The Mother of FreeCalypso desires to build the following additional hardware products after our current FCDEV3B:
- A FreeCalypso modem in a commercial product form factor
Our current FCDEV3B is a development board, designed for use on a lab bench. The Mother has a desire to make a derivative product in some other form factor that would be more suitable for commercial end use, rather than just development.
One attractive idea is to produce a FreeCalypso GSM+GPRS modem in the form of a packaged module which users would solder onto their own application boards like a big chip: many mainstream commercial cellular modem modules are made in this form factor, but they are all 100% closed and proprietary; ours would be the world's first 100% libre cellular modem solution in similar packaging.
- A quadband Calypso modem
TI's original reference design for the Calypso+Iota+Rita chipset (called Leonardo) was fully quadband, but we have not been able to find a copy of the Leonardo PCB layout, only schematics. Instead the only known-good Calypso modem PCB layout we could lay our hands on was Openmoko's, and it features an RF front end that has been hobbled from quadband down to triband. We could not afford to take the risk of doing our own PCB layout for the modem core and the RF section for our very first development board, hence our current FCDEV3B is triband rather than quadband.
But now that the triband modem works well and all other parts of the puzzle have been proven good, we can contemplate the idea of restoring the original quadband RF front end from TI's Leonardo and E-Sample designs.
- A handset motherboard prototype (HSMBP)
We have a copy of TI's demo/prototype UI implementation for complete phones (as opposed to AT-command-controlled modems), but no hardware platform on which we can properly exercise and further develop this code. TI's demo/prototype UI targets the 176x220 pixel color LCD on their D-Sample platform; the Mother has managed to get her hands on one of these historical D-Sample development kits, but we are not able to actually do anything with it: the D-Sample has Clara RF, whereas we only have L1 code for Rita RF. And even if we found another copy of TI's TCS211 L1 in full source form that supports both Clara and Rita RF and also retains support for the old Calypso C05 silicon (the Mother's D-Sample is an early board that has Calypso chip version F741979B), it still would not solve the problem that the Mother's D-Sample kit exists only in singular quantity.
The Mother's desired solution is to build our own Handset Motherboard Prototype (HSMBP). It would have the same Calypso core chipset as our current FCDEV3B (or maybe the quadband version), plus a 176x220 pixel color LCD (same size as on the D-Sample, which is one of the industry standard sizes), a keypad with 21 main buttons and 3 side buttons like on the D-Sample and on the Pirelli DP-L10, and the rest of the peripherals for a standard handset motherboard. It would be laid out as close as possible to a real handset motherboard product, but with all off-board components including the battery attached via connectors, so that the HSMBP can be used bare on a lab bench without a plastic case to hold everything together.
DISCLAIMER: All of the above plans are currently very nebulous, and totally subject to change many times over. FreeCalypso is mostly a one woman project, and the Mother is currently very overworked. The current plan is to bring our current FCDEV3B to sellable product status first, and then do a bunch of work on the software/firmware side; only after all that will I be able to contemplate more seriously what our next step should be on the hardware front.