Thursday, June 28, 2007

never thought

I recently bought a used Jornada 720. It's a nice handheld computer featuring a 3/4-sized keyboard, 200MHz ARM and 32 megs of RAM. It's going to be fitted with a PCMCIA wifi card, have its modem replaced with an ethernet card and have the USB host signals pulled out from under the damned BGA package where they lay in darkness. Next on the mod list is a VGA output, analog signal conditionig and acquisition, maybe a PWM controller. And a flux capacitor expanding space modulator.
It now runs a 2.6 Linux from a 1 gig CF card. It used to run windows ce, and still does upon each restart. The wince image is stored, where else but in a ROM. Not a programmable ROM, but a straight-down-to-metal-mask truly-read-only ROM. Now that's really embedded. But wait. Not only do they still make ROM chips nowadays, but those ROM chips (specifically three mx23l6430's) actually have a RAS and a CAS input, and a clock input, which probably makes them SDROM chips. Maybe without a D. Never thought I'd see such a thing :)
later edit: SMROM. synchronous mask rom.

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