Talk:Ben NanoNote Specs

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[...] I me @alxc from April, @floschi from LiMuX and attended @rejon’s and @vegyraupe’s Ben Nanonote talk. A very interesting and promising device, I hope it’s successful enough to launch Qi [...] ~~ FOSDEM 2010 « FU-BAR, February 14, 2010 at 18:56


Hey, I saw you mentioned usb host for the Ya nanonote, will it be a qwerty clamshell device as well? How about a bigger screen? Also, is there a firm release date set for the Ben? ~~ Frankie, January 23, 2010 at 08:34


Ben is available! :-) See nanonote.cc ~~ wolfgang, February 19, 2010 at 09:06


It is a very nice device. I hope all the best for the project and may it get the highest success. When can we expect it on floor. And which are the places , were we can buy it. ~~ Deven, January 12, 2010 at 23:00


In India try IDA Systems in Jaipur… ~~ wolfgang, February 19, 2010 at 09:07


How to get this device? How much cost is it? Thank you! ~~ Mike, November 13, 2009 at 18:56


Mike,

Thank you for interesting in Ben NanoNote! It is in production right now, and will be available soon. You can subscribe to our announcement list so that once Ben is shipping, you will get informed. If you are a developer, please contact Mirko Lindner at mirko@qi-hardware.com. Maybe we can sell you a developer’s early access device.

Thanks, Yi ~~ Yi Zhang, November 19, 2009 at 04:21


FYI. They sell nanonotes over at tuxbrain now. The price is 99.00 Euros.

http://www.tuxbrain.com/en/oscommerce/products/68 ~~ niels, February 18, 2010 at 11:13


[...] http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ben-nanonote/ [...] ~~ Wikipedia disconnects! | Project Paroli, October 22, 2009 at 13:21


[...] a simple gtk2 app runs quite well and responsive on my Ben NanoNote by qi-hardware (366 MHz mips, 32 MB [...] ~~ GTK2 running on top of DirectFB on OpenWrt!, October 19, 2009 at 10:11


what OS comes pre-installed? r there any office document viewer and editor…

m just a user (not a developer) and i support open projects..i want a small document editor to carry around on which i can jot down my ideas every now and then..will this device suffice? ~~ shark mench, October 7, 2009 at 18:13

Hey,

thanks for your interest.

There will be an OpenWrt based distribution delivered on the device.

For now the text editors we have are console based, if that is ok for you than it will suffice. We are talking about vi, emacs and/or joe. No graphical editor on the horizon yet, but we didn’t check yet either. I will add it to the software wishlist[1] on the wiki. If you have concrete ideas please go ahead and add them as well.

/mirko

[1] http://wiki.qi-hardware.com/index.php/Software_Wishlist ~~ vegyraupe, October 8, 2009 at 05:10


My vote is to support the nano editor. Not sure if joe editor is as wasy to use (no need to remember commands) ~~ Ron Jeffries, October 22, 2009 at 19:45


how about something like the Open Office? maybe a stripped down version..!! ~~ shark mench, December 14, 2009 at 02:15


Hey,

I think Java might be a bit too heavy for the device, but I know there are efforts for evince and simple text-editors.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, December 15, 2009 at 08:41


Just a idea, add here somewhere a picure of the nanonote next to a cola can or a other “standard” item. It’s pretty hard to grasp how small this is from the dimensions stated. ~~ polossatik, September 23, 2009 at 09:07


Hey,

I will get on that one :) I have uploaded a picture with the Ben next to a Freerunner[1] a while back, btu a can is better, agreed.

/mirko

[1] http://www.paroli-project.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/nnfr_small.png ~~ vegyraupe, September 23, 2009 at 09:43


I would suggest to change the display from LCD to paper display from e-ink. see http://www.eink.com/products/index.html . This is a revolutionary technology and might attract lots of power efficient solutions. ~~ abhishek bajpai, September 14, 2009 at 09:58


Hi,

it certainly is an interesting technology and we’ll keep our eyes open. Do you know know how it works with free software ?

