Palm Expands Internal RAM Capabilities

Palm Solutions Group has announced it has overcome the 16MB internal memory limit. Palm Solutions and PalmSource engineers collaborated to develop memory technology that extends the amount of RAM possible on a Palm OS handheld from the current 16MB to 128MB.

The memory breakthrough has been incorporated into Palm OS by PalmSource, in OS version 5.2.1 and will make the development available to other licensees. As of today, the most amount of ROM a Palm Powered device has shipped with is 16MB.

"We're delighted that Palm Solutions Group took the lead on this technology enhancement," said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer of PalmSource. "Cooperative development in partnership with our licensees gives the Palm OS platform faster innovation and benefits the entire Palm Economy."

"The range of potential next-generation hardware and software solutions expands tremendously with this innovation from Palm Solutions engineers," said Steve Manser, senior vice president of product development for Palm Solutions Group. "Our memory advance means customers can be confident they'll have what they need to deploy robust business applications or rich multimedia."

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Very cool!

MV-Jon @ 4/17/2003 2:30:55 PM #
Now only if more PalmOS handhelds would have at least 32mb :)

Jon Niola
Media Vortex, Inc.

RE: Very cool!
RAMdŽd @ 4/18/2003 9:46:54 AM #
Now only if more PalmOS handhelds would have at least 32mb

Well, that would seem to be the reason for Palm to break their 16MB internal memory limit, now wouldn't it?

An armed society is a polite society.


madmaxmedia @ 4/17/2003 2:40:17 PM #
This is great news of course, but I'm suprised that OS 5 was originally designed and released with this 16 MB limitation. Since it's a new OS, I imagine they could have had larger memory in mind from the start.

At least this is WAY better than those chintzy (sp) Memory Stick Selects. Good think I don't own a 5 MP Sony digicam, otherwise I'd be pissed.

RE: cool
Altema @ 4/17/2003 6:46:26 PM #
I'm surprised also... had been thinking that the capability was already there and we were waiting on the hardware. I guess what had me going was the early info on 32Mb devices.

RE: cool
jmlg @ 4/18/2003 1:13:36 AM #
As an owner of a 5MP sony camera (DSC-F717) I am not pissed at sony. How much effort does it take to flip a switch. I think that the fact that Sony made an attempt to increase capacity for those non MS PRO enabled products is great. Even if you do have to flip a switch.

My camera supports MS Pro and I think I will stick with regular MS (for now) because they can be had cheaper ($36 for a 128) and I can swap em between my clie and my camera (or have one in each)

(trying to think of a clever signature line)

RE: cool
DaveyDave @ 4/18/2003 11:43:05 AM #
I thought that switch flip thing was great for storing lots of small files, but for movies, not so good. I'm looking to get a 512MB SD card for my 300MB Kinoma movies soon. Not even a 256MB switchable card would do.

RE: cool
Altema @ 4/18/2003 5:10:54 PM #
"...for my 300MB Kinoma movies ..."

I take it that's a full 2 hour movie. What frame rate and data rate did you use? Just curious, as I plan on doing the same thing once I get a device with decent audio. Well, decent audio AND video! The video is real good on my 515, and the audio is really good on my PPC.

Good for sales

arnstein @ 4/17/2003 2:43:18 PM #
I've been a PalmOS user since the first Palm Pilot was released. I've upgraded many times. Each time, the reason I spent the money to buy a new PDA was that I needed or wanted more memory. I don't think that I'm alone in this. Good for Palm!

USB 2.0 or FireWire needed

mikecane @ 4/17/2003 2:53:01 PM #
Who is really going to sit there and wait wait wait (which is all you can DO!) for a PalmOS device with 128MB of RAM to HotSync via USB 1.0?

USB 2.0 or Firewire interfaces are needed as RAM increases.

It's hell HSing my lowly mono CLIE S320 -- because I have over 500 files on it. With 128MB -- I could have, say, TEN THOUSAND?

