Sharp demonstrated Monday the prototype of its upcoming Linux handheld at the JavaOne show in San Francisco, as well as unveiling some of the companies behind it.
The PDA (personal digital assistant) will run Java on the Embedix operating system from Lineo, an embedded Linux vendor. It also will feature an Intel StrongARM 206MHz processor, which is the same chip behind Compaq's iPaq and Hewlett-Packard's Jornada, which use Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.
Sharp decided to use Lineo's version of Linux because of its low hardware requirements and broad feature support, Sharp said in a statement. Lineo also has the ability to bring the product to market quickly, Sharp said.
The device will be marketed globally later this year, with the goal of selling one million units by March of next year, the Osaka, Japan-based Sharp said.
Sharp also announced that it is in talks with three other vendors regarding software or technology for the PDA. Discussions are under way with Office Noa to supply software for video and multimedia access in wireless environments, Amiga for gaming, animation, video and music software and Pumatech to provide synchronization between the PDA and other computers.
To spur application development before the device comes to market later in the year, Sharp also launched a developer's program for the PDA. Developers will have access to technical support, a developer's forum, development tool information and documents, Sharp said. More information for developers can be found at http://developer.sharpsec.com/.