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Reference platform weds Monahans to Linux

Apr 3, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

One month after Intel began sampling its newest XScale processor family, codenamed Monahans, InHand Electronics has debuted a board-level reference platform for the family. The Advanced Technology Platform (ATP) comes with Linux BSP (board support package), and incorporates a Monahans XScale processor running at “over 800 MHz,” according to the company.


Monahans, a third-generation spin of Intel's XScale architecture optimized for low-power wireless devices, was first discussed publicly by Intel at a keynote at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in August of 2005. “The Monahans technology platform will offer a wide range of performance, power, and integration levels designed to meet the needs of handsets, handhelds, and consumer electronic devices,” Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney said. Demonstrating a breadboard version with a 1.2 GHz ARM XScale core, he claimed “enormous” performance headroom for the processors in a very small footprint.

Maloney again highlighted Monahans, newly sampling, at his keynote at IDF last month, discussing three new technologies — Wireless Intel SpeedStep with MusicMax technology, Intel Wireless MMX2, and Intel VideoMax — that he said would offer improved audio and video performance, along with enhanced power efficiency. “We're also putting hardware acceleration features into it that help enable the acceleration and capture of images through the camera,” Maloney said.

InHand's Monahans reference platform

The InHand ATP is based on a Monahans processor clocked “over 800MHz,” and includes support for NAND flash and DDR SDRAM memory. A “high performance” graphics interface is compatible with a wide variety of LCD displays and touchscreens, according to the company.

The ATP includes a number of wireless peripherals and interfaces, including WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS, according to InHand. Other onboard interfaces include: Ethernet; USB host/client ports; an AC97-compliant audio codec; multiple COM, I2C, and SSP/SPI serial ports; and a “host” of configurable general-purpose I/O interfaces. Additionally, the board comes equipped with a Li-Ion battery power system.

Card-level expansion is accomplished via multiple CompactFlash and SDIO memory sockets. A daughterboard interface is also provided, for even more design flexibility.

InHand's Monahans reference platform apparently comprises a small module with the processor and associated logic, plus a carrier board with additional interface ICs and connectors
(Click image to enlarge)

From the software perspective, the ATP includes BSPs for both Linux and Windows CE 5.0, plus the latest version of InHand's BatterySmart run-time power management software, according to the company.

The reference platform will also include documentation and technical support.


The ATP will ship later this month, InHand said. Pricing was not stated.

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