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Old 11-29-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
wallcraft
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Article on Linux and E Ink displays

The Linux World article Kernel space: E-paper support for Linux by Jaya Kumar is a technical description of the unique aspects of persistent e-paper displays and techniques for driving E Ink's Apollo and Metronome controllers.

Apollo is used by the Cybook Gen3, Amazon Kindle, and Sony PRS-500, while (the newer) Metronome is used by the Sony PRS-505.

Anyone want to roll their own E Ink Reader? This article certainly makes this appear possible, but still a daunting task.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #2
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Very interesting article, thanks!
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:20 PM   #3
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Hi. Thanks for your feedback on the article. :-) It is certainly feasible to roll one's own E-Book reader, and I would venture as far as saying it's within imagination to hit a bill of materials lower than the USD$100 mark in any reasonable volumes. I would make it using an SOC (need to find one with AMLCD) with sufficient on-chip flash and SRAM to run something small but viable like ucos or possibly just bite the cost a bit and add sufficient flash and sdram to run linux, and have it read SD cards for content. Adding expansion like AC97 audio, and things like SD wifi or other media should also be possible. By the way, I posted a video of the older version of metrnomefb running with X clients here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or3R3Q8oyuE I can try to take a better video of a more recent version if people are interested. Thanks again.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:32 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot for this article Jaya. I have been looking for something like this for a while now.

I believe that the true magic of e-ink will will show when the prices of devices get to the $100 level. (though it is unlikely to happen anytime soon). This can only happen if we conceive of a device that only does one thing well. Frankly I would gladly give up the SD cards, Audio capability, touch screen etc for a very basic and very cheap (less then $100) reader. Something that will not happen until someone proves the concept.

I believe your article is a step in that direction. Thanks again
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
The Linux World article Kernel space: E-paper support for Linux by Jaya Kumar
Very good read. He says that that framework is already merged in 2.6.22. And with nalim opensource delta driver this would become implementable on the iliad.This is getting really interesting :-).
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #6
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I've posted a bunch of pictures of metronomefb displaying various images. I also posted a few of it running dillo (an embedded web browser) with a few websites.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jayakumar.lkml/Metronomefb

I hope it's of interest.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:05 AM   #7
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Frankly I would gladly give up the SD cards, Audio capability, touch screen etc for a very basic and very cheap (less then $100) reader.
I think even an inexpensive reader should have some kind of expandable memory storage, though. Why have a reader if you have to be tied to a desktop to get to your library?
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:29 PM   #8
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I think even an inexpensive reader should have some kind of expandable memory storage, though. Why have a reader if you have to be tied to a desktop to get to your library?
Well, flash memory is getting cheaper. Personally I have never needed an SD card for my Sony Reader, except when I reflashed it with a hacked firmware.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:47 PM   #9
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Hard to know how much memory to include in the base unit, though. I like having the option of expanding.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #10
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Not to mention offsite storage on SD cards in a safety deposit box or something, so one fire doesn't take out your whole library
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:43 AM   #11
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Not to mention offsite storage on SD cards in a safety deposit box or something, so one fire doesn't take out your whole library
Really? You put your pbooks in a safety box, too? (in case of fire)

I also back up onto on-line storage (Like boxnet or MSN or somewhere) so if a fire goes through my SD card collection, at least the data is safe...

Forgive me, I'm an Aussie and afflicked with "that" sense of humour....
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:45 AM   #12
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Well, that IS one of the advantages of ebooks -- being able to have backups. (Or at least it ought to be.)
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Using SD cards is actually very cheap. Many homebrew hardware hackers use SD cards as their means of storage in their project. The parts to do so are a dime a dozen. Hell, I'd say no on board storage, and just use SD cards, if you really want to save money.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #14
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #15
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$100 E-Ink

Quote:
Originally Posted by drkool View Post
Thanks a lot for this article Jaya. I have been looking for something like this for a while now.

I believe that the true magic of e-ink will will show when the prices of devices get to the $100 level. (though it is unlikely to happen anytime soon). This can only happen if we conceive of a device that only does one thing well. Frankly I would gladly give up the SD cards, Audio capability, touch screen etc for a very basic and very cheap (less then $100) reader. Something that will not happen until someone proves the concept.

I believe your article is a step in that direction. Thanks again
Dear Dr. Kool:

Allowing, sir, that the cost now of a 6 inch E-Ink panel to the manufacturer is $75 minimum, and then that manufacturer needs to add the body and the features and all the guts, and has to design and buy the body, and still has to pay for the Format ($70,000 per model for ADE), and then needs to mark up to make their profit, and then the distributor marks it up, and it costs $5 per unit for freight from China or Taiwan, and packaging is no small burden, and panel costs are RISING and not falling... you are well-intentioned but I do not see it happening. A 5 inch just broke the $200 barrier and it is already stripped to its shorts... and nobody is making profit, much less sufficient profit, at that price.

I work for a manufacturer and my costs are accurate.
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