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 14, 2009 at 12:12


I have gone through the E-ink web site. They are giving prototyping boards with linux drivers. So the drivers are free and open for there displays. ~~ abhisheietk, October 2, 2009 at 14:55


just thought i’d say good luck with it, definately getting one, especially if it’s that cheap ~~ darfgarf, September 13, 2009 at 19:19


Hey,

thanks for the wishes! We’ll do our best to get you value for price!

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 14, 2009 at 07:05


Three needed improvements (in my opinion): 64 MB - RAM (instead of 32) Wi-Fi (54 MBit/s) Removable batteries (AA or AAA) ~~ Camigo, September 11, 2009 at 23:40


Hey,

these are on the list for the Ya NanoNote, the features of the Ben are fixed. You can find details on the discussion about features for future versions here: http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ya-nanonote/

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 08:03


I got a chance to look at the e-dictionary this is based on, and I swapped the batteries between it and my Nokia 3555 and both devices worked. The BL-5C just fits in the dictionary/Nanonote.

In the US this means you can go to some grocery/drug stores and get a prepaid Nokia phone with a usable first-party battery for $20 ;) ~~ Chad, September 23, 2009 at 16:52


Hey,

indeed the standard Nokia batteries fit just fine :)

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 24, 2009 at 03:52


Hi,

how much will shipping cost to germany ? Thanks in advance. ~~ Camigo, September 11, 2009 at 23:02


Hey,

that depends where it ships from. We are currently exploring several options, which include shipping from Europe directly and than it would come to roughly 9€.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 08:04


Is this device open for gamers and developers alike?

No mention on the video hardware? ~~ Joel, September 11, 2009 at 21:11


Hey,

of course gamers are welcome, we all enjoy gaming from time to time. The device was not designed as a game device, so high-end graphic applications will probably not run on it, but we are certainly exploring games to run on it.

We’ll keep you posted :)

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 08:05


Hi all just heard about your device, this sounds awesome, should give the pandora some competition, i cant wait to set up a new website at DCEmu to post Homebrew News about this new console, looks awesome, infact ill make a network post on DCEmu tonight to let the masses know of this console. ~~ wraggster, September 11, 2009 at 21:05


Hi,

thanks for the nice comments. We hope to see a wide range of copyleft hardware devices shared between various projects. The open pandora has a different angle on things and we are looking forward to news about its development.

Thanks for spreading word!

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 08:08


Oh well, just read about the other NanoNotes, interesting strategy. Hope, you´ll succeed! Greetz from the other end of the world ^^ ~~ eule, September 11, 2009 at 14:40


Hey, i´m sure you all are aware of the Dingoo, a chinese handheld that sports the same SoC. If not, check it out: http://a320.freeforums.org/ Booboo, who brought Linux to the Dingoo, made a statement regarding the NanoNote and i´m pretty impressed. Some things i wonder: jz4720 cpu? Dingoo has a jz4740 @ 336 mhz, i had guessed the NanoNote had the same. If not, is there a performance difference? 850mAh? And you get 9h20min out of that? Would be very impressing, i get 7-9h out of the Dingoo with a 1800mAh battery. Is there the possibility that models with more RAM will appear? I mean, RAM is cheap and 32MB RAM is a weak point of the Dingoo (can´t load big roms in MAME for example). TV-Out? I see it´s not in the current design, but it would be awesome! Just think of it: Amiga emulation on TV :D However, the TV-Out in Dingoo doesn´t yet(?) work in Linux, don´t know if that will work once. USB-Host? Gemei made a big/little design error with the Dingoo: they didn´t solder out the USB-host pin from the CPU to the mainboard (sry for bad english^^), so there´s no chance a hacker will be able to connect a second controller for example. I hope you thought of it! :)

Enough questions, good luck with the manufacturing! :) ~~ eule, September 11, 2009 at 14:07


Hi,

I will try to touch most of your points :)

We are in touch with several projects that port free software on to ingenic devices, but I personally hadn’t heard of dingoo yet.

