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“Olympics” phone runs Linux

Sep 3, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

China Unicom is distributing a Samsung Electronics phone that runs a mobile Linux stack from Mizi Research, a company that will soon be acquired by Wind River. Samsung's “Olympics” phone, also called the SCH-i859, is equipped with a Marvell PXA300 processor and a 2.8-inch touchscreen.

(Click for larger view of Samsung's SCH-i859 Olympics phone)

Samsung also offered an Olympics phone powered by Windows Mobile, the SGH-i688. Both phones were customized to access a Wireless Olympic Works (WOW) network, developed in conjunction with integrator Atos Origin. WOW is said to provide realtime schedules, results, weather information, email, and instant messaging to Olympic officials.

Aimed at the Chinese market and sold under Samsung's “Anycall” brand, the dual-network CDMA/GSM/GPRS SCH-i858 operates at both 900MHz and 1800MHz. The SCH-i859's 624MHz Marvell Monahan-L PXA300 is accompanied by 128MB ROM and 64MB SDRAM, and the touchscreen offers 65K colors and 320 x 240 resolution, says Samsung. Additional features include a 3-megapixel camera, USB, Bluetooth, and a MicroSD slot.

Different views of the SCH-i859 Olympics phone

The Mizi Prizm mobile stack used in the SCH-i859 offers numerous applications that in this offering support both Chinese and English. Applications include a web browser, email, voice recorder, media player, and a photo album.

Olympics phone's Mizi-based applications
(Click to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Samsung SCH-i859 Olympics phone include:

  • Processor — 624MHz Marvell Monahan-L PXA300
  • Memory — 128MB ROM; 64MB SDRAM
  • Display — 2.8-inch 65K-color TFT LCD (320×240)
  • Cellular — CDMA/GSM (900/1800MHz) /GPRS
  • MicroSD — 1 x T-Flash (MicroSD) Card Slot
  • USB — 1 x USB
  • Bluetooth — 1 x Bluetooth
  • Camera — 3-megapixel CMOS
  • Dimensions — 4.3 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches (110 x 56 x 15.8mm)
  • Operating system — Mobile Linux with Mizi Prizm stack
  • Applications:
    • Messaging — SMS, MS, IM, email
    • Web — Web browser, WAP browser, Java
    • Productivity — Address, scheduler, to-do, memo, personal finance
    • Multimedia — Camera, media player, photo album, voice recorder
    • Other utilities — Voice memo, search, world clock, contents box, office document viewer, calculator, alarm, e-book, sketch
    • Games — Fruits Cocktail, Puzzle, Sudoku

More views of the SCH-i859

Wind River to acquire Mizi

Last week, Wind River announced it would acquire Seoul, Korea-based Mizi Research for $16 million in a deal due to close by the end of October. The developer of a lightweight Linux mobile GUI stack called Mizi Prizm, Mizi was among the first companies to try to commercialize embedded Linux. Its mobile stack is now said to be integrated in 20 commercialized consumer electronics products.

Mizi Prizm/Mobile
reference design

(Click for details)

Rev'd to Prizm 3.0 in May 2007, Prizm incorporates its own small-footprint, embedded graphics stack. Supporting both Linux and Windows hosts, Prizm is supplied as an SDK (software development kit) based on an Eclipse 3.0 GUI framework.

In February, Mizi announced an “ultra low-cost” mobile phone reference design called the Mizi Prizm/Mobile (pictured at right). While the software appears to be similar to the Olympics phone, the hardware appears to be significantly different.

Samsung's Mizi-
powered SGH-i858

(Click for details)

This is not the first time Samsung has shipped Linux phones that run Mizi Prizm and target the Chinese market. In 2006, it introduced two Mizi-based slider phones: the SCH-i819 and the SGH-i858 (pictured at left).


The Samsung SCH-i859 “Olympics” phone is currently available for China Unicom customers at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at the Mizi site, here. Samsung's product page may be found here.

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