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> Build Your Own Linux Powered Pda
post Jun 5 2006, 08:00 PM
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I've had the idea about rolling my own Linux powered PDA for some time, but I've been busy with another project of mine. So, I haven't posted about this idea, but recently Da_Blitz posted:

the iMX3 is a custom PDA idea as the 2700G chip is VERY hard to get. dont want to hijack this thread anymore so if you want more info then contact me direct or make another post

Definately looking for some more info on that!

Here's some interesting ideas to get the thread started:

GumStix ( www.gumstix.com www.gumstix.org ): Very small, proprietary, stackable modules. Very hobbyist friendly, but current models are still based around the Intel PXA255.

Colibri Module : PXA270 with most of the needed chips built in, and connections for most of the rest, in a formfactor of a DDR SODIMM. Moderately hobbyist friendly, with boards only 119Euros for the 520MHz version, but with a fixed handling fee for Hardware of 100 EUR and shipping of 45 EUR. You'll want to order more than one to be price effective with this supplier.

CM-X270 Computer-On-Module: I stubbled on to this site last night. No idea about this supplier's ablity to handle hobbyists, or even the cost of the module. However, you can configure a pretty impressive COM on that page. Up to PXA270 520Mhz, 128MB of RAM, Intel 2700G with 8MB of its own RAM, audio codec, and 512 MB of NAND flash!

Take a look at the Google Ads when you do a search for 'Arm development board', as quite a few Ads hit the mark for what we would want, if they could be had cheap, and single unit quanties (which most aren't sad.gif ).
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post Jun 16 2006, 11:55 PM
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[qoute] Looks good! If you go the CF/PCMCIA route, it might be easiest to have headers one behind the other, and then have the company that populates the board put only one connector on.[/qoute]

yeah thats what i am thinking of doing but if board real estate is at a premime i might chose the pcmcia and let you use a pcmcia to cf adaptor

for battries as i said i am only making the board however lookinng at all of this it might be a good idea to prouce one design that fits in the exsisting cxx00 case as you can buy the case seperatly and that means you can use Z battries

you are right about the mobile phone processors, we will most likly talk to it ove a serial port rather than have it built into the chip or mem mapped, this means nice and simple At commands to control the phone and also means we dont have to write software

the gsm is more of a minimum spec however we do have a problem in that each contry uses a diffrent system, i might point out that i also live in australia so its in my best intrestes to make it compatible with whatever we are using here that said it shouldnt be too hard to adapt it or even have plugin cards so you can swap radios (this would also make the board desin simpler)

probelly wont have solder points for everything, mabey a couple of things and the mem bus (thats already 98% of what you need) but i think it will be more like: i want this hardware so i "port" it to the design, reroute (equivelent in software terms would be compile) the board and then get it manufoctured and populateed by a company who returns your design to you in about 3 weeks that way i can jam pack the design

note that doing it that way is really for new hardware, if you want for eg to add bluetooth then there will be a solder point for it only the more exotic stuff will be missing

actually i was thinking sharp would be a potential buyer of the board and would help drive down costs or we sell the design to them under a diffrent licsence (as i want to do a GPL type open hardware design)

I have found a place that sells Xscale chips in small quantities but the iWX3 is ALOT cheaper and has video acceleration built in as well as DDR ram support and a floating point unit so it would take alot for me to switch back to that chip

the chip is also used in the toshiba gigabeat in case any one was intrested about the sutability of this chip

the one thing i forgot to mention is that i also want the ability to turn this into a thin client so on board ethernet might happen or might be limited to the pcmcia slot but it does garentee usb slots and VGA out wink.gif

this chip also hhas the same problems as the intel in that the pcmcia and cf intreface are shared weth main mem so i am looking into alternatves for storage eg huge flash capacities 2GB max can be done with one chip thanks to samsung and also support for ATA drives (laptop HD anyone) with the ata stuff you may be able ta have a mem only CF slot and a IO capable one, the advatage being that the mem only one will not cause a decrese in performance as it has its own mem bus

touchscreen dosent affect me as i use the console but of course i will add support for it

