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The Simputer: Low cost computing

The system software of the Simputer is under GPL as it uses Linux. However for the hardware, the Trust has come up with its own definition of an open source like license called Simputer General Public License (SGPL). Anybody can download the hardware specifications of the Simputer and build his own machine or further develop on it. However, the producer must then obtain any one of two possible licenses from the Simputer Trust. These bind him to sharing any derivatives with the Trust for further dissemination. Those who wish to go commercial with their product have to make a one-time payment to the Trust. Here again the Trust has kept it at a lower cost ($25,000) for developing countries and $250,000 for developed countries. No list of "developed" countries is provided though.

Verily, the Simputer promises to live up to its name - a Simple, Inexpensive, Multi-lingual comPUTER!

Technical Specifications of the Simputer


CPU 32-bit Strong Arm SA-1100 RISC CPU running at 200MHz

32 MB of DRAM

24 MB Flash for Permanent Storage (DOC)

Display I/F 320x240 Monochrome LCD Display Panel


Touch-panel Overlay on LCD Display used with a plastic stylus (Pen)

Speaker and MIC Jacks Smart card Connector

RJ-11 Telephone Jack

USB Connector


Approximately 8cm x 13 cm x 2 cm

Power Supply 3 AAA-sized NiMh batteries

System Software:

Operating System: GNU/Linux

Soft-Modem Algorithms V.34/V.17 Data/Fax Modem Technology

Perl/Tk scripting environment.