

The original Gupp Phreedom
(Click for details) 

Like the original Phreedom (pictured), the Phreedom-Monday is a dual-mode multimedia and communications device that uses WiFi as its primary data transfer medium, and standard SIP-based VoIP as its primary voice-calling platform. When WiFi is not available for voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi), the product falls back to GSM.

The original Phreedom was built around a Marvell PXA270 processor clocked at 312MHz, and measured 4.4 x 2.6 x 0.75 inches. It somewhat resembled Palm's Treo devices of the era, with a front-facing QWERTY keyboard and a landscape-mode 2.5-inch QVGA LCD display. The device was equipped with an 802.11b/g WiFi radio and a "double tri-band" GSM radio.

Few details are available yet about the new Phreedom-Monday, but it appears to offer improved VoWiFi quality, and more seamless roaming handoffs. Additional features are said to include web browsing, email, music downloading, and a "Smart Call Flow" capability.

VoIP stack upgrade

The original Phreedom apparently used WiFi and VoIP stacks built into its Qtopia-based Convergent Linux Platform (CLP) operating system, which was supplied by fellow Malaysian firm a la Mobile . The new Phreedom-Monday steps up to Trinity's mature, VoIP/video middleware product. Announced in 2003 , VeriCall Edge has been used in Thomson's "WiFi Tablet" , as well as the Sony Mylo handheld device, among other devices. It was recently ported to Texas Instruments's DaVinci digital signal processor (DSP) platform.

WiFi-centric dual-mode Linux phone revd

VeriCall Edge architecture

Stated Guy Tessens, Co-Founder and CEO/Managing Director of Gupp Technologies, "The expertise of Trinity Convergence and its VeriCall Edge software have been instrumental in helping ensure that the voice-over-WiFi call quality is pristine."

Stated Brian Lees, VP of sales and business development for APAC and EMEA, Trinity Convergence, "Gupp has developed a truly innovative IP-centric mobile communication device that puts more functionality and flexibility into the hands of the user. The focus on WiFi is a departure from other dual-mode devices, and takes advantage of the high-density of networks and users spreading across many parts of Asia."


The Phreedom-Monday will be available in the second quarter, says Gupp Technologies. More on Trinity Convergence's VeriCall Edge may be found here .

ARM11 module supports videoconferencing  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

ARM11 module supports videoconferencing

Embedian is shipping a Linux-ready ARM11 MXM computer-on-module (COM) and evaluation kit. The MXM-6410 COM is equipped with a Samsung S3C6410 system-on-chip (SoC) that weds a ARM1176JZF-S core clocked to 667Mhz with a multimedia co-processor that can encode and decode MPEG4/H.263/H.264 and decode VC1, says Embedian.

( Click for larger view of MXM-6410 module )

The MXM-6410 targets multimedia-enabled embedded applications, including devices that require real-time videoconferencing, says Embedian. The module is based on a Samsung S3C6410 system-on-chip (SoC) with a ARM1176JZF-S core clocked up to 667MHz. This 65nm-fabricated SoC integrates a Multi Format Codec (MFC) co-processor that is said to support real-time videoconferencing, as well as TV-out, for both NTSC and PAL modes. In addition, the module is equipped with a JPEG codec, a 2D graphics accelerator, and a 3D graphics hardware accelerator that supports OpenGL-ES 1.1 and 2.0 rendering.

The Samsung SoC is supported by 128MB each of mDDR and NAND flash memory, says Embedian. A 242-pin MXM golden finger connector provides a wide variety of interfaces on the board. These are said to include TFT LCD, dual USB host interfaces, Ethernet, four RS232 interfaces, camera, CF, IDE, AC97 Audio, IIC, PWM, TV-out, and SPI.

ARM11 module supports videoconferencing

Embedian's original MXM-7114
(Click for details) 

Embedian launched its original MXM-7114 COM in November 2007. Its most recent MXM COMs -- the MXM-8310 and MXM-8110 -- were released last July, based on the Marvell PXA320 chip. Shortly before, a new organization called Qseven announced its own a multi-vendor COM spec that also uses an MXM connector. Formed by European COM module vendors Congatec , MSC Vertriebs , and Seco , and with 14 members total, Qseven launched the first version of its Qseven specification, calling for four mounting holes instead of Embedian's two, and a slightly larger 70 x 70mm size instead of Embedian's 66 x 50mm format. Qseven bills its format as being mobile-device oriented and "legacy-free," offering support for new formats like SDIO, while spurning some older I/O technologies.