The jz4740 has a slightly different feature set than the 4720. I am not 100% sure on all the details, but our developer list [1] will be able to provide all of them.

Yes, future version will have more RAM.

TV-Out has been mentioned before and was also added to the discussion about future products, so has USB host - sorry Ben doesn’t have USB-host.

Thanks for the comments and your support!

/mirko

[1] http://lists.qi-hardware.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/developer ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 08:19


Thanks for your answers! Although i probably won´t purchase the Ben, it´s just too similar to the Dingoo spec-wise for me. But i´ll surely keep an eye on it and it´s successor. The things mentioned on the Ya product page sound very good! I hope you´ll keep with Ingenics, i really like the performance of my Dingoo. And to cheer you up, here is a list of already to Dingux ported emulators: AtariST, Atari 2600, C64, ZXSpectrum, MSX1/2, MegaDrive, Master System, PCEngine, MAME, Final Burn Alpha, ScummVM, (S)NES and lots more i probably forgot. Plus Doom, Duke3d, Hexen, CommanderKeen and and and… Hope to see some (if not all ^^) of them on the NanoNote! Is the OS for the Nanonote based on the Ingenics Kernel? I guess so, then the apps should work flawlessly, or am i wrong?

Cheers and good luck! ~~ eule, September 12, 2009 at 11:13


Hey,

Nice list! - Great info thx!

The OpenWrt kernel is a 2.6.31 up leveled from ingenics 2.6.28 patches, it should integrate easily indeed.

Thanks again,

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 12, 2009 at 15:30


90’s are back! Emulator ZX Spectrum - cool! The same keyboard, ROMs can load with the SDcard. First, the emulator, rest of the world can wait.. 17. ~~ zyth, November 5, 2009 at 06:30


How flexible is the USB ? Can we emulate custom USB devices? Is the LCD touch screen? It would be interesting to emulate and use the machine *as* an USB device: Keyboard, USB-VGA card, USB-audio card, and if it has touch screen, as a mouse (touchpad).

Can you give TV out? (May be bad for battery, I dont know)

That brings me to: can you charge this over USB? What is average the power consumption? Battery Specifications (is it feasible to charge this using solar chargers ? ;-) )

I would definitely like some scroll wheels. Real or those touch based scroll emulators (there seems to be enough space next to the screen.)

That is a lot of question marks . So I’ll stop. :-) ~~ Laxminarayan Kamath, September 10, 2009 at 14:38


Wow let me just pick a few I know the answer to: Can we emulate custom USB devices? Not sure, but I would think so. Interesting idea! LCD is not touch-screen. TV Out: no, but we could add it to the Ya product page. Charge over USB: Yes Power Consumption: we don’t know yet, but it will be a big focus of ours. One time we measured 9hr 20minutes continuously running uptime. Not sure which load we had for that. I don’t think this was 9h 20min with video + speaker. We will do more tests for all this, and in the future maybe also improve how the device can measure power consumption (see the Ya product page). Battery specs: We have a spec, but it’s all in Chinese. You can compare it to a Nokia BL-4C, it’s compatible. Scroll wheels: first time I hear that, should be added to Ya product page.

Thanks a lot, some very interesting ideas you have there! :-) ~~ wolfgang, September 11, 2009 at 13:09


Power consumption: how do those mobile PDA phones come with such a long standby time? ~~ Laxminarayan Kamath, September 11, 2009 at 15:41


Hello, many compliments for the project! Do you approximatly know when will we be able to buy that? Thank you ~~ Alessandro, September 3, 2009 at 22:11


Hi,

thanks for the kind words.

