New: DIY Linux Cellphone Components

Coming to offer more control/openness/flexibility than something like OpenMoko offers

Cellular networking and GPS daughtercards... that's the new offer coming from Gumstix Linux vendor. The daughtercards will be called Goliath and they should work with Gumstix's single board computer, Verdex (Gumstix being well known as a SBC - single board PC- manufacturer), which is based on Intel's PXA270 SoC (system-on-chip), one of the most popular mobile phone processors for the Linux-based cellphones.

According to Gumstix the new Goliath daughtercards target remote data applications such as fleet tracking, as well as "hobbyists who want to build their own phone." The cards are expected to be released later this July, as some Gumstix officials estimated and they are said to ship in two designs. Regarding the impact these new card prototypes will have, CTO Craig Hughes stated:

"I suspect the Goliath boards will be attractive to hobbyists who want more control/openness/flexibility than something like OpenMoko might give. I bet most if not all the OpenMoko software could be made to work pretty easily on the Goliath."

The Linux software to be shipped with the daughtercards will be the same as that provided for the other Gumstix products. According to Hughes, the customers would benefit of hardware support in the kernel plus 'userspace-friendliness' interface layers and config files. As Hghes said, they will provide "all the glue to hook the hardware in to existing Linux applications like gpsd, pppd, ALSA audio, touchscreen input device layer, X windows, etc."

Two Goliath models which would be shipped in July are: the Goliath-vx ( which would implement GPRS/EDGE functions based on a Siemens MC75 wireless module) and the Goliath-GPS-vx, which comes with an additional u-blox Neo-4S GPS module. Gumstix said that later it would also include in its offer a 4.3-inch LCD module, based on a Samsung LCD, having same dimensions as the Goliath boards of 4.2 x 2.6 inches. Both Goliath modules will interface with the Verdex SBC via full-speed (12Mbps) USB, with GPRS signals redundantly routed to a serial interface. For more information related to the Goliath daughtercards you can also check out this link.

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