Specifications for the MXM-6410 are said to include:Processor -- Samsung S3C6410 with ARM1176JZF-S core clocked up to 667MHz, plus Java acceleration engine, 16KB/16KB I/D cache, and 16KB/16KB I/D TCM
System bus -- 266Mhz 64/32-bit, with AXI, AHB, and APB buses
Multi Format Codec co-processor -- MPEG-4/H.263/H.264 encode/decode up to 30fps@SD/D1; decoding of VC1 video up to 30fps@SD/D1; various encoding tools available
JPEG codec -- Encoding YCbCr 4:2:2/RGB565; decoding YCbCr 4:4:4/4:2:2/4:2:0 or gray
2D graphic accelerator -- Line/point drawing, BitBLT and color expansion /text drawing
3D graphic accelerator -- 4M triangles/s @133MHz (transform); 75.8M pixels/s fill-rates @133MHz (shaded); Programmable Shader Model 3.0; 128-bit (32-bit x 4) floating-point Vertex Shader, etc.
Memory -- 128MB mDDR (266Mhz 32-bit); can be ordered with 256MB
Flash -- 128MB NAND
Other memory support -- Interfaces for SD/SDHC, CompactFlash (CF) I/II 3.3V, and IDE (shared with CF) ATA
Networking – 1 x 10/100 Ethernet interface (Davicom DM9000B chipset), supporting IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX and 802.3 10Base-T
USB -- 2 x USB 1.1 host interface (12Mbit/s speed), with one configurable as client; 1 x USB client 2.0 interface, supporting high speed as Device (480Mbps)
Serial -- 4 x RS232 interface, TTL level
Video interfaces -- VGA (800x600) with TFT support; TTL interface; video post processor interface; TV Out
Audio interfaces -- AC97 2.3 interface with ALSA support
Discrete I/O -- 12 general-purpose digital I/Os
Security Sub-system -- AES and DES/3DES accelerators with ECB and CBC support; SHA-1 Hash engine; H/W HMAC support; Random Number Generator; FIFO-Rx/Tx; DMA I/F to SDMA1
Camera interface -- supports up to 4096x4096 in YCbCr 4:2:2 format; ITU-R 601/ITU-R 656 format input support
System bus interface -- 16-bit or 8-bit
IIC interface -- 1-ch Multi-Master IIC-Bus
SPI interface -- compatible with 2-ch Serial Peripheral Interface Protocol 2.11
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) -- 2-ch 16-bit timer with PWM / 1-ch 16-bit internal timer
Interrupt request -- 8 available interrupts
Touch panel interface -- 10-bit CMOS ADC
Other features -- Watchdog timer 16-bit; JTAG interface
Power -- +5V DC power input only, with real-time clock battery
Dimensions -- 2.0 x 2.6 inches (50 x 66mm); MXM format
Operating system -- Linux 2.6.21 (will upgrade to 2.6.28 in a few months), Debian ARM Linux; Windows CE 6.0

ARM11 module supports videoconferencing

MXM-6410 Eval Kit
(Click to enlarge)

MXM-6410 Eval Kit

A separately sold MXM Computer on Module MXM-6410 Evaluation Kit (pictured above) is also available. Features are said to include:2 x MXM-6410 modules.
Carrier board
Reference carrier board schematics and design guide
800x480 LCD panel.
LCD backlight inverter board
Serial Console cable
MXM connector
Power board
12V-2A power adapter
1GB CF memory card with root file system pre-installed
Email or forum technical supportAvailability

The MXM-6410 is available now with Linux or Windows CE 6.0 pre-installed, and an evaluation kit (pictured above) is also available. Pricing was not disclosed. More information, and a detailed spec list, on the MXM-6410 should be available here , and more on the eval kit may be here .

Linux-ready 3G modules target netbooks, MIDs

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members

The LiMo Foundation announced nine new LiMo (Linux Mobile) compliant handsets from NEC and Panasonic aimed at NTT DoCoMo's wireless network. The resurgent mobile phone consortium also announced six new members: Telefonica, Aromasoft, Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications, Marvell Semiconductor, Opera Software, and Swisscom.

