On Dec 6, 2005, at 10:57 PM, John Frankland wrote:

Hello,

I've been reading through your archives and FAQ, and I have a few questions. I am currently one of a number of people considereing using this particular board as the basis for a handheld gaming/multimedia device. We are involved in this particular online comunity http://www.benheck.comexternal link , and the founder of which is even considering offering help in the units construction and design. But to make it perfect right out of the box there are a couple things missing. Those being usb host capability and mass storage options preferably through an IDE connection, as well as enquiring if a higher level of ram would be available.

I am aware of current work arounds involving a CF usb host card, for both storage and the attachment of peripherals. While this is an option, the resultant read and write time from the usb harddrive would greatly impact the media playback, and the inclusion of usb control and pointing devices woulld again slow down this port. One of the pages stated that there are posible plans to include an updated processor structure for the next model, and that usb 2.0 host support may well be a possibility.

The stated release date was sometime within the first half of 2006. Is this likely to be a reality? And what sort of specification updates are likely to take place? Will there be a USB host, increased processor speed, more available ram, and possible ide support? We would love to start production as soon as possible and would love to know what our full options are. I would greatky apreciate any information you can give me.

The updated CPU is still scheduled for the first half of 2006 (which period ends on June 30th).  The CPU will be the PXA270 (or 271/2/3 possibly) which is the next in the series of CPUs which we currently use.  It will likely feature a little more flash (32MB) though that's not definite at this stage (some of the alternate CPUs have 32MB of flash stacked on the CPU), and RAM is likely going to be the same 64MB, or possibly 128MB.  The CPU supports USB otg, and that functionality will be exposed.  Direct IDE support is unlikely, but CF->IDE could be used for the storage piece, or you could just use a CF or MMC card for storage, which cards now go up to 4GB and by next year I'm sure will be higher still.  The CPU speed iirc runs up to 562MHz or something.

C