Royal Developing Linux-Powered Handheld

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Royal has announced that it will ship a new Linux-powered handheld next month that will run the Qtopia application platform.

According to LinuxDevices.com, the LineaLX will use a Motorola i.MX1 ARM-based processor running at 200MHz. This is the same chip used in the Tapwave Zodiac. Royal’s upcoming handheld will include 64MB of SDRAM and 32MB of Flash memory.

The LineaLX will have a 3.5-inch screen at a resolution of 240 by 320 pixels. This will display 16-bit color. It will also include an SD slot that supports SDIO, allowing it to use both memory cards and peripherals that plug into the SD slot.

The size and weight of this handheld are not yet known and a picture isn’t available.

Because it uses Trolltech’s Qtopia platform, the LineaLX should be able to run many applications already written for other handhelds. “Royal’s decision to use Qtopia provides them with not only a robust application layer, but also access to over a thousand existing third-party applications,” said Haavard Nord, Trolltech’s CEO.

Qtopia is becoming increasingly popular. It’s used in Sharp’s Zaurus line and will also be on a new handheld expected next month from Softfield.

The Royal LineaLX is scheduled to ship in the United States in the fourth quarter 2003 and retail for under $300.

It appears that this will be just the first of many Linux-based handhelds coming from this company. “This partnership with Trolltech reinforces Royal’s strength and expertise in creating products with stellar features at aggressive price points. It gives us the basis for a complete line of Linux-powered PDAs,” said Todd Althoff, Vice-President of Marketing and New Development for Royal Consumer Information Products.

Royal already makes a line of low-cost PDAs that run a proprietary operating system.

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