As for the shipping date, we are in the last stages of the pre-order phase. Once these are fixed we will go in to production. 6-8 weeks is an objective estimate, not overly optimistic yet not accounting for unforeseeable things to happen :)

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 4, 2009 at 07:49


Will your OpenWRT port also work with the Skytone Alpha 400? I’m longing for a new kernel =) ~~ banished, September 3, 2009 at 19:29


Hi,

probably not out of the box as some peripherals may need special attention kernel wise. But in theory it should be doable to include it in OWrt. Would be an interesting project.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 4, 2009 at 07:47


Yes, I’ve just tried it, flashing the uImage to it results in a blank screen with CapsLock LED on :-/ ~~ banished, September 4, 2009 at 19:34


Hmm,

I gon’t think the kernel can be used as is. It will require some modification.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 5, 2009 at 13:48


Where do you think are changes necessary? At the first glance, both devices seem quiet simmilar (same SoC and thus probably the same way peripherals are connected (GPIO keyboard, NAND Flash)) - what might be common issues with this SoC? ~~ banished says, September 10, 2009 at 21:01


Great!Keep up the good work and customer service. NumCust++ ~~ Zaurus owner, September 3, 2009 at 04:38


Hey,

thanks for this! Hope to see you around in the community :)

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 3, 2009 at 04:53


Hi, thanks for your answers. Your battery sounds good,but what I think is exciting about my AA batteries is I charge them in 15 minutes (or buy them off the shelf in 0 minutes), or recharge them by turning the crank on a solar radio, and maybe you can ship your device for 20$ less without a charger or batteries. At 100$, your device is still a tempting buy for the hacker side of my personality, but my websurfing side will be dreaming of WiFi, and my ebook reading side will have to go on converting Pdf to html to plucker pdb. ~~ Zaurus owner, September 2, 2009 at 05:17


Hey again :),

I understand the reasoning behind the battery debate, but using AA batteries and probably even AAA batteries would increase the size of the device and would entail lots of mechanical changes, but let’s keep this in mind for future NanoNotes.

Wrt WiFi we are working on getting Wifi via MicroSD cards. We are in touch with companies that can provide them with linux compatible drivers.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 2, 2009 at 05:36


One killer geek feature that the Pandora will have is unbrickable bootloader, so people can try their own OS, e.g. BSD, XINU, Minix, OKL4, Linux-0.1 etc, without fear! ~~ Zaurus owner, August 31, 2009 at 18:30


Hi,

the Ben NanoNote is unbrickable. And available this fall.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 1, 2009 at 04:26


Even as a non-connected geeky terminal device, I have found some terminal apps run poorly or not at all in a 240×320 screen, e.g. Curses menus inaccessible, or app refuses to start. ~~ Zaurus owner, August 31, 2009 at 18:22


Hi,

this is up to the developers, yet I haven’t heard much about problems regarding the screen size.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 1, 2009 at 04:25


Also consider using off-the-shelf components such as standard AA batteries, as much as possible. Not only does this greatly reduce price for consumers (batteries, charger), it also leverages technology advances in these formats. Also, the openPandora people had innumerable headaches and delays from being early-adopters of technology or having custom designs require rework. For your first iteration, keep it simple, but with good battery life, and hopefully connectivity, ideally cellular or VOIP. ~~ Zaurus owner, August 31, 2009 at 17:53


Hey again,

The batteries are industry standard batteries. The battery is chargeable via usb connection directly in the device. As the mobile phone industry has agreed among themselves to use usb connectors in all their phones to make chargers more reusable it seems to me that our choice was the right one.

We also chose our bits and pieces only after long discussions to make sure they are not experiments, so that we can hold our shipping date, which is only 6months after Qi Hardware started. No headaches here.