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
abosco @ 4/17/2003 3:02:44 PM #
Always so negative. I should start calling you mom now. ;)

Cheer up, take this as good news. I'm sure they'll switch to USB 2.0 soon. But as it is, when I'm installing large applications, I don't sync them. I use MSImport to bring them to the MS and then move the file to RAM. Putting a 50 MB file on the card takes a few minutes on MSImport, while it'll take maybe an hour during HotSync. As long as this MSImport solution is available to me, I could care less about Hotsync.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
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RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
IanJD @ 4/17/2003 3:02:51 PM #
I agree with the desire for speedier syncing, but with USB1 my T|T syncs 490 files in 30s - a couple of minutes for a 64Mb machine wouldn't be unusable. Restoring a hard-reset machine would be a game for the patient, though.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
popko @ 4/17/2003 3:19:43 PM #
Lets just say that if people can live with the sync speed of PPCs, most of which have well over 16MB of RAM, via USB 1.0 connection, I'm sure we can as well.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Lowrez @ 4/17/2003 3:46:00 PM #
I'd agree that USB 2.0 or Firewire (preferable for Mac users) is really necessary now. While you can work around the slow USB 1.1 speeds, why should I have a work around? That's just a nice term for kludge. Keeping the sync time under 30 seconds seems pretty critical if you want users to sync on a regular basis. As is, I tend to hit the hot sync button right before I grab my coat so that the Palm is ready to go just as I'm walking away from my desk. If it took a minute or two, it wouldn't be very convienent to sync right before leaving or just before an impromptu meeting. God forbid I attend a meeting without the very latest updates to my schedule.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
RiddlerG4 @ 4/17/2003 4:17:10 PM #
Another advantage to a FireWire connection - no need for an AC adapter, the PDA could pull plently of power off the FW bus, it would be nice to see Palm innovating in this kind of way.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Puppy @ 4/17/2003 4:57:28 PM #
Actually USB 1.1 isn't the speed limitation on Palms or PocketPCs-it's some sort of hardware/software issue with the device. Think about it. USB 1.1 allows for over a MB/s transfer rate. Even with a 64MB device, that's WAY more than fast enough. Just slapping on a "USB 2.0" connection wouldn't make it any faster, because that's not where the bottleneck is.
RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/17/2003 6:56:01 PM #
*30* seconds for a sync?! I haven't seen that since, what?, Day Two of owning the CLIE?! It takes me as much as 15-20 minutes to sync my files.

And MSImport is *not* on the lowly mono S320. Sony was so nice to create class warfare among their users by putting it on the more expensive units. So, I see you are one of these Rich Fat Pigs we must deal with Come the Revolution! (HA!)

USB 2.0 and Firewire -- NOW!

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
IanJD @ 4/17/2003 7:29:52 PM #
> *30* seconds for a sync?!

Just took 33 seconds to go through a RAM sync of 387 files totalling 8.14Mb including PocketMirror & Docs2Go conduits. The backupbuddy 256Mb SD card sync takes another minute, though. Not a lot has changed between syncs, but if you had a Palm with 64Mb presumably most of the RAM contents wouldn't change between syncs, so 2 mins is probably a valid upscale unless you have apps that will alter vast files between syncs.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Galley_SimRacer @ 4/17/2003 7:31:57 PM #
My vote goes for Firewire

"Life is what you experience between racing games"
RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/17/2003 7:34:59 PM #
Given that Intel has a financial stake in USB 2.0, I doubt we'll be seeing Firewire built into Wintel PCs...

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Beavis @ 4/17/2003 7:45:25 PM #
"Given that Intel has a financial stake in USB 2.0, I doubt we'll be seeing Firewire built into Wintel PCs"

My Compaq Laptop has both Usb 2.0 and Firewire built in. Sony Desktops and laptops hae firewire built in.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/17/2003 8:09:34 PM #
Well, duh for me! I didn't know about the Compaqs, but did know about the Sony -- but obviously forgot. Bad brain! Bad memory! Bad! Bad! I am properly chastised...

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
He||Raiser @ 4/17/2003 9:43:41 PM #
Although these computers have the Firewire ports, I'll have to check whether the capability for the ports is because these OEMs are adding in PCI cards for them or if the capability is enabled through the Intel North or South bridges, which would indicate whether Intel is supporting this technology or not.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/17/2003 9:54:34 PM #
I'm sure if HP, Compaq, et al, came and told Intel, "We want motherboards with Firewire built-in," Intel would look at them and say, "How many can we sell you?" Ignore my earliest comment. Sleep deprivation...