i might add a loptop ram header so that people can make daghter cards and plug them in, and because it will have the data bus signals it would be posible to add more ram (of course you would have to make a board to take the ram, you cant just put laptom mem in it)

will try for transreflective if i can but i am not making anything but the mobo, i would like others to help with this espesially if you have design skills or if you know where we should look as for electrical people if you know any and they are intrested get them to email me at jaycoles (a) yahoo.com and tell them to include the word ilnux in there message (to bypass my spam filtering

with the price i fugire that you would want more funcitionality at the same price point but if you dont want those parts then i will tell the manufacturer to not solder them on the board smile.gif

the fpga is there for glue logic rather than use an asic to basically cut my dev costs, they chew throgh power so i would probelly use a cpld instead but might have a fpga avalible as a add in card for devs and hobbiests (eg software defined radio for fm reciver or ham radio)

Ram Max is 256MB so thats plenty, i think that can be done with 4 chips as well so net much real estate for BGA parts

i would really like to see an open hardwae company, at the moment i am working on a project for gensis who make PPC boards and are VERY linux friendly to the point where they are writing XGI graghics card drivers with the 2D open source and the 3D closed because of NDA however the will compile it if you need it and will show you if you sign a NDA (i know its a pain but its not bad) the other thing thats nice is the hardware they have avalible online to play with and the hardware giveaways they have (they are the reason i found this chip)
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Posts in this topic
Tom61   Build Your Own Linux Powered Pda   Jun 5 2006, 08:00 PM
koen   QUOTE(Tom61 @ Jun 6 2006, 04:00 AM)I've h...   Jun 5 2006, 10:36 PM
Da_Blitz   I have 30+ links to every manufacturer of xscale b...   Jun 6 2006, 07:09 PM
danboid   Hot DAMN! 2700G, 128MB+ RAM, VGA out and h...   Jun 15 2006, 07:45 AM
Ragnorok   - Thanks for the link, koen. Nice feature set on ...   Jun 15 2006, 08:10 AM
zmiq2   The most problematic I think it's getting a ke...   Jun 15 2006, 09:03 AM
danboid   I'd definately want separate mic and headphone...   Jun 15 2006, 11:31 AM
Tom61   Getting a decent resolution(640x480 or greater) go...   Jun 15 2006, 02:30 PM
Ragnorok   - As it happens I have both a Psion 5 & a 5mx,...   Jun 15 2006, 03:14 PM
Da_Blitz   Ok i like this i am not getting the usual "i ...   Jun 16 2006, 02:01 AM
Tom61   "Ok i like this i am not getting the usual ...   Jun 16 2006, 02:17 PM
Snappy   This is getting pretty exciting ... My needs are...   Jun 16 2006, 04:07 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Hmm. . If I remember my XDA's correctly, doesn...   Jun 16 2006, 03:03 PM
Ferret-Simpson   Sod. Forgot my most important thought: The power. ...   Jun 16 2006, 03:16 PM
stampsm   count me in. i have been looking for a project to ...   Jun 16 2006, 10:51 PM
Da_Blitz   Looks good! If you go the CF/PCMCIA route, it...   Jun 16 2006, 11:55 PM
Da_Blitz   WOW thats long   Jun 16 2006, 11:59 PM
stampsm   if i was designing a pda here would be my basic de...   Jun 17 2006, 12:46 AM
stampsm   well LOL i see someone was also typing a long repl...   Jun 17 2006, 12:50 AM
stampsm   i would like to add that i like the idea of the fr...   Jun 17 2006, 01:04 AM
