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CharmIT Pro Wearable Computer

CharmIT Pro Wearable Computer - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The CharmIT Pro is a open source Crusoe based wearable built with off the shelf components like an SBC from Boser.
Filed under: Mobile Devices Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Charmed Apr 22 2002   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Mobile Devices > Charmed

The CharmIT Pro Wearable Computer
The concept behind the CharmIT Pro wearable computer is one that follows along with the open source programming community closely, but in this case with hardware instead of software code. The CharmIT Pro is a open source Crusoe based wearable built with off the shelf components like an SBC from Boser and created from the minds at MIT's Media Labs.

The device uses an 800MHz TM5800 Crusoe processor and contains 256MB SDRAM, a 20GB hard drive, and an SBC motherboard which boasts 10/100 Ethernet, serial ports, USB ports, a 32-bit Mini PCI expansion slot, and video controller. Battery life for the 1.75lb unit isn't quite specified as we could see from the Charmed website, but the makers believe it is twice that of other wearable designs, due in part no doubt to the low power requirements of the Crusoe processor.

Charmed actually have most of the plans required to build the CharmIT Pro available on their website, so if you happen to be a technophile looking to make your own "wearable" computer this may be a good kit to consider. The pictures of the unit show that it is a it rough around the edges, and not a heavily commercial product looking for new markets. Single board computers are commercially available, so you could source out the products and build your own system, but it is interesting to see CharmIT bring the components, and the ideals of open source to a project such as this.

Obviously this the CharmIT is not going to replace the need for Transmeta to get its TM5800 processor into leading-edge subnotebooks, but it is at least an indication that the processors are available and making it into the marketplace where low power processing requirements are finally being satisfied.

Full Spec Sheet

Features CharmIT Transmeta 800Upgrade
CPU Board BoserHS-1600
Processor Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 800 Mhz, 64kb data cache 64kb instruction cache 512kb write-back cache
RAM 1 SO-DIMM socket256MB SDRAM maximum
BIOS Award PnP Flash BIOS
Timer Watchdog Timer
Interrupts 15 levels
DMA 7 channels
Periheral Chipsets VIA VT82C686A SMC FD37C699
Expansion Bus 32-bit Mini PCI100-pin socket on mainboard
IDE Controller 2 EIDE Drives, PIO and DMA modes, Dual Channel DMA Dedicated FIFO, UltraDMA-33 support, UltraDMA-66 support, SFF-8038i v1.0 compliant, ATAPI device support, DVD device support, 44-pin header on main board
FDD Controller 1 Floppy Drive1Mbps Data rate16 byte FIFO26-pin header on main board
Flash Disk DiskOnChip Supports 288MB
Video Controller C&T 69000 CRT and Flat Panel, 64-bit graphics engine, 2 MB Video RAM, 256 gray shades16.7M colors 640x480 24 bpp, 800x600 24 bpp, 1024x768 16 bpp, 1280x1024 8 bpp, DB15 VGA connector on enclosure, 40-pin LCD Header on main board
Audio ESS ES1938S 36-bit stereo 48 kHz sampling full duplex operation, Spacializer 3D sound, Speaker Output jack on enclosure, Microphone Input jack on enclosure
USB Ports 2 USB PortsRoot USB hub onboardUSB v1. 1 compliant, Universal HCI v1. 1 compliant, 2 USB connectors on enclosure
Serial Ports 4 Serial Ports2 RS232 (16550)1 RS232 (16C550)1 RS232/422/485 (16C550)16 byte FIFO buffers230Kbps and 460Kbps2 DB9 connectors on enclosure2 DB9 connectors inside case
IrDA IrDA TX/RX5-pin header on main board
Parallel Port 1 Parallel PortStandard Parallel Port (SPP)Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP)Extended Capabilities Port (ECP)26-pin header on main board
Keyboardand Mouse Controller Keyboard/Mouse Controller1 PS/2 port on enclosuresupports both keyboard and mouse
Ethernet LAN Realtek RTL8139C10/100 Base-T / TXMAC and PHYIEEE 802.3ACPI and PCIRJ45 connector on enclosure
CPU Board Size 112.5 x 102 mm
Power Supply Information The CPU board operates on a 5V only power source. The board is powered from lithium-ion camcorder batteries. Batteries connect to the CharmIT power board, which has protection diodes, a fuse, and a 5V 3A (15 watt) DC/DC converter. The converter can also accept power from an AC/DC adapter for stationary use.
Power Consumption Idle 6 wattsTypical 9 wattsMaxium 12 watts (includes 2.5" HDD)


 

Contents of Article: Charmed

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