Looking for a single-core ARM processor for a generic smartphone

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I've dropped the PROGMEM subjects and I'm going to focus on ARM. I'm going to develop a phone OS. Actually, it's not a phone. It's like a mobile PC that can optimizedly do things that Android phones can't.

 

The phone that I'd like to make would have capabilities like Sony Ericsson C510 which has ARM9, but only more powerful. That phone could do a lot (includes video editing) with so little RAM and Androids can't do that (without rooting XD)!

I don't know should I look for ARM9. Does anyone use ARM9 for any projects? Should I move on to a more modern processor? Which? I think I read somewhere that it's Harvard and that ARM7 (or ARM6) is Von Neumann. I don't want anything Harvard where there's a need for LPM/ELPM. A boot-up flash memory on the address space is okay.

 

The phone would be running something like Windows XP. I don't mean Windows XP literally, but I mean that all programs should run smoothly like Windows XP does on a 256MB RAM 1GHz computer. Not like on Android where Android just launches apps automatically in the background like it wants so you have to use task killers. That's stupid. That is the very reason why I'm making my own OS. In Windows XP, you have services, startup tasks and tasks that you run yourself and close whenever you want.

 

The programs it must be able to run are:

  • the basic of every phone (settings, dialer, calls, messages, organizer apps, calculator, alarm (which also means turning on the phone if it's off to wake up the user!)...),
  • camera,
  • camcoder (recording with camera),
  • sound recorder,
  • file manager,
  • text editor,
  • pdf reader,
  • office file editor,
  • media player (that supports all kinds of formats and codecs!),
  • picture editor,
  • video editor,
  • music editor (MIDI score writer, MOD tracker),
  • media converter,
  • SDK IDE for my OS and AVR8,
  • AVRdude (so I can use it to program my AVR devices on the go XD),
  • task manager,
  • web browser,
  • networking (like port forwarding, hosing a game server, hosting a ftp server, ftp client)
  • J2ME emulator
  • Flash player (or something that's a mockoff of that because I doubt Adobe will make a Flash player for some OS appearing from nowhere)

 

Yep. Now, don't worry about all the programs. I can either write my own programs, port an open-source non-GPL program or have a team of people making software for my phone.

About the hardware, the phone needs to support these things:

  • Audio jack input that has combined headphones and microphone contacts
  • 2 USB 2.0 hosts (yeah, it's a PC!)
  • 1 miniUSB 2.0 device slot
  • 2 microSD cards each up to 16GB (for file transfer)
  • 1 internal flash memory that's 2GB
  • Microphone
  • Little speaker
  • Big speaker
  • Camera
  • On-board keyboard with joysticks
  • Double-touch screen
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • Accellerometer
  • Vibration
  • Flash light (for the camera. I enjoyed the moments when I showed off my C510 camera's "reflector" while walking in the dark)
  • Regular rechargeable battery (Li-Polymer or something like that) that lasts more than 24 hours under constant usage

 

The processor itself should have 1GHz speed and 512MB RAM.

 

What can I say? I'm trying to make a phone with PC's capabilities. If C510 could do that and Androids with more RAM and frequency can't, then I can make optimized software for Android-like hardware making it more powerful and optimized than Androids are (because Android uses Java (lol)). For an Android to do what a PC does, it needs to be more expensive and have 2x+ more RAM and frequency to do its job. I think that's really unoptimized. A cheap device with many capabilities is my goal.

 

So I'm asking you people. Which ARM processor should I use?

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ARM7 and ARm9 have been superceded by Cortex A for years.

 

If I were you I'd just get a Pi or Beaglebone and using Linux (the vast majority of smartphones on this planet do (assuming you count iOS as effectively a descendant of Unix)).

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Foxcat385 wrote:
The phone that I'd like to make would have capabilities like Sony Ericsson C510 which has ARM9, but only more powerful.
There is a recent post to a thread here where the AVR Freak was lamenting about the literal death of their phone (pre-smartphone, or IIRC, feature phone); Java and likely the MPU ran Java bytecode.

Might be easier to purchase from China such a phone and modify it.

MediaTek phone SoC appear to be popular.


Andrew (bunnie) Huang

The $12 “Gongkai” Phone

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?page_id=3107

MediaTek - WikiDevi

Mobile chipsets MT series

Mobile Phone

https://wikidevi.com/wiki/MediaTek#Mobile_Phone

How 'Gongkai' Innovation Could Allow China To Leapfrog The West

from the not-necessarily-according-to-the-letter-of-the-law dept

Innovation

by Glyn Moody

Wed, Jan 7th 2015 1:00am

https://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20141230/09362929550/how-gongkai-innovation-could-allow-china-to-leapfrog-west.shtml

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Foxcat385 wrote:
Which ARM processor should I use?
From MediaTek is its initial-in-lineup Cortex A mobile phone SoC.

Depending on where you're at might simply get a 35Euros (40USD) follow-on to the feature phone; it's a smart phone but at the minimal end of the smart phone range.

A very recent announcement, initially for EMEA, with emphasis on North Africa and some other nations in Africa; Middle East may be next.

US - IIRC by Verizon Wireless in year 2016.

I'm looking forward to it because my flip phone form of a feature phone is getting up there in age.

Would like to use such for the operator interface to embedded systems.

If this new phone has USB OTG type AB that'll be a fit; its feature set does have Bluetooth (likely 4.0) so that may be enough.


