MobileInfocenter

Motorola MX1 First Certified CPU for Palm OS 5

The Motorola Dragonball MX1 is the first microprocessor certified by PalmSource to work with the just released Palm OS 5. This means that any licensee can easily use this processor at the heart of a handheld that runs the new operating system. The DragonBall MX1 is an ARM core-based microprocessor which offers speeds up to 200 MHz.

Certification of the processors of the Palm OS Ready Program members couldn't happen until the final version of Palm OS 5 was available, which wasn't until earlier this month. There should be similar announcements coming from the other chip makers in the near future.

Members of the Palm OS Ready Program create a Device Abstraction Layer (DAL) for their own processors. This is sort of a translation layer between the hardware and the OS, intended to remove any incompatibilities between, say, Motorola and Intel chips. This saves the Palm OS licensees a tremendous amount of work and allows them to choose the processor they like without having to write a DAL of their own.

The Dragonball MX1, which was first announced in June of last year and is now available, offers low power consumption in active, sleep, and shutdown modes. Its peripheral sets include an LCD controller that supports 16 gray-level monochrome, color STN displays, and color TFT displays. It has built in interfaces for Bluetooth and both Sony's Memory Stick and SD, supporting both the main rival expansion card formats. Recently, Motorola demonstrated a real-time MPEG video encoder-decoder and small video camera running on Palm OS 5 and a DragonBall MX1.

At this point, of the Palm OS licensees only Palm has announced who will make the chips for their OS 5 devices. It has said it will use Texas Instruments chips in a wireless device this fall. A report came out last week that Palm would release next year a handheld that runs Intel's Xscale chips. Nothing is known of Sony's, Handspring's, or any other licensee's plans.

However, all the Palm OS Ready Program members have been lobbying heavily to have their processors included in new devices, each trying to show that their processor will offer the greatest capabilities with the lowest power consumption.

About OS 5
PalmSource put the finishing touches on the core of Palm OS 5 and sent it to the licensees earlier this month to include in their next generation of handhelds, expected in the coming months.

At the heart of the new operating system is its support for ARM-based processors. This will allow the Palm OS to run on much faster processors and greatly increase what it can do in the way of multimedia. It also offers greater security and wireless support.

Despite the switch to the new processor, OS 5 will still run a large majority of current Palm OS applications.

Thanks to Gavin Maxwell for the tip. -Ed

Related Information:

Article Comments

 (72 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down View Full Comment Thread

$19 each

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 10:26:28 AM #
Hmm, so the retail price is $19 each in quantities of 10,000 huh? I'm in for two. I just need 9,998 others. Anyone know of a good place to get those new Sony Clie screens? I'm building me a Palm OS 5 ARM PDA!
RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 10:38:27 AM #
Hehe... build me one too
RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 10:47:43 AM #
I'm sure I could dig up a few dozen takers from us peeps at AusPUG.org! :-)


Gavin.

RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 11:25:20 AM #
Oh darn, I just found out that the little jog dial wheels cost $299 each. Oh well, I'll just wait for the new models from Palm or Sony, then.
RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 4:26:33 PM #
Count me in. Would pay $100-150 extra for a big f... off fast CPU that will let me do ANYTHING I want with my PDA.
RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 4:54:11 PM #
Palm is being ahead of things nowadays. The fact that they announced a new processor to be incorporated in their new devices, just when they released to new models, m130 and m515, hold up a tons of users to buy their products. And now, with the announce of the Xscales processors from Intel in the new year, that would not be politically profesional of their side. Just my opinion.
RE: $19 each
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2002 4:00:03 AM #
For PCs, a $1 component cost usually comes to about $5 for the consumer, due to markups in the distribution chain.

Anyone have any figures for PDAs?

Time Table?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 10:51:31 AM #
When Motorola announces a new 68000 chip it generally takes 6 months until the chips ship in an actual product. I expect this will be more complicated, but there is a lot more to gain in getting it ready fast and there has been a lot more work done to make sure this chip change comes off well.

This announcement almost certainly means that there will be high end OS 5 PDAs on the shelves at Christmas.

But a model with a built-in video/still camera? WOW.

RE: Time Table?
Ed @ 6/27/2002 11:02:39 AM #
Good news, you've made a small mistake with the date. The MX1 wasn't announced in June of this year, it was announced in June of last year. You are correct about the six month delay but fortunately that delay is already over.

---
News Editor
RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 11:09:57 AM #
If Motorola played their cards right, I would suspect, that they have worked together with Sony (Palm already picked their CPU provider, if I recall correctly - Intel) for month now, hence the Memory Stick support on the chip.
Looking at Sony's aggressive release schedule I would not be surprised to see a device based on this CPU in fall.
I just hope its going to be a T-series device, I just love the form factor and the screen (except for the red colors). And Sony, please, get the Bluetooth support in this device. I think the MX1 has on-chip bluetooth support.
RE: Time Table?
Ed @ 6/27/2002 11:24:48 AM #
> I think the MX1 has on-chip bluetooth support.