Ferret-Simpson   And good choice on your Zaurus! POODLE LUV...   Jun 17 2006, 02:12 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Forgetting things AGAIN: Dan, Why the HELL do you...   Jun 17 2006, 03:47 AM
Da_Blitz   Yeah a camera would be nice but i would put it on ...   Jun 17 2006, 04:55 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Never used IRC. I think sticking to Forum is bette...   Jun 17 2006, 05:44 AM
Da_Blitz   Ok got it dropping the pcmcia and making it a back...   Jun 17 2006, 06:13 AM
Ferret-Simpson   I actually think the rotating screen is important,...   Jun 17 2006, 07:29 AM
stampsm   try adding the docking connector like i was saying...   Jun 17 2006, 07:37 AM
stampsm   on that blacksmith point actually yes. i got a 95...   Jun 17 2006, 07:42 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Fancing making cases for the PocketPenguins? And ...   Jun 17 2006, 08:15 AM
Da_Blitz   I think you miss the point on a flush connector, w...   Jun 17 2006, 06:12 PM
stampsm   there is a cool electronic site called sparkfun i ...   Jun 17 2006, 06:32 PM
stampsm   here is a sd card holder unit http://www.sparkfun....   Jun 17 2006, 06:54 PM
Da_Blitz   Thanks for those links, i was going to sugest drop...   Jun 17 2006, 11:02 PM
stampsm   i was looking at the size of that trackball and it...   Jun 17 2006, 11:21 PM
stampsm   in the next week or so i can try working up a pros...   Jun 17 2006, 11:24 PM
stampsm   also iteam #6 on that ittcannon page link would ma...   Jun 17 2006, 11:27 PM
stampsm   the trackball has green, blue, orange, and, red le...   Jun 17 2006, 11:31 PM
Da_Blitz   I like your ideas alot, seems we have a couple of ...   Jun 17 2006, 11:40 PM
Da_Blitz   That reminds me how about wirless usb, there is a ...   Jun 17 2006, 11:43 PM
stampsm   QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jun 17 2006, 11:40 PM)I like...   Jun 17 2006, 11:46 PM
stampsm   i love freescale products. i think it might be coo...   Jun 18 2006, 12:02 AM
Da_Blitz   QUOTEcount me in. i have been looking for a projec...   Jun 18 2006, 02:05 AM
Da_Blitz   seems you have the same idea as i have, the reason...   Jun 18 2006, 02:17 AM
Da_Blitz   Quick price list CPU $30 RAM (256MB) $8...   Jun 18 2006, 03:00 AM
stampsm   [QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jun 18 2006, 03:00 AM)Quick...   Jun 18 2006, 08:16 AM
stampsm   i can work on getting a keyboard design figured ou...   Jun 18 2006, 08:20 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Ok. . . The i300 chip is designed as a central c...   Jun 18 2006, 01:03 PM
stampsm   found a vga lcd screen http://www.gethightech.com...   Jun 18 2006, 01:03 PM
stampsm   i just did a scale drawing of the c3000 keyboard l...   Jun 18 2006, 01:11 PM
Ferret-Simpson   Hey, good thinking! I never thought to use a r...   Jun 18 2006, 01:15 PM
Ferret-Simpson   Basic layout of CXXXX works, I think. . .   Jun 18 2006, 01:16 PM
stampsm   it seems like lcd modules are really hard to find ...   Jun 18 2006, 03:10 PM
stampsm   ebay to the rescue it's only 320x240, but.......   Jun 18 2006, 03:14 PM
Tom61   Before deciding on a microtrackball, be sure to tr...   Jun 18 2006, 04:19 PM
stampsm   QUOTE(Tom61 @ Jun 18 2006, 04:19 PM)Before de...   Jun 18 2006, 04:41 PM
stampsm   i was looking at memory and if we go for 128MB fou...   Jun 18 2006, 04:43 PM
Tom61   How about this kind of setup for a motherboard; Ha...   Jun 18 2006, 06:34 PM
stampsm   well if you are looking at making money from the b...   Jun 18 2006, 07:42 PM
stampsm   well it turns out that the i.mx31 supports "m...   Jun 18 2006, 08:46 PM
Da_Blitz   iMX3 supports 256MB over 4 chips (64MB per chip se...   Jun 18 2006, 10:19 PM