The Ben NanoNote is a simple device. Simple in this case means, among other things, no RF, but of course we are keen on building a device that does have connectivity.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 1, 2009 at 04:24


240×320 is not a practical screen size for reading Pdf files. Having to scroll sideways to see the full line-length makes a document unreadable, and converting Pdf files to e-book formats is inconvenient and doesn’t always work. Using MIPS instead of ARM/OMAP is up to you, though as was mentioned you lose software such as Flash and WiFi drivers that are and will be available on the popular ARM platform. You should really, really reconsider not having WiFi or cellular connectivity not built in, even it adds 100$ to the device (you would still see tremendous demand as the only existing open device at that power/price point,but without connectivity demand would be much less.) Do not get all fancy features like openMoko but not have good battery life or proper charging ability. Really all people need is for you to debug the basic kernel and hardware/drivers. If the openMoko had just been the most basic of phones with a decent battery life and keyboard(this is Linux remember), it would have been a sure thing, as there is no existing open,non-buggy phone. As you have described your device though, I can use an off-the-shelf phone to go on Wikipedia from anywhere using cellular data connection, and my old second-hand Zaurus has a better screen for reading e-books. ~~ Zaurus owner, August 31, 2009 at 17:40


Hey,

ok, let’s split this up.

Reading PDFs : You have a valid point the Ben NanoNote might nor be optimal for reading PDFs, but PDF reading is not what we envisioned as the primary purpose anyhow.

MIPS/ARM: I haven’t heard anything about us not being able to use wifi drivers and right now, as there is no WiFi in the Ben NanoNote, it is not a high priority.

Connectivity: Early in the process we decided to climb the hill one step at a time. The Ben NanoNote is a basic, simple device which serves as a perfect basis for software development and will allow us to add additional features easily for the later versions. (see: http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/)

Comparing to Openmoko: I don’t think comparing the two is wise, as we have a different approach - as said earlier one step at a time. The Ben NanoNote comes with a good battery and is easily chargeable. Our main work is on the kernel level and I agree it is very important to focus on that, which is why a stable kernel is at the core of Qi Hardware (see: http://www.qi-hardware.com/2009/07/10/upstream-kernels/)

Cellular data anywhere: Having traveled a bit over the past year I know for a fact that getting internet wherever you want for an acceptable price is not that easy and in some areas you will have troubles to get it at all.

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, September 1, 2009 at 04:20


Mmm a great little device. I’ll probably order one if it’ll be at such a price. If nothing else to play with. Need to save up for some other device that was just announced by some well known company though now that the Freerunner is more like a dream then anything else. ~~ ruskie, August 31, 2009 at 12:21


This looks amazingly cool. For only 100 dollars I will probably get one in the next year or so. I also support the idea of making it a Wikipedia reader. That has a huge potential market. ~~ diablomarcus, August 27, 2009 at 22:23


Hey,

thanks for the nice comment :) We’ll do our best, both in terms of the price and wikipedia :) Stay tuned :)

/mirko

PS: Already signed up to our lists? http://lists.qi-hardware.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo ~~ vegyraupe, August 28, 2009 at 10:42


Only 4 inches long? My god, that’s so tiny! Certainly not a bad thing in my opinion, however, because it will be ultra portable. When do you estimate you will start selling them?

$99 is a pretty fair price, too. And I like that you chose a microSD slot and qwerty keyboard. Good luck with everything! ~~ hectohenry, August 19, 2009 at 16:35


Hi! Thank you for the NanoNote! How to buy it in Russia? How much cost is it? ~~ Mike, August 16, 2009 at 19:11


If everything goes according to plan we will start shipping from the US first and then add shipping from Europe. Figure the device to ship at somewhere close to 99 USD excluding shipping and taxes ~~ steve, August 16, 2009 at 21:07


Please don’t forget Canada in your USA shipping arrangements! ~~ Tom, August 28, 2009 at 18:44


Hey,

we certainly won’t :)

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, August 29, 2009 at 05:29


Why is there not a regular SD slot? The MicroSD slot is a mistake. SD cards are getting very big, fast, and inexpensive. MicroSD is not. Otherwise it’s very interesting. ~~ John Silver, August 11, 2009 at 13:31


