AMD demos Alchemy-based PDA running Linux

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is showing off a reference design for a PDA (personal digital assistant) based on its Alchemy Au1100 processor running Linux at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, according to the company.

The Au1100-based PDA reference design runs Metrowerks's Linux-based OpenPDA suite of software. OpenPDA includes an embedded Linux kernel and a range of software designed for use in PDAs, including games and software for playing music and video files, as well as Trolltech AS's Qtopia multilingual user interface, Opera Software ASA's Opera Web browser, and support for both Personal Java and J2ME (Java 2 Platform Micro Edition).

OpenPDA also includes a suite of personal productivity applications, including a calendar, contact management, to-do list, e-mail client and a text editor.

The Alchemy Au1100 processor was introduced by AMD in April 2002, following its acquisition of Alchemy Semiconductor Inc., and is designed to be used in mobile and handheld devices.

The chip is available in three versions, running at clock speeds of 333MHz, 400MHz and 500MHz, and includes a MIPS32 processor core, an on-chip LCD (liquid crystal display) controller, a 10/100 Ethernet controller and a USB (Universal Serial Bus) device and host controller, according to information on AMD's Web site.

Reference designs are typically offered by chip makers to demonstrate the capabilities of their chips and to help device manufacturers to speed the development of products. While AMD is displaying the Alchemy-based PDA reference design at LinuxWorld, a statement released by the company made no mention of hardware makers that plan to commercialize the design.

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