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Portable development platform runs Linux

Jan 4, 2008 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Future X Technology of Taiwan has announced a compact development platform based on Freescale Semiconductor's i.MX21 system-on-chip (SoC). Presently known only as the “Freescale i.MX21 3.5-inch TFT handheld,” the device allows creation of portable devices that run Linux, according to the company.

(Click here for a slightly larger view of the Future X development platform)

The i.MX21, targeted at mobile wireless applications by Freescale, is based on an ARM926EJ-S core with 16KB of I-cache and 16KB of D-cache, clocked at either 266MHz or 350MHz. It incorporates a 16/18-bit color LCD controller with resolution up to 800 x 600 pixels. Video playback capabilities include support for H.263 and MPEG-4 codecs, with CIF (352 x 288) resolution at up to 30fps.

Block diagram of the Freescale i.MX21

Future X says it has implemented all the above capabilities in a 4.7 x 2.8 x 0.4 inch (120 x 70 x 10mm) package, ready to accept a 3.5-inch touchscreen display. Featuring several function keys and a four-way controller, it is operable via either a 2100 mAh battery or external 5VDC input, according to the company.

Future X's Freescale i.MX21 main board

The board, seen above, is available with 8MB, 16MB, or 32MB of flash memory, and 16MB or 32MB of RAM. It includes a 10/100 Ethernet port and two serial ports, one of which is used to interface the touchscreen display, if desired.

According to Future X, audio and video I/O is optional, but dual USB 1.1 ports and an SD interface are standard. Nine GPIO ports are also included.

Future X says the Freescale i.MX21 3.5-inch TFT handheld will support either Linux or Windows CE, but has not provided pricing or availability details. Further information may become available from the company's website, here.

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