Two reasons: full-size SD is too big, the device is really small, a true pocket computer, beautifully engineered and integrated. There is absolutely no space for a full-size SD. For prices, SD industry sources say 2009 will be the first year where more microSD cards will sell than full-size SD. Watch what will happen to prices, and who will still invest in making new large capacity full-size SD. 16 GB micro-SD is about 50% more expensive than 16 GB full-size right now. 32 GB full-size is crazy expensive. Let’s watch it. Maybe 64 GB microSD will be cheaper than 64 GB full-size :-) We want to stay with this form factor for several years, I would probably even choose microSD if I had the extra space. Full-size SD has more space, which is helpful in SDIO cards with special functionality such as Wi-Fi, GPS, ZigBee etc (like http://www.spectec.com.tw is making). But even then - it wouldn’t fit in our form factor with all the other things we want the device to be able to do… Thanks for your feedback, we will definitely watch the price situation! ~~ Wolfgang Spraul, August 13, 2009 at 02:47


Nice Just one niggle. Since telephone texters are now very used to an abcdef layout and as we’ll be entering text using our thumbs anyway with this, isn’t it about time to be radical and ditch the godawful qwerty keyboard. After all it was originally introduced to deliberately slow typists down. Or can we swap and reprogram the keys ourselves? Saves you doing a special azerty for France too. ~~ JamesGardiner, August 10, 2009 at 19:40


“was originally introduced to deliberately slow typists down” False. http://www.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/keys1.html ~~ Symon, August 11, 2009 at 11:36


[...] Very interesting device called the NanoNote. http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ben-nanonote/ [...] ~~ Claudio Miranda (claudiom) 's status on Monday, 10-Aug-09 16:03:12 UTC - Identi.ca, August 10, 2009 at 16:16


There is one thing that i allways need on my Neo Freerunner. Label “Don’t panic” printed in front of it. Just like on “Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy”. NanoNote - it is just very first “guide to the galaxy” prototype. ;) ~~ Mike Kalagan, July 30, 2009 at 03:07


But I assume that ethernet via USB will work out of the box for updating/remote syncing (Like the GTA hardware - the OpenWRT kernel has support for this)

Rakshat ~~ Rakshat, July 28, 2009 at 05:23


That’s a good question for the developer list. have you signed up. Initially the device will support USB client. The design is being modified to support Host. ~~ steve, July 29, 2009 at 20:11


What are the network features? wifi? ethernet? ~~ cristian paul, July 27, 2009 at 14:17


In the beginning connectivity will be handled through peripheral devices. We are investigating several microSD cards ( wifi, gps, etc) that provide connectivity. Going forward connectivity will be integrated into the devices. ~~ steve, July 27, 2009 at 20:02


[...] reading http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ben-nanonote/ [...] ~~ cristian paul peñaranda rojas (kristianpaul) 's status on Monday, 27-Jul-09 13:28:31 UTC - Identi.ca, July 27, 2009 at 13:39


[...] Страничка устройства Nanonote: http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ben-nanonote/ [...] ~~ Nanonote новинка китайской компании Qi Hardware | Обзор новостей рынка портативной техники, July 25, 2009 at 10:59


Also remember: no MIPS, no Internet. MIPS is now resurfacing in consumer devices, after having been hiding in network gear and supercomputers. ~~ W.G. van de Hulst, July 25, 2009 at 08:33


I would say Ingenic chips are well-tested because they have been used in electronic dictionaries and MP4 players that sold in large numbers (probably tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands) for a number of years now. ~~ W.G. van de Hulst, July 25, 2009 at 08:26


[...] Страничка устройства Nanonote: http://www.qi-hardware.com/products/ben-nanonote/ [...] ~~ Nanonote новинка китайской компании Qi Hardware | The Tablet Blog, July 25, 2009 at 08:17


[...] or Verilog code for FPGAs. Oh, and 3d printers, which are awesome. Yesterday I found out about the 本 (běn) NanoNote, an open [...] ~~ NanoNote is like my second chance at a Zaurus clamshell - im addicted, July 24, 2009 at 07:08


Hello! Nice to hear new Open project. Can you tell me. Do you support OpenMoko? And why MIPS CPU? Can’t use well tested ARM cpu (for ex. ARM Cortex a8 form BeagleBoard and OpenPandora?)

