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ARM-based MIDs run Android, report says

Apr 27, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

China-based Routon Electronic Co. is readying two ARM11-based mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that can run Linux or Android, according to an industry report. Routon's P760 MID and the touchscreen-only P730 MID (pictured) are both equipped with a Samsung S3C6410 processor clocked to 677MHz, says the story.

Routon's two P7xx MIDs are set for a May release, according to a story in SlashGear. In addition to the Samsung S3C6410 system-on-chip (SoC), the devices are said to be equipped with 256MB of RAM and 4GB or 8GB of flash, and offer 4.8-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreens. Additional features include 802.11b/g WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, and an EVDO CDMA modem, with optional GSM/EDGE support, says the story. TV tuners are also said to be available as options, and the wider P760 model offers a keypad mounted to the right of the display.

A new wave of ARM MIDs

While numerous MIDs have shipped based on the Intel Atom and Moblin Linux distribution, Routon's models could be among the first of a new wave of ARM-based MIDs, tablets, digital photo frames (DPFs) and portable media players (PMPs). Virtually all of the initial wave will run Linux, and many are likely to run the Linux-based Android stack. Arguably, the first WiFi enabled, MID-like device running on an ARM processor was the Maemo Linux-based Nokia N800, which shipped in early 2007, but except for Nokia's N810 upgrade, the field has been pretty quiet until recently.

In the third quarter, Archos plans to ship a MID-like Archos Internet Media Tablet, which runs on an ARM Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP3440. Around the same time GiiNii plans to ship an Android-based Movit Mini portable media player (PMP), followed by a larger portable Internet appliance tablet that can double as a DPF. The company did not say, however, which processor architecture the devices will use. HY Research, meanwhile, announced a Linux-based “Beagle MID” design powered by the TI-manufactured BeagleBoard and its ARM Cortex-A8 OMAP3530 SoC.

The Samsung S3C6410 SoC that is said to power the Routon MIDs was announced in February 2008. The S3C6410 is equipped with an ARM1176 core along with what Samsung refers to as “advanced hardware blocks for multimedia processing.” A hardwired Multi-Format Codec (MFC) unit allows the S3C6410 to perform video capturing in MPEG4/H.263/H.264 formats, and play back video in MPEG4/H.263/H.264/VC1 formats, while still delivering long battery life, Samsung says. The SoC has been incorporated in a Samsung/Chumby reference design for DPFs.

According to Routon's website, the company is based in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and has over 1,000 employees. Routon manufactures a variety of “intelligent electronic terminals,” and has moved into mobile devices, including personal navigation devices (PNDs).


There is currently no information on the P760 MID or the P730 MID on the Routon site. However, the SlashGear story on the MIDs may be found here.

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