( Click for larger view of NEC's new LiMo-compliant Docomo Prime series N-01A )

LiMo announced the new phones and members as part of a major push at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. LiMo is showing off its new R2 release and aiming to prove that it's still a force to be reckoned with, even in the midst of the show's prevailing Android-mania.

Last week, the industry group announced that six major carriers, including new member and board member Telefonica, would be shipping LiMo compliant phones this year. The commitments came from Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, and Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, which will be fielding the NEC and Panasonic phones announced today.

Last week, LiMo also announced that five Linux phone stacks have been contributed to the organization, from Access, Azingo, LG Electronics, Purple Labs, and Samsung Electronics. Each implementation is said to comply with the "R2" LiMo spec, which LiMo will be demonstrating in Barcelona this week. In addition, LiMo announced that it would adopt the BONDI standard from the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Project), an industry standards group backed by major mobile operators. (For more information, see our previous coverage .)

The new LiMo members include the following companies, bringing the total membership to 54:Telefonica -- This major Spanish carrier is also a new LiMo board member, and says it will ship a LiMo-compliant phone this year.

Aromasoft -- This Korean software company offers an "mTea" CLDC/MIDP-compliant Java platform, plus a related TAC compiler, TAMS application management system, and Aroma-WIPI mobile platform technology.

Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications -- This handset provider focuses on rugged weather-resistant feature phones .

Marvell Semiconductor -- Marvell recently announced its new PXA168 platform for mobile devices, said to combine Feroceon and XScale architectures.

Opera Software -- Opera has long offered Linux versions of its Opera Browser and Opera Mini Browser, which targets mobile devices.

Swisscom -- You guessed it: Switzerland's leading telecommunications provider has gone LiMo.

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members

Docomo Smart series N-04A
(Click to enlarge) 

NEC and Panasonic keep DoCoMo users happy

The nine new LiMo devices bring the number of commercially available LiMo handsets to 33, says the Foundation. Like the new handsets, the majority of LiMo handsets have been NEC and Panasonic phones destined for DoCoMo users. All the models appear to support the 7.2Mbps 3G connectivity provided by DoCoMo's 3.5G network.

The latest LiMo-compliant handsets from NEC are said to include:Docomo Prime series N-01A
Docomo Style series N-02A
Docomo Style series N-03A
Docomo Smart series N-04A (pictured at right)The latest LiMo-ready handsets from Panasonic Mobile Communications include:Docomo Prime series P-01A (pictured at top)
Docomo Style series P-02A
Docomo Style series P-03A
Docomo Smart series P-04A
Docomo Smart series P-05A (pictured below)

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members

Docomo Smart series P-05A
(Click to enlarge) 

All the phones will be offered by NTT DoCoMo, which has long ruled as the world's largest mobile operator. The Japanese economy, however, seems to be suffering more than most right now, so despite the smartphone segment's relative immunity to the recession, a difficult path may lay ahead. (More details on the new LiMo phones will be provided in the coming days on LinuxDevices. )

Additional LiMo reference designs

A number of designs from new LiMo phone vendors will also be demonstrated in Barcelona. LG Electronics and Samsung will each provide demos of their own LiMo reference implementations for phones that will be released later in the year. The LG LiMo Phone handset (pictured below, right) is said to offer a touchscreen interface, with WebKit-based connectivity and browser, a Web Runtime for widgets, and rich multimedia support, says LiMo. Samsung, meanwhile, will show two LiMo-ready handsets as reference devices.

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members

LG LiMo Phone design 

In addition, two of the other five reference design vendors -- Azingo and Access -- will show off a variety of LiMo development environments, editing and debugging tools, and virtualization technologies, says the Foundation. Access is showing off its new Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3.0 , which NTT DoCoMo has selected as a successor to its MOAP/L Linux platform, long used by Panasonic, NEC, and Esteemo in dozens of popular Linux phones . DoCoMo will begin distributing 3G FOMA phones based on ALP in the second half of 2009, Access said.

Azingo is demonstrating the touchscreen-enabled Azingo Mobile 2.0 , which it announced earlier this month. Version 2.0 offers a new runtime, homescreen interface, browser, and UI toolkit, which together enable a smartphone-ready touchscreen- and web-widgets interface (see images below). Azingo's new stack will run on an upcoming Vodafone phone , say the companies.

