Qi Hardware Working on GTK for Mini-Handhelds

Oct 20, 2009

A new firm from the ranks of revered OpenMoko enterprises is experimenting with running GTK+ apps on top of DirectFB for their NanoNote device running on OpenWRT announced for their fall 2009 release.

The Qi Hardware company plans to run GTK+ apps with DirectFB on OpenWRT in the future. Remarkable about it is that DirectFB will take over graphics processing from X servers. Together with OpenWRT, that means a sleeker system on the NanoNote mini-device without having to eschew graphical widgets.

Berlin developer Mirko Vogt has been working since beginning of August 2009 on getting the embedded Linux OpenWRT, usually running on routers, also to run on the flippable NanoNote handheld device for Qi Hardware. Based on his personal blog, the GTK performance test results that he collected using a patched version of GTKPerf on a variety of screen sizes are quite favorable. (The GTKPerf benchmark version 0.4 he used dates back to 2005 on SourceForge.) In his blog he evaluates the GTK-DirectFB interaction as being promising.

The NanoNote device runs on an XBurst CPU from Chinese company Ingenic Semiconductor. The CPU runs at 336 MHz with 32 MBytes RAM and the device has a flippable 3" display at 320 x 240 pixels. Closed, the device measures 10 x 8 x 2 cm. According to its maker, it runs on a homegrown Linux that, under the motto "Freedom Redesigned," is to encourage development as open source hardware and software. Release should be sometime this fall. Prices are not yet announced.

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