Da_Blitz   can you guys post any links to suppliers you can f...   Jun 18 2006, 10:20 PM
stampsm   i found a 640x480 3.7" lcd LS037V7DW01 datas...   Jun 18 2006, 10:24 PM
stampsm   QUOTE(stampsm @ Jun 18 2006, 10:24 PM)i found...   Jun 19 2006, 12:57 AM
stampsm   all the costs i wrote i think i got from arrownac....   Jun 18 2006, 10:28 PM
stampsm   that lcd also has an option of 320x240 mode by sen...   Jun 18 2006, 10:32 PM
stampsm   did i say how much i like ebay yet? this auction j...   Jun 19 2006, 12:16 AM
Da_Blitz   Nice, what terms do you use when you search, as i ...   Jun 19 2006, 03:34 AM
Da_Blitz   btw there is a reply on the prev. page, i tend to ...   Jun 19 2006, 03:51 AM
Ferret-Simpson   The 4" CGS screen is exactly what we're l...   Jun 19 2006, 05:15 AM
danboid   Trackball in the middle of the cursor keys? Nooooo...   Jun 19 2006, 06:30 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Umm. . . the 5600 is squareish, the Clamshells are...   Jun 19 2006, 09:00 AM
stampsm   on that trackball idea keeping it seperate like th...   Jun 19 2006, 11:59 AM
iignotus   Do we have any semblance of a schematic yet? With ...   Jun 19 2006, 12:25 PM
stampsm   QUOTE(iignotus @ Jun 19 2006, 12:25 PM)Do we ...   Jun 19 2006, 01:03 PM
iignotus   QUOTE(stampsm @ Jun 19 2006, 01:03 PM)QUOTE(i...   Jun 19 2006, 04:09 PM
stampsm   QUOTE(iignotus @ Jun 19 2006, 04:09 PM)QUOTE(...   Jun 19 2006, 04:56 PM
stampsm   one thing we have not much discused is the wifi ch...   Jun 19 2006, 01:01 PM
speculatrix   do you mind if I add a few comments to your geek-f...   Jun 19 2006, 02:08 PM
dhns   QUOTE(speculatrix @ Jun 19 2006, 11:08 PM)3) ...   Jun 20 2006, 03:44 AM
speculatrix   QUOTE(dhns @ Jun 20 2006, 12:44 PM)IMHO, you ...   Jun 20 2006, 04:00 AM
dhns   QUOTE(speculatrix @ Jun 20 2006, 01:00 PM)The...   Jun 20 2006, 05:20 AM
stampsm   sure modular is good but it has a drawbac...   Jun 19 2006, 04:05 PM
speculatrix   modular is good but it has a drawback of size (bi...   Jun 20 2006, 02:07 AM
stampsm   i am having trouble getting these quote thingies t...   Jun 19 2006, 04:08 PM
danboid   Glad to see my separate trackball + cursor keys/d-...   Jun 19 2006, 06:05 PM
desertrat   QUOTE(danboid @ Jun 20 2006, 02:05 AM)CONCENT...   Jun 20 2006, 01:11 AM
Lance   How about a IR LED that are used by standard consu...   Jun 19 2006, 07:59 PM
Da_Blitz   Why do i bother sleeping this moves to fast (6 pag...   Jun 20 2006, 04:58 AM
Da_Blitz   actually i did mention a virbrater when talking ab...   Jun 20 2006, 07:15 AM
stampsm   well off to work in a few minutes will reply more ...   Jun 20 2006, 07:43 AM
Da_Blitz   I second that but looking thregh the 2521 page ref...   Jun 20 2006, 07:59 AM
Fushnchupsh   hey, if this becomes a reality I'll totally se...   Jun 20 2006, 08:45 AM
speculatrix   now, I know people want video out, but can I say f...   Jun 20 2006, 09:22 AM
stampsm   ok for a quick recap i may have missed something s...   Jun 20 2006, 10:17 AM
zmiq2   impressive, amazing, exciting. but really feasible...   Jun 20 2006, 10:34 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Ok ok ok. . 5.1 Audio? WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT...   Jun 20 2006, 11:39 AM
Ferret-Simpson   Anyone think this could be made Sticky? They did ...   Jun 20 2006, 11:46 AM
Fushnchupsh   As far as video out goes, I have always had the dr...   Jun 20 2006, 12:30 PM
stampsm   for wifi chips i was looking at the zd1211 chip. i...   Jun 20 2006, 01:14 PM
stampsm   well it seems that the MC13783 chip is used on the...   Jun 20 2006, 03:13 PM
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