open cell phone hardware questions

Steve Markgraf steve at
Fri Jan 14 14:23:42 UTC 2011


just to reflect my own thoughts on this topic:

On 14.01.2011 14:39, Scott Weisman wrote:

> Now, given that the supported phone hardware is old and not reliably
> available, I was wondering if anyone knows if the Calypso and other
> chips in these old phones are still available for new designs? How much
> interest would there be, say, in an open, but VERY SIMPLE, actual phone?
> Kind of like the Pandora project, but without the ambition to make the
> most advanced portable game player possible.

This is more or the less the GSM Devel-Board idea [1] that Harald wanted 
to pursue initially, with the difference that it would have used a 
custom DSP and not the Calypso. But even if you don't take in account 
the time and money it takes to do a proper pcb- and especially 
RF-design, this is definitely something you don't want to do with the 
Calypso (which is EOL and not available for new designs, although you 
might get it still in the semiconductor grey-market).

But what would be the benefit of all this? The Compal-phones are still 
available in huge quantities (see for example, new 
Motorola C118 for $19.79 including world-wide shipping). You surely 
won't beat that price with your hardware.
And it still isn't really 'open', since you have e.g. the proprietary 
DSP code.

It might make a bit more sense with MediaTek baseband chips (once 
supported) if you want to do something out-of-spec with them, but even 
there you have thousands of different phones readily available.

Just my 2 cents...



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