Yes, it does.

---
News Editor

RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 11:28:55 AM #
>>(Palm already picked their CPU provider, if I recall correctly - Intel)

Not to nit-pick, but if you read the article (or several on this topic in the last few months), you'd know that Palm has chosen Texas Instruments OMAP ARM processors for their first OS 5 handhelds. They will use Intel (xscale), but not until next year.

RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 12:35:56 PM #
ok but who will use MediaQ's Katana? It has a ARM 9 core, 2D graphics acceleration, MPEG-4 engine, Java acceleration, and embedded SRAM with a special memory-interface unit.

RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 1:01:00 PM #
so OMAP is not even certified for OS 5 yet?
RE: Time Table?
Ed @ 6/27/2002 1:58:55 PM #
No processors could get final certification until PalmSource released the final version of the operating system. You can't get a final certification on a beta.

---
News Editor
OMAP - Not your average CPU
Token User @ 6/27/2002 3:21:49 PM #
FWIW - The TI OMAP CPU is optimised for wireless devices (2.5G/3G cellular networks), not mainstream PDA's. Can we then assume that the first OS5 device(s) released by Palm will be wireless (or perhaps wireless capable via an expansion option)? Hopefully replacements for the i705 and Palm VII series (still a lot of them in use) will be arriving as soon as PalmSource approves the CPU.

Interesting that PalmSource are sticking to their story about not favouring Palm devices, and certifying a CPU that is not one of the ones people have been talking about (TI OMAP, Intel XScale), first.

Token.

RE: Time Table?
Ed @ 6/27/2002 3:44:14 PM #
> Can we then assume that the first OS5 device(s) released by Palm will be wireless

Fortunately, we don't have to assume this; Palm has said since February their first OS 5 device will have some kind of wireless capabilities.

Plus, earlier this month the company's interim CEO Eric Benhamou said Palm would release sometime this fall a smartphone that runs OS 5.
www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3647

---
News Editor

Bluetooth support = embedded Bluetooth radio?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 4:48:12 PM #
I see previous comments in this thread mention built-in Bluetooth support, but does this mean it already has a Bluetooth transceiver? If so, it would help increase the pervasiveness of Bluetooth technology.
RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 7:40:02 PM #
No, it's only got the baseband controller form memory...
RE: Time Table?
Palm_Otaku @ 6/28/2002 12:33:00 PM #
Interesting that PalmSource are sticking to their story about not favouring Palm devices, and certifying a CPU that is not one of the ones people have been talking about (TI OMAP, Intel XScale), first.

I don't think this has ANYTHING to do with PalmSource favoritism - it's the performance of the silicon vendor. Motorola has finished work on their DAL layer, submitted it to PalmSource for approval and got it. Congratulations to them ":-) Hopefully the other "PalmOS Ready" vendors are fairly far along in the process.

RE: Time Table?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/28/2002 7:37:34 PM #
Does tht mean Intel and TI haven't finish submitting their DAL layer for OS 5.0 to Palm? the OMAP adoption was announced almost a year ago, TI/PALM was so chummy, with $50 million investment + engineering help. They sure takes their time compare to Moto team.

X-Scale from Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 11:20:41 AM #
So much for the people who say "well PPC will still be better because they are moving to X-Scale processors".

You have to wonder at this point why putting Palm OS and an ARM processor in high-end digital photo and video equipment would'nt be a good idea.

RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 11:32:13 AM #
not only digital media, you can also (theoretically of course) have palmos-based products for anything portable like mp3 players, cellular phones (not pda smartpones like the treo, plain regular cellphones with maybe a bit of multimedia added), gps receivers and so on.

We have here the potential for a standardized "embedded" platform, same os on your pda, your cellphone, your microwave oven and so on, all connected via bluetooth, all sharing the same programs.

I know it is quite a wild (ok, really wild) prediction, but at least there's the possibility to that.

ps: btw, isn't exactly what microsoft is trying to do with its wince thingy? more os wars to come ? :)

pps: all of this is IMHO, just wild guesses of the moment, do not flame me to much about this :)

RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 12:47:37 PM #
well you need a seperate version of WinCE for pocketpc's, handhelds with akeyboard and smartphones while palmOS and its apps will run fine on a treo, Clie NR70 or a kyocera smartphone even though they are all completely different devices.
RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 12:51:19 PM #
RE: X-Scale from Palm
cyruski @ 6/27/2002 5:47:34 PM #
the thing is, many devices will run the same palm os. that's what they call DIVERSITY.

cyruski
RE: X-Scale from Palm
jjsoh @ 6/28/2002 12:30:05 AM #
: ps: btw, isn't exactly what microsoft is trying to do
: with its wince thingy? more os wars to come ? :)

Yup. Now that Palm is announcing bigger plans that may influence the future of embedded OS devices, Microsoft is definitely doing its _wincing_ thingy.

