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Philips to ship Linux/Qtopia smartphone in US, Europe?

Sep 6, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

A company claiming to be the “world's largest independent design house for wireless devices” used embedded Linux to build its top-of-the-line smartphone platform. Cellon International says its C8000 mobile platform has already shipped in Europe under a major brandname — probably the Philips CT9688,… pictured at left.

Cellon International spun off from Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips in 1999. It designs wireless terminals and handset modules for OEMs and private label distributors, including Philips, Alcatel, and Siemens. It has 800 employees worldwide, with offices in the US, China, and France, and claims to have designed more than 20 million wireless handsets in use today.

Cellon unveiled its C8000 platform, along with three lower-end phone platforms, at the Cannes 3GSM show in February of this year. It has only now come to light that the high-end multimedia smartphone platform is based on Linux, however.

Cellon's C8000 platform module

The C8000 is a tri-band (900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM/GPRS phone featuring a 2.2-inch QVGA TFT touchscreen display with 262K colors, handwriting recognition, a 1.3MP CMOS camera, and video camcorder capabilities supporting QVGA (240×320) or CIF-resolution video (288 x 352) at greater than 15 frames per second. The design also features a unique application selector switch actuated by the user's hand position, which Cellon says allows users to switch between camera, phone, and data entry modes “with the turn of a hand.”

Additional features listed by Cellon include:

  • GPRS class 10, class B
  • Vocoder: FR/EFR/AMR
  • 2.2-inch
  • Size: 3.5 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches (88 x 48 x 23)
  • SXGA CMOS camera (1.3Mpix)
  • Standard battery: 900 mAh Li-ion
  • Multimedia batter: 1100 mAh Li-ion
  • Standby time: up to 200 hours
  • Talk time: up to 3 hours
  • MPEG4/AMR (QVGA, 22fps max, up to 64 kbps)
  • MP3 playback
  • TV playback
  • MIDI polyphonic 64 channels + wavetables
  • Embedded and downloadable games and applications
    • Native Linux
    • Java: MIDP 2.0 (mobile information device profile
  • Connectivity: USB, A/V link, SDI/O
  • MMS video
  • HTML/WAP 2.0 browser
  • Linux, QT-compatible GUI

Cellon last February joined MontaVista's Mobilinux partner program — suggesting its C8000 platform could be based on MontaVista Linux.

Trolltech has also announced that the C8000 platform is one of dozens of designs based on its Qtopia Phone Edition, a mobile phone application stack that shipped in May of last year, won “best embedded solution” at the LinuxWorld Expo last summer, and was upgraded last November.

Cellon CEO Jason Sun said, “With Trolltech's inherent cross-platform technology, we are able to quickly move our existing applications to the Linux platform.”

The Philips CT9688

Based on an extensive search of features found in the latest smartphones from Cellon's OEM partners, it appears that the C8000 platform may underpin Philips's CT9688 design — a smartphone that goes into camcorder mode when its screen is twisted into the position shown at right. Both European and US versions of the phone appear to exist.

The Philips CT9688 appears to have all the features Cellon describes for its C8000 platform, as well as “T9” predictive text input software from Tegic (screenshot) and several games, including Cuban Missile Crisis (screenshot).

Additional details about the CT9688 can be found in downloadable user manuals for the US and European versions.

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