Frequently Asked Questions

What version of the Linux OS should you have installed on your development PC?

InHand’s Software Development Kit comes with all the necessary tools to build applications and the Linux kernel for InHand products. The Fingertip line of boards is based on the ARM processors. The user will need to cross-compile code to create application images. Because of cross-compiling, the Host Development Machine has little effect on the process. Any popular desktop distribution, such as SUSE, RedHat, or Ubuntu, will work fine.

The InHand SDK consists of a recent Linux kernel with various patches, BusyBox, networking utilities and servers, and many other utilities. InHand boards are shipped with an ELDK-based distribution. Other package managers like Intimate and Familiar can be ported to InHand boards.

For a GUI, InHand systems are equipped with Qt-Embedded/Qtopia as an example PDA-like environment. Developers may choose to port, if needed, any other GUI distribution available for StrongARM/XScale, e.g., OPIE, Matchbox, TinyX, picogui, GPE, etc.

What can I do with InHand’s development platforms?

Our Development Platforms are designed to allow rapid prototyping of your embedded device’s hardware and software.

Preloaded with Windows CE or Linux, and configured with a display, serial and audio ports, hardware buttons, and an AC power adapter, our development platforms are ready for you to begin software development as soon as you receive them. Each Development Platform also ships with a CD providing stock operating system images that can be loaded into Flash, providing different capabilities depending on the needs of your embedded device.

For customers that need to create application-level software for Windows CE or Linux, our Development Platforms ship with the necessary application-level SDKs. In addition, our Linux Development Platform provides the necessary cross-compiler for producing Linux binaries for a XScale target device using an x86-based host. While our Development Platforms do not provide the Microsoft Embedded Visual Tools suite needed for application development, Microsoft has made these tools available as a free download from their website.

For customers that need to create custom Windows CE or Linux operating system images, our Development Platforms ship with the necessary components. For Windows CE, we provide pre-compiled kernels, drivers, and applications, including the necessary BSP files, for use with Microsoft’s Platform Builder product, which must be purchased separately. For Linux, we provide the Linux kernel and a variety of add-on components including any InHand customizations.

The ports and signals of the Intel XScale processor are accessible via documented connectors and pads on the Development Platform, making it straightforward to attach custom keypads, peripherals, and daughter cards. (Hardware reference Manuals available upon request.)

What third-party development tools do I need to supplement development platforms?

If you are developing applications for Windows CE, you need the Embedded Visual Tools from Microsoft. With the latest version of Windows CE, these tools are free. If you are developing custom operating system images for Windows CE, to be burned into Flash memory, you need Microsoft’s Platform Builder, available from any of Microsoft’s Embedded distributors.

If you are developing application for Windows XPe, you need the Embedded Visual Tools from Microsoft. For downloads and updates on Windows XPe, visit Microsoft’s XPe page.

For Linux development, our Development Platforms provide the necessary GNU cross-compiler and debugging tools for use with our platforms.

How do I create packaging for my handheld?

InHand boards are designed to be easily mounted inside standard and custom handheld packages. Mounting holes and rails are provided, and SolidWorks, Step, and IGES 3D CAD files are available. We also do custom packaging, contact us for more details.

Can I license InHand’s IP?

Yes, the intellectual property for InHand hardware and BatterySmart® software is available for licensing, as well as for volume purchasing. Our engineering services are also available to complement your development efforts. Please contact us to determine if IP licensing is the right solution for you.

What are the application areas for InHand’s products?

Our products can be used for almost any application. Customers have created handhelds for military, medical, security, instrumentation, and transportation applications, to name a few.

Client’s application diversity can be viewed through InHand’s case studies.

Can InHand support the display I want to use?

InHand’s platforms currently support a variety of monochrome and color LCD displays in various sizes. Our display software drivers include rotation algorithms to allow the displays to be used in portrait and landscape mode. Rotation can be adjusted at run-time, via the control panel under most circumstances. Other displays can be supported using a universal mating connector or quadrangle cable.

Contact sales@inhand.com to inquire about a specific display.

What is the temperature range for your products?

InHand products are built for commercial temperatures (0 to 50 C). However, many InHand customers have used our hardware in industrial temperatures (-20 to 70 C). Industrial temperature products are available from InHand; please contact us for details.

What is included with InHand’s development platform?

You can choose to develop your application using either a Windows CE or Linux Development Platform based on our boards (for those wishing to port another operating system – such as VxWorks or QNX – please contact InHand for more information). These development platforms include:


  • InHand Development Platform, which includes:
    • USB Serial Ports
    • Display Interface
    • Ethernet Port
    • Multiple SPI/SSP, I2C, GPIOs
  • Fingertip4, Fingertip5 or FireFly SBC
  • 3.5 QVGA Color Display
  • USB Cable, DB9 Null Modem Serial Cable, Ethernet Cable
  • Wall Cube Power Supply
  • Cd with software and documentation


For Windows CE.NET development platforms, the following software is included on the development platform CD or pre-loaded on the device:

  • Windows CE.NET pre-loaded
  • BatterySmart power management software pre-loaded
  • Stock Windows CE.Net operating system images with utilities for burning to Flash and setting bootloader parameters
  • Platform Builder* BSP files necessary for creating custom Windows CE.NET images
  • Windows CE.NET SDK for use with Microsoft’s Embedded Visual Tool*
  • Development platform User Guide and Hardware Reference
  • Windows CE.NET license
  • InHand software license

For Windows XP Embedded development platforms, the following software is included on the development platform CD and pre-loaded on the device:

  • Windows XPe pre-loaded
  • BatterySmart power management software pre-loaded
  • Stock Windows XPe operating system images with utilities for burning to Flash and setting bootloader parameters
  • Development platform User Guide and Hardware Reference
  • Windows XPe license
  • InHand software license

For Linux development platforms, the following software is included on the development platform CD or pre-loaded on the device:

    • Linux v. Kernel customized for the for InHand platform
    • Qt-Embedded/Qtopia customized for the development platform
    • Complete InHand bootloader, Linux kernel and JFFS2 File System Images for reverting to factory default
    • Linux v. Kernel sources including the InHand customizations
    • InHand Bootloader customization scripts
    • Root File System as an loop-mountable ext3 file
    • QT-Embedded v2.3.3 and Qtopia v1.5.0 sources and InHand patches
    • Source code for all software licensed under the GPL, including InHand modifications
    • Development platform User Guide and Hardware Reference
    • InHand Bootloader User Guide
    • GNU General Public License
    • InHand software license

InHand offers 90 days of standard support. Extended support is also available.

Does InHand support debugging customer and third party applications?

Standard InHand technical support does not include debugging customer and/or third party applications. Customers who would like direct engineering support may purchase extended support or fixed priced contracts from InHand.

Please contact sales@inhand.com for more information.

*Microsoft Platform Builder and Microsoft Embedded Visual Tools are not included with InHand Development Platforms.

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