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
RAMdŽd @ 4/18/2003 9:51:44 AM #
If taking a few extra minutes to sync 128MB of memory is a "penalty" for having 128MB of memory, sign me up.

At some point Palm will switch from 1.1 to 2.0 or (doubtfully) FW (my preference). But if they don't by say, tomorrow, I don't care. I'd rather have the space than the sync speed.

Or maybe they should just not produce any units with 32MB, 64MB, or even 17MB internal memory until they increase the sync speed. Afterall, it's not like anybody really needs more than that for built-in memory. Or more than 640k.

I'm sure it *never* occurred to Palm that with a lot more memory could probably use a boost in sync speed. If they ever figure it out, I'm sure they'll produce.

An armed society is a polite society.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
JKingGrim @ 4/18/2003 10:12:20 AM #
Lets hope the Tungsten|c is speedier. Will it's 400mhz processor help, or is it some other component that needs to speed up?

Just like other licensees get free run on thier innovations for a period of time, I think Palm should too. Palm did all the dirty work.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Rolando @ 4/18/2003 10:17:54 AM #
>> *30* seconds for a sync?! I haven't seen that since, what?, Day Two of owning the CLIE?! It takes me as much as 15-20 minutes to sync my files.

Personally, I think somethings wrong. Mine takes only about 30-60 seconds unless I am also syncing AvantGo or my Mail. Mail is really slow and AvantGo sometimes takes time if it finds a lot of updates.

I've got other conduits running (Bonsai, TimeSync, etc), too. Unless I've made a lot of changes, it's very fast. ...and I'm using serial to sync!

Another thing to check is if you've ever run a program like BackupUpAll. It sets the backup bit on all files in memory. Not a huge issue, except with the big AvantGo file. Since it changes every time you sync, it will then get backed up every time you sync. I had that issue once and had to disable the backup bit manually.

15-20 minutes sounds like the time it took me to sync via Infrared. Gave that up fast!


RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/18/2003 1:13:29 PM #
You probably do not have as many little files as I do. Also, you probably have a speedier PC than the one I have to use. Both are factors, you know. You're probably sitting there with a freaking GHz-speed CPU -- not me!

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Rolando @ 4/18/2003 1:41:28 PM #
True, I have a 1.3 Ghz laptop, but it's still a serial port.

But, my last PC was a 200 Mhz laptop and it was still really fast to sync.

I have about 300 files on my T665.

I still say that there's something else up with your configuration.


RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/18/2003 2:15:16 PM #
What sort of files are these? Mine are primarily SmartDOC (.doc) files.

it's NOT a bandwith problem of USB 1.1
phatfarm @ 4/18/2003 5:17:13 PM #
The throughput on USB 1.1 is 11mbit/sec.

The slow hotsyncing is not because of USB, theres a bottleneck somewhere on the Palm. I think its slow at copying multiple small files

(think DOS ... copy vs xcopy)

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Altema @ 4/18/2003 5:17:51 PM #
Hey Mike, are those smartdoc files on the expansion card? Just wondering because I keep almost all of my docs on the card because I have about 11Mb of my RAM full, and it really slows down the sync process with DTG. Still, with DTG set to sync, my sync time is less than 60 seconds. Without DTG it take 12 seconds. I have 297 files in RAM, and close to a thousand on the card.

It would be interesting to see which conduit takes the longest. I do see your point though... I'd hate to restore a full 128Mb device that had beeen wiped out :)

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/19/2003 3:07:18 PM #
On the lowly mono CLIE S320, you can only HS internal RAM. The MStick is hidden from HS's view. (Later and more expensive CLIEs have MSmount and such -- the S320 does not!)

