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Linux-ready phone includes both x86 and ARM CPUs

Aug 25, 2009 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Korean company Miutech has announced a Linux-compatible device claimed to squeeze an Atom-powered PC and an ARM-based mobile phone into a single package. Sporting dual displays, the HDPC (hybrid dual portable computer) offers a 5-megapixel camera, dual VGA video cameras, Ethernet, WiFi, cellular, GPS, and T-DMB terrestrial video, says Miutech.

Miutech appears to be an ODM (original device manufacturer), seeking to design products for other companies to market. It has shown off at least two earlier iterations of the interesting HDPC device, but it's unclear as to whether either actually went on sale.

An initial version of the HDPC was mooted in March 2008, at which time the device's x86 processor was said to be a 500MHz Via C7-M. Last November, Miutech showed off a revamped version, offering a restyled case and changing the x86 CPU to an unspecified Intel Atom.

Now, the HDPC has surfaced again in a new "luxury" version, with yet another case design and a 1.6GHz Atom processor. (We're still not told the specific model, though the low-power Z530 seems the most likely choice). The core concept remains the same, however.

When closed up, as pictured at left, the HDPC resembles a bulky mobile phone, with a 2.4-inch 320 x 240 OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display, five-way controller, and a numeric keypad. In this mode, the device uses an ARM9 processor.

But, as pictured below left, the top of the HDPC also flips open, revealing a 4.8-inch touchscreen display with 1024 x 600 resolution and a QWERTY keyboard. The HDPC's touchscreen can also be slid down (pictured, above right) to hide both keyboards, at which point the device can be used as if it were a MID (mobile internet device).


Miutech's HDPC
(Click either image to enlarge)

According to Miutech, the HDPC has 1GB of DDR2 memory, 32GB of SSD (solid state disk) storage, plus a microSD expansion slot. Ports are said to include a headphone jack, an HDMI output, plus USB host and client interfaces.

The HDPC is also claimed to sport triple cameras — two VGA-resolution units for videoconferencing, plus a 5-megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom. Connectivity, meanwhile, encompasses 802.11b/g wireless networking, a 10/100 Ethernet port, "2G" cellular, a GPS receiver, a T-DMB (terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting) television receiver, and even an FM receiver/transmitter, Miutech says.

Miutech listed measurements of 6.4 x 2.6 x 1 inches (160 x 65 x 25mm) and a weight of 13.6 ounces (385 grams) for its first, Via-based HDPC. The company claims its new version squeezes its enhanced functionality into dimensions of 6.06 x 2.95 x 0.9 inches (154 x 75 x 23mm) and a weight of just 10.3 ounces (293g).

Features and specifications listed by Miutech for the HDPC include the following:

  • Processors — 1.6GHz Intel Atom and ARM9
  • Storage — 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 32GB SSD
  • Displays:
    • 320 x 240 OLED display
    • 1024 x 600 touchscreen display
  • Keyboards:
    • Numeric keypad and five-way controller
    • QWERTY keyboard
  • Cameras:
    • 2 x VGA-resolution for videoconferencing
    • 5 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom
  • Wireless:
    • WAN — 2G cellular
    • LAN — 802.11b/g
    • GPS
    • T-DMB
    • FM receiver/transmitter
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x 10/100 Ethernet
    • 1 x USB host
    • 1 x USB device
    • 1 x HDMI
    • Headphone jack
  • Expansion slots:
    • microSD
    • USIM
  • Battery type/life — n/s
  • Dimensions — 6.06 x 2.95 x 0.9 inches (154 x 75 x 23mm)
  • Weight — 10.3 ounces (293g)

HTC first introduced the concept of combining x86 and ARM-based processors in a single device with its Windows-based Shift, a UMPC (ultra-mobile PC), which was announced in 2007 and began shipping in 2008. The 1.8 pound Shift used an 800MHz Intel Stealey A110 processor, featuring a Pentium M core, along with Qualcomm's ARM11-based MSM7200.

Availability

Miutech did not provide pricing or availability information for the HDPC, but says the x86 side of the device can run either Linux or Windows XP. The ARM-based part of the device appears to be limited to Windows CE — strange bedfellows, indeed.

More information may be found on the company's website, here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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