MediaSolv announced today that it has designed a low cost PDA that will enable real time access and management of e-mail, calendar, contacts and other personal information. The PDA to be demonstrated at the CommunicAsia 2001 tradeshow in Singapore in June, will cost as little as $25. This PDA is essentially proof of concept for the company’s Bluetooth enabled ETHERchip technology, a working prototype of which was demonstrated at a wireless show in New York early this year.
ETHERchip is a complete system on chip (SoC), with embedded ARM processor, memory, control circuitry, system software and Bluetooth radio. The application on board provides personal information management (PIM) functionality with provision for deployment of other custom features. Usability is enhanced by the introduction of MediaSolv’s sKeyTM technology, a predictive text scheme tailored for the Internet PIM environment. The design is also capable of accepting remote firmware updates whilst providing a channel for device controls, maintenance and related tasks.
The Bluetooth radio onboard ETHERchip will connect to the Internet using any gateway within the personal area network (PAN). Bluetooth Internet gateways include those announced by several mobile phone and PC manufacturers as well as purpose built devices from companies such as Red-M, Ericsson and Invtentel.
The ETHERchip solution is available on an OEM basis, with server side functionality made possible by MediaSolv’s server suites, which provide access to messaging and groupware functionality via any WEB or WAP browser.
“MediaSolv is a software company and we are not in the business of building PDAs or slicing silicon wafers”said Vasee Nesiah, CEO of MediaSolv. “The embeddable functionality in ETHERchip allows us to go beyond the WEB, WAP and Desktop environments that we already reach and provide a new platform for device and appliance manufacturers, service providers and also other software developers to carve out new business models and revenue potential.”
The $25 PDA to be demonstrated, as proof of concept, at CommunicAsia in June will embody the virtues of Bluetooth, embedded applications and MediaSolv’s messaging and groupware suites. The PDA, and ETHERchip itself, will be available as a reference design to manufacturers and service providers who seek greater subscriber stickiness, value addition and unprecedented differentiation in the market.