||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2013)|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2010)|
|Type||Handheld game console / UMPC / PDA hybrid|
|Operating system||Custom edition of Ångström (Linux)|
|CPU||600+ MHz OMAP3530 ARM Cortex-A8 (32-bit) and 430 MHz TMS320C64x+ DSP Core, NEON & TRADE SIMD coprocessor|
|Storage capacity||Dual SDHC slots, 512 MB internal NAND, USB external storage|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, Bluetooth|
The Pandora is a handheld game console designed to take advantage of existing open source software and to be a target for homebrew development. It is developed by OpenPandora, which is made up of former distributors and community members of the GP32 and GP2X handhelds.
When announcing the system, the designers of Pandora stated that it would be more powerful than any handheld video game console that had yet existed. It includes several features that no handheld game consoles have previously had, making it a cross between a handheld game console and a subnotebook.
Development of the Pandora began when Craig Rothwell, Fatih Kilic, Michael Mrozek and (later) Michael Weston teamed up and planned a portable system that would excel in the areas where they thought the GP32 and GP2X systems (from Gamepark and Gamepark Holdings respectively) were flawed. The Pandora was designed based on ideas and suggestions contributed by GP32X forum members, with the goal of creating the ultimate open source handheld device. The final case and keymat design was made by DaveC, who was known on the forums for custom hardware modifications.
The initial development and setup costs were funded through a Crowd funding approach where early supporters made a speculative payment , and if the console made it into production, each supporter would hopefully (eventually) receive a device as later sales recouped the initial investment costs. OpenPandora began taking payments on September 30, 2008 OpenPandora began shipping to customers on May 21, 2010, In late 2011, after production problems, OpenPandora shifted its production from Texas to Germany, delaying production and the device was upgraded from 256MB to 512MB RAM.
As of September 3, 2012, 4600 units have been shipped and 400 early supporters are still waiting to receive a console, as these pre-orders are only fulfilled when sales to new customers are made. Since June 2012, a new 1 GHz model has been made available in limited amounts during the summer 2012. Due to the shortage of previous 600 MHz chips, it is expected this new model could become de facto standard in the near future.
The Pandora is designed to be a handheld game console with high-end PDA capabilities, but may also be run as a low-power full-featured Linux desktop. The system by default comes with a Linux OS based on Ångström.
The interface is custom themed to fit the small form factor and touchscreen, analogue joystick, and keyboard-based inputs available. Users can install and run their own desktop environment if they choose. Users may even install other Linux distributions like Ubuntu or Gentoo themselves. It is possible as well to run Android (gingerbread) through a PND package on top of the Angrstrom distribution, while it requires overclocking to perform flawlessly.
One of Pandora's major intended uses is for homebrew gaming and for the emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles, which is possible through efficient use of the resources made available by the Texas Instruments OMAP 3530 SoC. The Pandora developers have already shown working emulators for Dreamcast (Dreamcast emulator was never released), PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Amiga, SNES, Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega Drive software, and the Pandora is thought by its developers to have the potential to emulate most if not all machines older than the Dreamcast.
The device is also intended for use as a portable media playback device with a storage capacity of up to 128 GB of data (64GB SDXC cards) across two SD memory card slots.
The Pandora uses standard libraries such as OpenGL ES and SDL which are freely available, allowing anyone who wishes the ability to develop for the system. Many developers from the GP2x community have publicly stated that they will be developing applications for the new system.
Lists on the community-maintained Pandora Wiki keep track of new software releases. Most, but not all, Pandora software is uploaded to either the Pandora Apps, the Pandora File Archive or Pandora Repo websites. The Pandora File Archive existed first and is run by Michael Mrozek. Pandora Apps was launched by Craig Rothwell in May 2010, and is designed for viewing on the Pandora's smaller screen resolution.
The Pandora Repo (yet unnamed) was developed by a member of the community with help from the community. Its use has been adopted quickly as it tends to have the latest software releases first; The reason being it makes things really easy for the developer as it doesn't require him/her to enter any details about the application, these are automatically acquired from the application itself.
The Pandora Repo is also the first that uses the community created REPO specifications which allows native clients to get applications from the pandora repo without actually visiting the website (much akin to Synaptic (software)).
