[gta02-core] The Phoenux is coming: Openmoko Beagle

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at computer.org
Mon May 10 18:30:36 CEST 2010

on 1st April,
we have made jokes about how the future might look for Openmoko devices.

The future begins now!

We can soon provide a printed circuit board ("Openmoko Beagle") that  
can carry a Freerunner display module (incl. touch screen) and is  
connected to a Beagleboard. It fits into a (slightly cut) Freerunner  
case (although you can do everything without destroying a Freerunner;  
only the buttons are a little more difficult to use).

Thus one can experience how a OMAP 3530 would feel inside a  
Freerunner. And with an external battery pack and a UMTS stick the  
whole thing is even mobile. See photos [1], [2]. A prototype had  
already been shown briefly during FOSDEM: [3] so you may think you  
have already seen this.

The U-Boot software is completed and even has a graphical menu: [4].  
Sources will become available together with the hardware.

For the Linux kernel, there is still some work to do. But it is  
essentially a BeagleBoard kernel plus Angstrom (or what ever you want  
to use). This means that experienced Freerunner users and developers  
can easily participate actively. And of course user-space software  
like SHR, QtMoko, Android, Debian, FSO, etc. can be ported...

With the new capabilities of the OMAP CPU (integrated vector-pipeline,  
3D graphics engine, separate DSP for audio / video processing) we can  
reach the power of a Pre Palm, HTC, N900 or iPhone.

Assuming that the community wants to aquire at least 50 units (please  
confirm!) and that the EUR does not crash, we think we can offer the
* empty PCB (with placement plan and shopping list) at around 49 EUR,
* a set of components (without display) for DIY soldering (but we  
don't recommend because of a few tiny SMDs and BGAs) also at 49 EUR.
* A populated board (without display) for ca. 99 EUR
* and ca. 169 EUR with a display module (if you do not want to  
disassemble your Freerunner).
Note: the OMAP3530 CPU is not on this board, so you must obtain a  
BeagleBoard separately.

So are you interested in giving your Freerunner an exciting new life  
[5]? Want to participate to really go in the direction of Free&Open- 
UMTS high-powered smartphones? This is not the end of development. It  
is a new beginning. Promised. Let's do it. Yes, we can. Etc.

We would appreciate your communicative, encouraging, financial and  
practical support and your questions.

Nikolaus (MacGyver?) + Team

[1] http://download.goldelico.com/default/Images/DSC00435.JPG
[2] http://download.goldelico.com/default/Images/DSC00436.JPG
[3]: http://freeyourphone.de/portal_v1/download/file.php?id=225
[4]: http://download.goldelico.com/default/Images/DSC00434.JPG
[5]: therefore the allusion to the Phoenux

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