LiMo adds nine handsets, six members

Different views of Azingo Mobile
(Click to enlarge)

The fifth LiMo reference design vendor -- Purple Labs -- was not listed as providing a demo, perhaps because it will be busy with its merger with Esmertec. Pending shareholder approval, the companies will soon re-emerge as the Myriad Group .

The Mobile World Congress will also feature several other LiMo-oriented demonstrations, says the Foundation, including:Acrodea -- Previews of "Themed UI" technology, enabling UI personalization based on different social networks, as well as branded and user-generated themes; plus GUI-based UI technologies and tools, called "Vivid UI" and "Vivid UI Workshop"

Kvaleberg AS -- Preview of a new version of its LiMo-ready Mimiria software suite and development tookit, offering a multi-touch based UI, shown on Compal's "Madrid" touchscreen hardware platform.

Movial -- Demonstration of a new version of the LiMo-compliant Movial Internet Experience Suite (Movial IXS), incorporating 3D graphics acceleration, 3D application transitions, fast PDF reader support, and automatic UI orientation.Stated Morgan Gillis, executive director, LiMo Foundation, "LiMo's ground-breaking role within the mobile industry is leading operators, manufacturers, and developers to change the way they approach device design and development."

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LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D
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LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

Access is demonstrating its Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3.0 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new LiMo-compatible "advanced UI" mobile ALP stack leverages Open GL-ES 2.0 to offer 3D special effects, and introduces a standardized API that splits logic from presentation layers, says Access.

( Click for larger view of ALP 3.0 home screen interface )

First demonstrated in October, ALP 3.0 is said to be "available soon." The new mobile stack is apparently sufficiently complete to have formed the basis of a reference design for the new R2 generation of the LiMo Platform, says the Japanese software company. As reported earlier , Access is one of five LiMo members to contribute reference designs for the R2 release. Its design is said to be an ALP 3.0 subset, and one of two R2 "Reference Implementations."

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

ALP 3.0's NetFront Browser in landscape mode
(Click to enlarge)

Access has said that NTT DoCoMo will distribute ALP 3.0 in LiMo-compliant phones from NEC and/or Panasonic that will be released this year. Meanwhile, Azingo, the developer of the other major LiMo smartphone reference design, has signed up Vodafone to release a smartphone based on its new Azingo Mobile 2.0 stack. (A third LiMo reference design, from Purple Labs, targets lower-end feature phones, and has yet to be revealed, perhaps because the company is in the process of merging with Esmertec to form Myriad Group .)

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

ALP 3.0 screens
(Click any to enlarge)

ALP is now offered in two versions: ALP for Smartphones and ALP for Mobile Internet Devices. At the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Access is demonstrating ALP 3.0 running on Texas Instruments's ARM Cortex-A8-based Zoom OMAP34x-II Mobile Development Platform.

Although aimed primarily at ARM Cortex devices, both 3.0 versions target a baseline platform of a 400MHz ARM9-based processor, says Access. Another suggested capability is hardware 3D acceleration, to support ALP's OpenGL-ES 2.0 capabilities. ALP 3.0 also looks for at least 128MB of RAM, and 128MB of flash, and targets a range of resolutions between 240 x 320 and 800 x 480. (Access also offers an "ALP Mini" stack targeting lower-end feature phones, and which is slated for use in a reference design created with NEC for a 3G-enabled handset based on NEC's ARM9-based MP201 application processor.)

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D


LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

More ALP 3.0 screens
(Click any to enlarge)

OpenGL-ES 2.0 adds some dazzle

ALP 3.0 offers an advanced UI engine and middleware, as well as new support for support for 2.5D and 3D graphics environments that enable the development of "Hollywood-style graphics and transition effects," says Access. The mobile stack also improves the ability of different applications from different environments to be concurrently executed, says the company. In particular, it is said to be easier to render content, including contacts, appointments, videos, and or photos, in multiple screens and applications.

"Access Linux Platform 3.0 offers an advanced UI, and it has been given the seal of approval for LiMo compliance," said Didier Diaz, SVP product strategy at Access, in an interview. In addition, he said that a standardized API now enables ALP developers to modify an application's look and feel without changing its code. "For the first time, we differentiate between the logic and the presentation layers, which makes it easier to alter the look and feel, and we have also improved 3D graphics, animations, and effects like transparency, translucency, mirroring, and shading."