- Texas Instruments OMAP3530 system-on-chip
- 256 MB DDR-333 SDRAM
- 512 MB NAND flash memory
- Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
- Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (3 Mbit/s) (Class 2, +4dBm)
- 800×480 resolution touchscreen LCD, 4.3" widescreen, 16.7 million colors (300 cd/m2 brightness, 450:1 contrast ratio)
- Dual SDHC card slots (currently supporting up to 32 GB of storage each, supports SDIO)
- Gamepad controls with 2 shoulder buttons
- Dual analog nubs; 15 mm diameter, concave, 2.5 mm travel from centre
- 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
- USB 2.0 high-speed port (480 Mbit/s) capable of providing standard 500 mA current to attached devices, USB On-The-Go supporting charging Pandora
- Externally accessible UART for hardware hacking and debugging
- Internal microphone plus ability to connect external microphone through headset
- Headphone output up to 150 mW/channel into 16 ohms, 99 dB SNR
- TV output (composite and S-Video, both for PAL and NTSC)
- Brick prevention with integrated bootloader for safe code experimentation
- Runs the Linux kernel (2.6.x for older versions, 3.2 in the latest Super Zaxxon firmware from July 2012)
- 4200 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery
- Estimated 8.5–10+ hour battery life for games, 10+ hour battery life for video and general applications, 100+ hours for music playback (with maximum power management), and 450+ hours in suspend-to-ram
- Dimensions: 140.29×83.48×29.25 mm (5.523×3.287×1.152 in) (314 ml) (5.51×3.27×1.06 in)
- Mass: 320 g (0.71 lb)
Pandora Rebirth 
Based on Pandora Classic with following changes:
- Texas Instruments OMAP3530 system-on-chip
- PowerVR SGX530 @110 MHz (newer revision)
- 512 MB DDR-333 SDRAM
Pandora 1GHz 
Based on Pandora Classic/Rebirth with following changes:
- Texas Instruments DM3730 system-on-chip
- 512 MB DDR-333 SDRAM @ 200 MHz
Similar products 
Other single-board computers using OMAP3500 series processors include OSWALD developed by Oregon State University students for computer science education, Beagle Board, IGEPv2, Touch Book, and Gumstix Overo series. The Gizmondo 2 was to be a potential commercial competitor of the Pandora, but the Gizmondo 2 was cancelled.
See also 
- "Official OpenPandora Site". OpenPandora. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Why the Pandora came to be". Pocketgamer.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "ARM Press Release". Arm.com. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- DaveC, Pandora
- How the Pandora came to be, Pandora
- Patel, Nilay. Pandora pre-orders go live. Engadget. Sept. 30, 2008.
- "Official Blog: It finally happened!". OpenPandora. 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- First shipping emails hit inboxes. Pandora Press. May 21, 2010.
- EvilDragon (2011-07-12). "A fresh new start, Part 1". Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- EvilDragon (2011-12-24). "100% success!". Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Current Status, Pandora
- 3 Year Anniversary since ordering Pandora, OpenPandora Discussion Boards
- "About the Pandora". OpenPandora.org. OpenPandora. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Ubuntu on Pandora devboard (2) on YouTube
- "Neuvoo". Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- "Official 'Mupen64Plus". Gp32x.com. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- "Pandora Development Blog". OpenPandora. Retrieved 2009-04-28.[dead link]
- "Official 'semi-speculative' emulator list". Gp32x.com. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Confirmed: 64GB SD cards work on the Pandora.". Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- OpenPandora Blog post, "The Good the Bad and the Ugly" by EvilDragon[dead link] Archived Version
- Pandora Wiki: Emulator list
- Pandora Wiki: Games
- Pandora Wiki: Software projects
- REPO specifications
- Pandora Editions
- "MWeston's Site". Openpandora. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Will You Buy It?". GP32 GP2X Pandora. The Wiz. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Nubs". Pandora wiki. pandorawiki.org. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- "Boot Time". GP32 GP2X Pandora. The Wiz. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Battery For Pandora". GP32 GP2X Pandora. The Wiz. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Pandora Lite?". GP32 GP2X Pandora. The Wiz. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Can It Play Mp3-files In Energy-saving Mode?". GP32 GP2X Pandora. The Wiz. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
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