And Finaly Do you want to make MID or sth more like OpenPandora? Because I think if opensource project could work toghether (I not mean 1 device .. but co-working to prevent doing the same thing twice (reinventing the wheel))

Cheer!! ~~ Leonard, July 23, 2009 at 21:01


Do we support Openmoko? Openmoko can refer to two things: 1. the distribution OM200X and 2. the company. WRT the software we do not offer support for this software other than volunteer efforts by our employees. WRT to #2, we support the company with our hopes and volunteer efforts. We are proud of what we did and wish the remaining employees all the best in their future. Why MIPS? two reasons one practical the other strategic. On the the practical side the device ( NanoNote) was designed with a MIPS, so it was a given. Also, we liked the processor roadmap. On the strategic side we see China coming on strong with the MIPS design.

MID or more like open pandora? I think your concern about overlap is very important. Right now you should view NanoNote for what it is: a beginning, really a platform for software devlopment. Going forward, of course, the hardware has to evolve. That evolution will happen hand in hand with the community. We also have a sure cure for re inventing the wheel: it’s called Copyleft hardware. That means our design will be open. If somebody wants to take that wheel and mod it they are free to. As long as they copy back the design files. ~~ steve, July 24, 2009 at 08:19


Thanks for the answers :)

Can’t wait to see it in action! I wish You Good Luck! ~~ Leonard, July 24, 2009 at 19:53


Leonard, Steve already answered everything, but let me just pick out your “And why MIPS CPU” question. Nowadays you don’t pick a CPU, you pick an ‘SoC’ (System on a Chip). There is a ‘core’ inside, but then there are NAND and SDRAM controllers, USB controller, SD controller, LCM controller, touchscreen controller, etc. Actually it’s a little computer. So when you talk about ‘well tested’, most of that does not apply to the pure instruction set core, but to the 10+ peripherals the SoC includes. What Qi Hardware cares about is indeed the testing status, and status of free tools. But we need to look at the whole SoC. Actually the SoC inside the NanoNote just has a MIPS compatible instruction set. It also has instruction extensions for video acceleration (we are trying to get Ingenic to publish these documents but it may take time). The CPU is called ‘XBurst’ to be precise, not MIPS. ~~ Wolfgang Spraul, July 25, 2009 at 00:22


Hmm… as I read more I see that I’m way behind and that this has long since been thought of :) ~~ Brock, July 23, 2009 at 19:18


I imagine that this could be branded / pushed as a wikipedia-reader. Sell it with a snapshot of wikipedia and a browser and search all set up and built in, and allow the owner to plug in to usb on a computer to easily get updates.

Then of course there could be “other things” that it does, like viewing / creating other open media and everything else — but selling it as wikipedia in your hand first and the other stuff second is an interesting idea. ~~ Brock, July 23, 2009 at 19:04


Yes. If the community wants to organzie and effort to do this ( using openzim for example ) then I would support that with some donated and/or discounted hardware. ~~ steve, July 24, 2009 at 08:21


[...] początek Qi proponuje 本 NanoNote (本: běn, miejsce początku, rozpoczęcia). Urządzenie ma działać na procesorze MIPS 336 MHz, [...] ~~ NanoNote - kolejne podejście do Open Hardware | itnews, July 23, 2009 at 17:31


[...] początek Qi proponuje 本 NanoNote (本: běn, miejsce początku, rozpoczęcia). Urządzenie ma działać na procesorze MIPS 336 MHz, [...] ~~ fossnews.pl » Blog Archive » NanoNote - kolejne podejście do Open Hardware, July 23, 2009 at 01:11


the pic makes it look like it folds out flat. does the hinging stop it from folding all the way around?

there’s a key labelled as if it were a shift key upside down. what’s that for? ~~ dpc, July 21, 2009 at 23:37


Hi dpc,

Thanks for the comments.

it folds just like a laptop, so for usage somewhere between 90 and 180 degrees. The hinge does stop it from folding all the way.