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

ALP 3.0 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

A full list of ALP 3.0 features can be found in a link at the end of this story. Here are the major features in each of the main categories:Telephony and communications -- Speed dial, multi-party conferencing, "multihoming," GPS/A-GPS support, and support for IMPS, SMS, MMS, Cell Broadcast, IMAP4, and POP3

Input and navigation -- Support for 12-key keypad, stylus, or finger touchscreen input, plus accelerometer and presence detection support

User data and software management -- PIM features and synchronization, with Microsoft Outlook interoperability, backup and restore with desktop, OMA and OMA FOTA updates

Advanced UI engine -- Server-based graphics rendering, support for 2.5D and 3D graphical environments, and hardware accelerated OpenGL-ES 2

Media framework components -- MP3, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, MIDI, MPEG4-SP, H.263, H.264, WMA/WMV v9, plus OMA DRM 1.0

Language, security, etc. -- Multiple languages supported, plus an OMTP security policy framework, and a VPN framework

Wireless and connectivity protocols -- 3G radios, TCP/IP, WiFi 802.11b/g, WPA2, WEP, Roaming, Bluetooth 2.0, USB, IrDA, serialAbove this ALP middleware, the stack includes multiple NetFront-branded user applications, including:Communications -- Phone, HandMail, SMS+, SIM Application Toolkit, iMessenger

PIM -- Contacts, Calendar, Memos, Tasks

Multimedia -- Music, Videos, Photos, Camera

Productivity -- Home Screen (Includes NetFront Widgets player), HotSync Manager, Browser, Document Viewer

Utilities -- Clock, Calculator, Recorder, File Manager

LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

ALP 3.0 supports landscape/portrait accelerometer tilt response

ALP SDK includes simulator

The ALP 3.0 software development kit (SDK) is said to include an Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), enabling the development of native applications for LiMo-compliant devices. The Linux-based SDK allows users to create user interfaces with GUI builder tools, and it includes a "Virtual Phone" simulator for testing, says Access.

Supported application development environments include native development with GTK+ and the Hiker Application Framework (HAF), says the company. There is also said to be support for Garnet VM apps, as well as the integration of NetFront Widgets content written with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Access looking to escape the island

According to Diaz, there is considerable interest in LiMo among its Japanese partners, including NTT DoCoMo, because it is a seen as a way for Japanese mobile technologies to expand beyond the unique Japanese market. "The Japanese mobile market has specific challenges in that its services and devices are so unique," said Diaz. "That makes it difficult for the Japanese ecosystem to play on the global stage. The need to expand globally is part of the driving force of LiMo compliance in Japan."

In Barcelona, Access also announced that as of the end of January there have been over 700 million deployments of its Linux-compatible NetFront products, principally its NetFront Browser for mobile handsets and Internet-enabled devices. The company pegged recent growth for Netfront to the popularity of its new NetFront Widgets technology available with the browser. The company also said it is in the process of adding support for the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) BONDI standard, which was recently adopted by the LiMo Foundation for R2.

The company also announced new members of its Access Connect Ecosystem (ACE). The new business partners include AccuWeather, Mapbar, Oki Electric, Postal & Telecommunications Entel Technology (PTET), and STMicroelectronics. Access recently announced a management shuffle , including naming a new CEO for the Access America unit that is responsible for ALP.

Stated Tomihisa Kamada, newly named Co-CEO and president of Access, "The flexibility, modularity and openness of Linux make it ideal for mobile operators to deliver customized services -- and our ACCESS Linux Platform v3.0 and ACCESS Linux Platform mini products make this customization easy to develop and market to consumers."

Stated Akshay Agarwal, worldwide ecosystem partner manager at Texas Instruments, "The ACCESS Linux Platform is a complete framework with a UI that can be easily customized to support a wide range of devices from smart phones to Mobile Internet Devices. The power of the OMAP 3 processor combined with the ACCESS Linux Platform allows handset manufacturers to get to market quickly with handsets that have a unique look and feel."


Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3.0 will be available soon, says Access. The company is demonstrating the technology at its booth at Mobile World Congress this week in the Courtyard Area CY10, Fira de Barcelona. More information may be found here .

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