It is probably a combo of three things:

1) SmartDoc

2) HS software

3) the s-l-o-w sub-GHz PC I have to use

SmartDoc, BTW, is obsoleteware, but it's the best DOC editor I've ever used and perfect for my current use.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
mikecane @ 4/19/2003 3:09:56 PM #
Oh, and I must mentioned that I am using Palm's HS software. Others use Backup Buddy and such and get faster results. I can't use BB -- I've had it screw up things for me.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Calroth @ 4/21/2003 7:45:31 PM #
I think people are missing the sheer possibility of what could be possible.

Remove the bottleneck and allow a Palm device to communicate at the full bandwidth of USB 1.0: a sync takes as little as ten seconds.

Allow a Palm device to sync at USB 2.0 or FireWire: a sync takes as little as two seconds.

Allow a Palm device to sync at FireWire 800 (or whatever): a sync takes as little as one second. Instantaneous.

OK, these numbers are a little wild. But there's possibility there! I think people are too used to waiting minutes at a time for their Palm device to finish syncing.

RE: USB 2.0 or FireWire needed
Puppy @ 4/22/2003 10:21:49 PM #
I should point out that for the brief time I had a Tungsten T (hated the crappy screen), that thing synced FAST. Like several times faster than my Visor (which is also fast, as far as that goes). Of course the slowest part for me is always going to be grabing updated websites off of Avantgo.

Without Avantgo, my 8MB Visor takes 17 seconds to sync (just timed it), and that's dealing with a dozen documents in Docs to Go, connecting with my mail server, etc. There's something very wrong if someone's waiting MINUTES for a hotsync, baring stuff like Avantgo (or slow mail servers, etc.) where you're waiting on external data. And I don't think your computer's speed matters much. When I used a Pentium 1 200 that was fast too. So even with USB NOT being the bottleneck, it's still plenty fast, since most of the time you're not changing that much on it.


ray00pal @ 4/17/2003 3:44:10 PM #
I thought the reason that we all have 16MB RAM is due to the cost consideration. I can not believe it is due to OS limitation. If that is the case, they should have worked on it 2 years ago! This should have been fixed before the OS 5! What the... Now I completely lost repect for the Marketing guys in Palm. I just can not believe all these suffer is because they will spend time on OS5, which has no real impact to most of the users, then increase the memory limit! I am so outraged!

RE: What?
ZekeSulastin @ 4/17/2003 5:11:33 PM #
Be outraged at Motorola: the DragonBall processors used as the basis of the v. 4 and lower PDAs only had a 12-bit RAM address bus - the CPU couldn't access any more than 16 megabytes of RAM! At the time OS5 and the T|T were released, the emulation code for the 68k programs probably couldn't handle the RAM, and they waited until it all worked before releasing it.

RE: What?
ZekeSulastin @ 4/17/2003 5:15:26 PM #
rrgg - misinterpreted my enter ...

Palm needed to release a faster PDA when it did. People were buying PPCs in droves because they didn't understand that the Palms were more capable ... all they saw were big numbers ... remember, the processors used in the OS5 units won't run OS4 ... also, OS5 added capabilities ...

RE: What?
mj6798 @ 4/18/2003 12:48:01 AM #
Be outraged at Motorola: the DragonBall processors used as the basis of the v. 4 and lower PDAs only had a 12-bit RAM address bus - the CPU couldn't access any more than 16 megabytes of RAM!

That argument is bogus. Yes, some DragonBall processors did have limitations in the amount of physical memory they could address. So what? They were still full 32bit processors. The number of address lines coming out of one version of a CPU doesn't have anything to do with the OS architecture. Palm didn't have to code any memory limitations into their OS, and the fact that they did shows a lack of foresight.

RE: What?
ZekeSulastin @ 4/18/2003 9:31:09 PM #
Touché ...

But, if the CPUs hadn't had the limitation, the OS never would have been written that way - OS programmers, working in *LOW*-level code like they do, used to tend to write for what was available. Now, of course that's changed ...

There is, however, a better example of the principle I stated above - does anyone remember the 640k barrier of the DOS of yore >:)

When MS-DOS 1.0 (Seattle Comnputing's QDOS) was bought, PCs didn't have more than 1 MB of RAM - we were saddled with that bottleneck for years ...

Either way, Palm has finally fixed it ...

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