The upside down shift is the caps lock.

Best regards,

/mirko ~~ vegyraupe, July 22, 2009 at 09:18


hi mirko,

Thanks for clearing that up about the hinging.

The caps lock key makes sense now that I found out about it, but what if the caps key was used the same upwards arrow as shift but with a black padlock in the middle of it? Also, will there be an alternate layout such as Dvorak available?

Thanks again and look forwards to seeing this project getting ahead.

–Sam ~~ Sam, August 9, 2009 at 09:01


“336 MHz MIPS-compatible CPU” “The device sports a 360 MHz processor…”

Which clock speed is correct?

320 x 240 is the pixel dimensions of the LCD’s native mode, not the LCD’s image resolution.

What type of backlight does the LCD use? ~~ Brolin Empey, July 21, 2009 at 20:07


Good catch. I’ll correct the text. For some background on this subscribe to the developer list. I’ll Copy and paste the relevant discussion here:

there was a lot of back and forth between 4720 and 4740 for us. You are right, 4740 datasheet says 360 MHz, 4720 datasheet says 336 MHz. We looked at a running Linux on one of our boards using a 4720, and it showed

PLL Freq : 366.00 MHz CCLK : 366.00 MHz HCLK : 122.00 MHz MCLK : 122.00 MHz PCLK : 122.00 MHz LCDCLK : 73.20 MHz

So I thought (my mistake) this means 360 Mhz :-) Wrong! The 4720 we will ship the Ben NanoNote with can run at several speeds, but it seems the highest is 336 Mhz. While it’s the same die as 4740, the selection process for 4740 is harder so what is sold as 4720 can only be run up to 336 Mhz.

WRT the LCD, I’ll have engineering psot something up ~~ steve, July 21, 2009 at 20:34


Steve, which clock speed is correct for 本?

240MHz Jz4720 336MHz Jz4730 360MHz Jz4740

(http://thing1.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7767917766.html)

they also have a USB 1.1 host interface. for a start it would be better to use 1.1 not 2.0 ~~ zyth, October 28, 2009 at 15:53


That article is over 1 year old and has so many mistakes that I really cannot correct them all.

The CPU in the Ben NanoNote can officially be clocked up to 336 MHz. It can be overclocked up to 360 MHz but the default configuration will not do that. Actually, it’s more important how _LOW_ we can clock the CPU, depending on actual computing needs. So we hope to support 240 Mhz, even 120 MHz and whatever lower that is still possible. Of course as a user you should not notice this, except for longer battery life :-)

The Ben will not have USB host, but I think it’s the #1 feature on the Ya NanoNote page right now… ~~ wolfgang, November 1, 2009 at 09:50


Hi everyone at Qi-Hardware! I wish you the best with your venture! I am very impressed with your motivation and dedication to open systems. ~~ Paul Dorman, July 21, 2009 at 08:42


Thanks Paul! ~~ steve, July 21, 2009 at 22:32


nah I think this will be very hard. There are so many Ingenic based devices. Check out dingux.com, openinkpot.org, ID800WT, Onda Vx747, just to name a few. The Skytone Alpha SoC may be ’similar’ and the NAND, SDRAM, GPIO and everything else may be ’similar’, but it needs a really thought-through and powerful effort to get a good kernel running. If you are very motivated, become a kernel hacker yourself. For selfish reasons I would say start with the 2.6.31 kernel in our openwrt tree at projects.qi-hardware.com. If you are waiting for a good Skytone kernel to come out of the efforts here at Qi, or dingux, etc. I think it will be a long wait. We would love to have one united kernel for all Ingenic devices, of course. Just the path there is very very long, and many people need to help. ~~ wolfgang, September 11, 2009 at 13:04

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