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‘Low cost’ Linux-based PDA unveiled at Taipei Linux Expo

Jul 31, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Esfia (Taipei, Taiwan) will demonstrate a new low-cost Chinese Linux-based PDA at the Taipei Linux Expo this week. The device, which is based on a Samsung ARM7 system-on-chip processor and is available with a color or monochrome backlit 320×240 pixel LCD, was developed by Esfia to provide a ready-to-use Linux-PDA technology solution for license to companies wanting to distribute low-cost Linux-based PDAs… in either the China or worldwide markets.

The Esfia PDA runs a customized version of uClinux, a variation of Linux for MMU-less processors such as the device's ARM7TDMA-based Samsung SC44BOX. In addition to Linux, the PDA's software stack includes a PIM app suite, office-type apps with Word and Excel file compatibility, and a range of useful utilities (see below).

Hardware features . . .

  • Processor: Samsung S3C44B0X ARM7TDMI system-on-chip, 66Mhz clock rate
  • Memory: 8MB/16MB/32MB SDRAM system memory; 64KB boot Flash; 8MB NAND Flash
  • Display: 320×240 pixels LCD with backlight and touch panel; choice of 16-grayscale mono, or 256 color
  • User interface: pen-and-touch interface; handwriting recognition; on-screen keyboard
  • Buttons: power; 4 user-programmable quick launch keys; record; scrol; action key; ESC; Reset
  • Power: 850 mAH rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery; worldwide auto-voltage AC adapter input; DC input jack
  • Expansion ports: IrDA; RS232 serial; stereo-audio jack; USB; CompactFlash (Type I/II) slot; SD card (option)
  • Sound: buzzer; audio CODEC

System software . . .

  • Linux-based OS: derived from uClinux and kernel 2.2.14 (currently)
  • Window manager: embeddable GUI framework which is based on Nano-X.
  • PIM suite: calendar, contacts, ToDo, memo, calculator, and email functions
  • Other application software: dictionary, expense, PC sync (with Outlook), Word- and Excel-like apps
  • Utilities and drivers: configuration/settings app; handwriting recognition; MP3 player; voice recorder; and support for boot, display, touch, power management, serial, USB, CompactFlash, CODEC, and buzzer functions

Esfia has positioned itself as an R&D solution company, offering professional services including software, hardware, and mechanical design. This week's PDA demonstration at the Taipei Linux Expo is meant to showcase the company's full-service system integration capabilities.

For companies interested in mass producing the Esfia PDA design, samples of the PDA's system-board (including the LCD) are said to be currently available. Esfia says its PDA strategy is to work with its customers to finalize a desired mechanical enclosure design, locate a contract manufacturer, and qualify the final production units.

Earlier this week, Esfia announced a companion chip for Samsung's system-on-chip processors for PDAs and other mobile devices.

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

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