Embedded Linux Targets Telecom Infrastructure

Reach out and...Tux someone! Rick reveals the many ways Linux is entering the telecom market.
New Linux PDA Being Developed in Bangalore

A Bangalore, India-based development company, perceived an opportunity between the high-end, high-cost Pocket PC PDAs and the low-end, low-cost Palm PDAs and created a new PDA called Kaii (which means “hand” in Kannada, the local language) to fill that gap. According to an article published in the Bangalore Times, Infomart (www.infomart.co.in) intends to sell the new Linux handheld devices for around $200 US with a 320 × 240 pixel monochrome LCD and for around $300 US with a TFT color LCD.

Infomart is trying for a high level of compatibility with Sharp's new Zaurus PDA, from both a UI and application software perspective. To accomplish this, they used the identical software stack: Lineo's Embedix Plus, Trolltech's Qt/Embedded and Qtopia, Opera's browser and Insignia's Jeode JVM. In an effort to minimize costs, however, the Kaii uses a 160MHz Hitachi SH3 processor and offers a soft (on-screen), rather than physical, keyboard.

Figure 2. Kaii Linux PDA

Other Kaii features include 32-128MB RAM (depending on version) and 32MB of either ROM or Flash solid-state storage memory, a USB interface with both device and host functions, an RS232 serial port, an IrDA interface and expansion slots for both CompactFlash Type II and MMC cards. Infomart plans to make use of the USB host capability to add external peripherals such as keyboards or specialty interfaces, making the Kaii useful for more than just traditional handheld PDA purposes. The company is looking for global manufacturing and marketing partners.

Question: Could this Zaurus-compatibility be the start of a trend among Linux PDAs?

For the latest information on Linux PDAs, be sure to check out LinuxDevices.com's “Linux PDAs Quick Reference Guide” at www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT8728350077.html.

Rick Lehrbaum (rick@linuxdevices.com) created the LinuxDevices.com and DesktopLinux.com web sites. Rick has worked in the field of embedded systems since 1979.

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