Intel and Motorola to Make Future Palm Microprocessors
Palm, Inc. has announced that key suppliers of ARM core-based technology have joined its new Palm OS Ready Program. Intel and Motorola will produce reference designs, and Texas Instruments (TI) will develop a wireless processing platform that is optimized for the Palm OS.
Intel will provide StrongARM and XScale Palm OS Ready solutions while Motorola will provide DragonBall MX1 Palm OS Ready solutions. The "Palm OS Ready" in their names means all of these microprocessors, no matter who makes them, will be able to run the next generation of the Palm OS.
The company has created this program to make it easier for developers to create new devices running the Palm OS. This doesn't just include new generations of handhelds, either. "Some licensees will want to bring fire-breathing, powerful handhelds in the market. Other might want to build a simple Palm operating system on a wristwatch,'' said Alan Kessler, general manager of Palm's Platform Solutions Group. "These deals will help bring those to market.''
But Palm-powered wristwatches aside, this announcement means that Palm's licensees won't be forced to go to Motorola to get their processors. This increased competition can only be healthy for the platform. Possibly this might not even be limited to only Intel and Motorola. There doesn't appear to be any reason why other chip manufactures couldn't also join the program and make their own Palm OS Ready processors.
Palm has not yet announced which company will make the processors that will be in the handhelds it makes itself.
Palm has also made the the new processors will be wireless-ready. TI will provide OMAP platform Palm OS Ready solutions. TI's OMAP architecture is an open platform that delivers the required performance and low power to enable real-time communications-based applications. "By leveraging the Palm OS platform with TI's high-performance, low-power OMAP architecture, OEMs will deliver a better, easier and more fulfilling wireless multimedia experience to consumers worldwide," said Jeff McCreary, senior vice president of marketing and sales for TI.
ARM will work closely with Palm to ensure that the Palm OS migrates smoothly to the ARM architecture and that ARM development tools are optimized to support the Palm OS platform.
Through licensing its Silicon Porting Kit, Palm is providing access to certain components of it operating system to the Palm OS Ready partners. The kit is designed to ease the transfer of the Palm platform to the respective processors, letting suppliers quickly satisfy demand from Palm's licensees. The kit will include a device abstraction layer, a hardware abstraction layer, tools, required Palm OS components, technical resources, training, support and access to marketing opportunities.
Analyst Kevin Burden of IDC warned that it will be a while before any of these chips actually start appearing in stores. "It will take a year before you actually see the chips and another six to nine months before you see any products based on it,'' he said.
- Palm to Announce ARM Plans Tomorrow
- Rumor: Palm Going to Pick Intel Instead of Motorola
- Future Palms to Sport ARM Processors
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