Sharp's new Linux/Java PDA

Sharp has announced a new PDA for the non-Japan market which features an embedded Linux operating system and a Java application environment

Sharp has announced a new PDA for the non-Japan market which features an embedded Linux operating system and a Java application environment.

Sharp has announced a new PDA for the non-Japan market which features an embedded Linux operating system and a Java application environment. From a hardware perspective, the device is based on an Intel StrongARM system-on-chip processor. The user interface consists of a bright, full-color "quarter-VGA" LCD touch/display along with a built-in QWERTY keyboard (located behind a slide cover).

To support the device, Sharp has launched a developer website and has indicated an intention to strongly promote the emergence of a developer community around the Linux/Java PDA environment.

Here are preliminary specifications of Sharp's new Linux/Java PDA, as obtained from the product's developer website and various news releases . . .

 

  • Application software: PIM suite (schedule, contacts, to-do, and memo), clock, calculator, PC synchronization, email, Web browser (HTML 3.2); additional applications can be added by the user.

  • Software platform:
    • Operating system: Lineo Embedix Embedded Linux
    • Java VM application environment: Tao intent, Java Technology Edition
    • Browser: ACCESS NetFront

  • CPU: 206 MHz Intel SA-1110 StrongARM

  • Memory: 32MB DRAM, 16MB Flash (in prototype)

  • Display: 3.5-inch 240 x 320-dot pixel ("quarter VGA") reflective TFT color LCD with touch panel support

  • Keyboard: front lighted QWERTY keyboard with a slide cover

  • Card slots:
    • one CompactFlash type II for memory or other peripheral expansion
    • one secure digital (SD) card slot for secure memory storage or other peripheral expansion

  • I/O ports:
    • IrDA 1.2
    • Serial port (via cradle)
    • USB (via cradle)
    • Stereo headphone jack

  • Power source: Lithium ion battery (950 mAH)

  • Bundled accessories: USB connected cradle; AC adapter

When can I get one? And for how much?

Although consumer pricing has yet to be determined, Sharp has announced a special offer for the first thousand developers who register on Sharp's Java/Linux PDA developer website -- US$399. The units are currently expected to ship in the September/October timeframe.