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Linux reference kit targets portable devices with OCR, media players

Jul 5, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

SoC (system-on-chip) vendor Mobilic is shipping a “production-ready development kit” for portable media devices based on embedded Linux. The MDK730 kit uses the company's ARM9-based MP730 multimedia applications processor, and has a total BOM (bill-of-materials) cost of about $70, the company says.

(Click for slightly larger view of MDK730 kit)

The MDK730 development kit targets cell phones, portable multimedia players, IP cameras, and other portable consumer products, according to Mobilic.

The kit is based on Mobilic's highly integrated MP730 multimedia processor, said to offer “the highest level of functional integration in the industry.” Along with a 200MHz ARM926EJ core, the MP730 integrates:

  • Scaleable image signal processor supporting sensors up to 12 mega-pixels
  • MPEG4 codec
  • USB host and device interfaces
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • SDIO
  • “Many other interfaces”

Currently, five customers have committed to using the MP730 chip in product designs, Mobilic claims.

In addition to the MP730 CPU, the reference board includes a numeric keypad, 2.2-inch QVGA (320 x 240) LCD, and 1.3-megapixel image sensor. It measures 4.7 x 3.5 inches (12 x 8.5 cm).

Additional planned modules include WiFi, GPS, and a mobile digital TV receiver.

Linux OS

On the software side, the MDK730 kit includes a royalty-free Linux port done by Mobilic engineers, the company says. The port is said to provide such advanced functions as optical character recognition (OCR), face recognition, voice-to-text, voice-over-IP, network media streaming, and Web browsing.

Eric Chan, VP of engineering, stated, “Think about combining image capture, OCR, and text-to-voice, to your product, no matter if it's a cell phone or a portable media player (PMP).”


The MDK730 is available now, priced at $990, including board schematics, a Gerber file, reference software, and a software development kit.

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