Orange Mobile World Congress 2015

http://www.orange.com/en/press/Orange-Mobile-World-Congress-2015/Virtual-Press-Room

...

new Orange smartphones

Pdf iconOrange Klif: specifications sheet

...

Firefox OS Proves Flexibility of Web: Ecosystem Expands with More Partners, Device Categories and Regions in 2015

Mar 1 2015

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/03/01/firefox-os-proves-flexibility-of-web-ecosystem/

Orange to bring Firefox OS to 13 new markets in Africa and Middle East; Mozilla, KDDI, LG U+, Telefónica and Verizon collaborate on new category of phones based on Firefox OS

Barcelona, Spain – Mobile World Congress – March 1st, 2015

...

Mozilla, KDDI, LG U+, Telefónica and Verizon Wireless Collaborate to Create New Category of Firefox OS Phones

Mar 1 2015

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/03/01/new-category-of-firefox-os-phones/

New range of intuitive and easy-to-use phones to be powered by Firefox OS

Barcelona, Spain – Mobile World Congress – March 1, 2015

...

LinuxGizmos

Firefox OS heading for Africa -- and the U.S. too

Mar 2, 2015

by Eric Brown

http://linuxgizmos.com/firefox-os-heading-for-africa-and-the-u-s-too/

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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So how am I supposed to obtain the MediaTek Cortex A microprocessor? I tried Googling, but got many results without an exact name of the processor that I should use. Can you please help me find the name? The price should be less than $10 if ordering 10. And where can I order those? Do those even have dev boards? I cannot solder those myself nor do I know the proper schematics.

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Foxcat385 wrote:
So how am I supposed to obtain the MediaTek Cortex A microprocessor?
Might not be easy.

Foxcat385 wrote:
Can you please help me find the name?
The spec sheet for the Orange Klif smartphone states it's MediaTek MT6572M.

Foxcat385 wrote:
And where can I order those?
I'm guessing Shenzhen.

Foxcat385 wrote:
Do those even have dev boards?
Don't know.

Foxcat385 wrote:
I cannot solder those myself nor do I know the proper schematics.
If the ball count is not numerous and the pitch is not too small you can design the PCB and solder it; pitch : 0.8mm yes, 0.65mm maybe, 0.5mm I personally wouldn't try.

Likely quicker to get a board or phone with it already mounted then hack the PCB.


MediaTek

MT6572

Dual-core platform with HSPA+

http://www.mediatek.com/en/products/mobile-communications/smartphone1/mt6572/

The $12 “Gongkai” Phone

by Andrew (bunnie) Huang

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?page_id=3107

...

The MT6250 is rumored to sell in volume for under $2. I was able to anecdotally confirm the price by buying a couple of pieces on cut-tape from a retail broker for about $2.10 each. [No, I will not broker these chips or this phone for you…]

...

From Gongkai to Open Source

by Andrew (bunnie) Huang

This entry was posted on Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 5:00 am and is filed under gongkai, Hacking, Made in China, Ponderings.

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=4297

Edit : URLs.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Sun. Mar 15, 2015 - 08:07 AM
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Bump. I had to reply, but I was on the phone and probably forgot. If that guy won't broker the chips, how am I supposed to get them? Can I get something else? Is Gongkai viral like GPL where I cannot leech?

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Foxcat385 wrote:
If that guy won't broker the chips, how am I supposed to get them?
Alibaba?

http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/global/home

Foxcat385 wrote:
Can I get something else?
MediaTek does have competitors.

Allwinner?

Foxcat385 wrote:
Is Gongkai viral like GPL where I cannot leech?
Gongkai is a certain state of being and doing.

GPL is in a legal realm.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Are you talking about industrial quantities here or just something for a one-off project. If the former you surely already know about the likes of alibaba and I guess you may even have an agent in the Far East who acts on your behalf to broker deals for chips with local suppliers. If it's a one-off are you rejecting the RPi / BB idea? If so I'm not entirely sure why? Is it because the SoC's don't contain a large panel LCD controller perhaps?

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I wanted to make a smaller version than RPi and my own PCB. Sony Ericsson C510 sure is smaller. And yes, you could say that it's because no LCD. Also because there's no keypad. The keyboards I've seen for RPi are wireless, but that's bad because I don't think those connections are encrypted and hackers can listen to the bluetooth/Wifi connection between the keyboard and RPi.

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I guess it's fairly common in Rpi/BB designs to hand off quite a lot of the I/O glue to a slave processor such as some AVR even. Having said that the BeagleBone black offers far more I/O by default than an RPi. It would be quite possible to wire up a keypad and an "intelligent" LCD display module to one of those I guess.

 

Of course (like a smartphone). You don't actually need a keypad if you have a touch screen. Something like this:

 

http://www.nxelec.com/products/h...

 

adds an 800x400 touchscreen LCD on top of a beagle board. Or their equivalent for the BeagleBone:

 

http://www.nxelec.com/products/h...

 

(those were just my first Google hit - not definitive - I'm sure there's hundreds of other options).

Last Edited: Fri. May 1, 2015 - 02:57 PM
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I need a keypad because I hate touch screens when keyboard and input method and selections are in question. I'd rather use a trackball if the keyboard/keypad wasn't an option.

The screen should be 640x480 and I need a little keyboard or I can make my own keypad with an AVR microcontroller and a special input method I have in mind.