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GPS-enabled rugged PDA runs Linux

May 9, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Indian device design house iWave Systems has unveiled a “military grade” PDA that supports SDIO WiFi and GPS receiver modules. The “iW-Rugged-PDA” is based on a Marvell PXA270 processor, and can run Linux or Windows CE, the company said.

(Click for larger view of iW-Rugged-PDA)

Bangalore, India based iWave specializes in hardware/software reference designs for mobile devices. It previously shipped a generic PXA270 reference platform, as well as a video-centric handheld design based on TI's i.MX27 processor.

iWave called its iW-Rugged-PDA “the first rugged PDA that comes with SDIO WLAN and GPS.” Originally created for an unspecified defense agency, the device is intended for use tracking users via GPS and WiFi. It can operate in “extreme outdoor and industrial environments,” and was designed to meet MIL-STD-810F and 461E (461 EMI, EMC) specifications for resistance to drops, vibration, temperature extremes, and water and dust infiltration.

The iW-Rugged-PDA is based on a Marvel PXA270 processor clocked at 520MHz. It has 128MB of SDRAM. Storage is divided between 32MB or 64MB of NOR flash for the OS and applications, and 1GB of NAND flash for storage. The display is a 3.5-inch QVGA (240×320) color touchscreen.

I/O includes:

  • 2 x RS-232 ports
  • 1 x USB
  • 8-key keyboard
  • Audio I/O
  • SDIO supporting GPS and 802.11b WiFi

The Windows CE version appears to include viewers for PDF, PowerPoint, and Word files; a media player; navigation software; clock; browser; and email client. Specifics regarding the application stack for the Linux version of the device were not provided.

Abdullah Khan, director of engineering, stated, “iW-Rugged-PDA [is] resistant to rain, shock, humidity, vibration, salt fog, altitude, and extreme temperatures.”


The iW-Rugged-PDA appears to be a finished design available now for manufacturing. Pricing was not disclosed.

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