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Rugged handheld offers SPI expansion

Aug 7, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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New Zealand company Aceeca International has announced a ruggedized handheld computer that runs Linux. The Meazura MEZ1500 has a Marvell PXA270 processor, and a proprietary “MZIO” expansion slot that carries SPI (serial peripheral interface) signals, allowing the attachment of custom A/D (analog/digital) converter… modules.

(Click here for a larger view of Aceeca's MEZ1000)

Aceeca has previously marketed the MEZ1000, a ruggedized handheld that has a monochrome screen and uses the Palm operating system. Its new MEZ1500 uses the same case design and seven-button keypad. More significantly, it also carries over the company's proprietary MZIO (Meazura I/O) expansion slot.

The MZIO slot has a 68-pin connector that carries SPI (serial peripheral interface) signals. It is said to accept modules designed around a “wide variety of industry-standard SPI A/D converters.” Aceeca's partner list appears to include companies marketing handhelds specialized for automotive diagnostics and mine safety equipment, among other interesting applications.

The MEZ1500, of course, moves from the Palm OS to a purchaser's choice of Windows CE 5.0 or 6.0. It uses a 320 x 240 touchscreen display, a Marvell PXA270 processor clocked at 312MHz or 520MHz, plus 64MB of RAM and 32MB of flash storage.

Interfaces include an RS232 serial port, an IrDA 1.1 infrared port, and a USB 1.1 client. In addition to the MZIO slot, the device additionally has a CompactFlash expansion slot. Bluetooth and 802.11b/g wireless networking are also offered, though Aceeca doesn't state whether the radio modules preempt either of the MEZ1500's expansion slots.

The MEZ1500 meets IP67 standards for resistance to water and dust intrusion. The device can be dunked in three feet of water for thirty minutes without harm, Aceeca says.

Finally, Aceeca offers a pair of vehicle cradles for the MEZ1500, one of which provides GPRS-based wide area connectivity.

Features and specifications listed by the company for the MEZ1500 include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA270 clocked at 312MHz or 520MHz
  • Memory — 64MB of RAM and 32MB of flash
  • Display — 2.8 x 2.1 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Keys — Seven-button keypad
  • I/O:
    • USB 1.1 client
    • RS232
    • IrDA 1.1
  • Expansion:
    • Compact Flash
    • MZIO (Meazura I/O) slot

  • Battery — Lithium-ion battery pack with 13 Watt/hr. capacity
  • Weight — 16.9 ounces
  • Dimensions — 6.8 x 3.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Operating temperature — -10 to 60 deg. C
The MEZ1500 will ship with Linux, or with Windows CE 5.0 and 6.0, says Aceeca. Prices start at $549, and a shipping data is “to be announced,” the company says.


 
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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