SAN JOSE, Calif. Contract design company Moto Development Group (San Francisco) has announced a family of three reference platforms for the Google Android operating system. The Android Media Platform is aimed at giving OEMs a leg up on hardware engineering based on Moto's enhancements to the Texas Instruments Beagle board.
Moto is one of a widening circle of companies jumping on Google Android as the basis for products ranging from digital picture frames to smart utility meters. A design based on the TI OMAP 3430 processor and a five-inch Samsung OLED display is available now with versions for OMAP 3630 and 4x processors using 3.5-inch and 10-inch screens coming early next year.
Unlike the TI Beagle board, the Moto designs include support for 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 2.1 and a 3G modem as well as power management. The designs also support a proprietary multi-touch display technology Moto rolled out earlier this year.
"There are a bunch of interesting [Android] platforms out there from Freescale, Marvell, Nvidia and others, so we may come out with more of these designs in the new year," said J. Daniell Hebert, chief executive of Moto.
The relatively small design firm is not selling the boards directly, but using them to attract contract design business. The board "is close to a pre-production unit for engineering validation and test, so some people might be able to use and license this design," Herbert said.
Android has attracted significant OEM interest beyond the phone. In part, that's because companies see it and its related app store as the best shot at a neutral and broadly supported mobile Linux applications environment, said Herbert.
Moto is aware of the many mobile Linux contenders such as Limo, Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo, but, "there's not nearly as much interest in them," he said. Thus most of Moto's non Android designs use embedded Linux and custom user interface frameworks.
Moto's AMP is based on an eight-layer board with blind/buried via-in-pad technology using 4 mil microvias and 6 mil standard vias, with 4/4 trace rules. It uses a simpler daughter card to support display electronics so OEMs can experiment with other display and peripheral options.
Moto Development's AMP adds it multi-touch display to open source, TI code.
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