Oh wait.. you meant WinCE thingy?! Silly me.

(Sorry, couldn't resist. Now that's what I call a pun not intended. :)


Jim

PalmOS is completely unsuitable for that
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/28/2002 3:31:11 PM #
PalmOS's image handling and real-time capabilities are lousy. Addressing large amounts of memory or doing megabytes file I/O for images is very difficult. And PalmOS is hardly highly optimized. Even PalmOS5 doesn't fix any of these. Let's hope that its successor does. PalmOS is just about the worst OS imaginable for imaging and real-time applications.

PocketPC is a little better--at least it can deal more easily with large amounts of memory and data, but even PocketPC is not a good choice for camera operating systems.

Why do we have to have one size that fits all? PalmOS has was built for giving you reasonable productivity applications on low-power handheld devices. Isn't that enough?

RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/28/2002 5:54:58 PM #
I agree with Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Digital cameras and camcorders and such often use tested, mature Real-Time OS'es from Wind River or QSSL. Sometimes, the company will also write their own OS. PalmOS 5 is too new and, for that matter, was not designed exclusively for multimedia. On the other hand, if later versions become more and more like the late, lamented BeOS, then we can return to this topic with a better answer. Still, PalmOS 5 will be nice, 6 I hope will be very spiffy.
RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2002 9:37:13 PM #
"PalmOS's image handling and real-time capabilities are lousy. Addressing large amounts of memory or doing megabytes file I/O for images is very difficult."

Are you a programmer for Palm OS? Just curious if you are speaking from inside knowledge or opinion. Streaming 25 FPS at 720K per second from a 40Mb file stored on external media is pretty adequate for most handhelds. No lapse in framerate on playback either; keeps perfect sync with my pentium laptop, and just as smooth too. Major difference is that my laptop can only show 20 minutes on battery power, as opposed to 4 hours on the Palm.

Now if that Margi Presenter-to-go can also do video, and I hook it up to video glasses... :)


(rats, the Presenter needs AC,.. oh well)

RE: X-Scale from Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2002 2:52:30 AM #
Are you a programmer for Palm OS? Just curious if you are speaking from inside knowledge or opinion.

Yes, I develop handheld applications. We have done some stuff for Palm, but we have been putting off implementing more complex features until Palm OS 6, which will hopefully support native ARM applications. It could probably be done on curent Palms or OS5, but it just isn't worth the effort for us.

Streaming 25 FPS at 720K per second from a 40Mb file stored on external media is pretty adequate for most handhelds.

Sure, with enough hacking, you can get Palms to do lots of neat things (up to whatever the hardware is capable of). But not only does Palm OS have very little support, it actually gets in the way in many places.

(Streaming video actually seems easier than other applications because it can be done naturally with sequential rendering of small chunks of data. Digital images require random access to large chunks of memory.)

Watch for Sony

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 12:48:40 PM #
This CPU has been around. 6 month lead-time is overstated.

MX1 waiting for final OS5 so to get certified.

Who is first with the 66Mhz chip? Sony.
Who will be first with this one? Who do you think?

RE: Watch for Sony
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 12:54:28 PM #
I'm sure they'll also be first to discontinue a device based on it :)
RE: Watch for Sony
bobes @ 6/27/2002 1:11:50 PM #
nah... I think they will keep their existing product line and make this their top of the line @ $599

RE: Watch for Sony
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/27/2002 2:04:06 PM #
They'll probably make a low end Xscale model first (bigger but cheaper), then later move on high end ones (similiar to NR series)
RE: Watch for Sony
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2002 2:05:56 AM #
I think Sony will use Motorola's ARM cpu because of the memory stick support. We also know that Motorola is working with Sega on the Palm gaming API. Sony is probably working on a Gameboy Advance killer perhaps to complement PS2
RE: Xscale
abosco @ 6/27/2002 2:02:15 PM #
Haha to the last post. To the first guy in this thread- "soar at Xscale speeds" -what exactly does that mean to you? The PPCs can go up to 400 mhz and still be slower than a Palm m100? Because that's what it looks like from here. I don't know what they are teaching you at the University of BS but you better drop out and find a better college. Toshiba has two devices that run on the X-Scale processor that have been rarely seen in stores have problems with its processor. Have fun dishing out your $700 bucks for it.
"Palms crawl with the obsolete ARM processors" -hahahahahahahahaha!!!! You are calling PPC's current devices' processor obsolete. If this new X-Scale technology was so great how come it was sent back to Intel for some restructuring??? The PPCs that run X-Scale will probably be out by August and the Palms with ARM will be coming out around September.
"the Jornada for 13 hours"- Jornada? What's a Jornada? Ohhh, you mean those PPCs from HP that sold horribly? What ever happenned to them? Oh yeah, they were discontinued.
"The Toshiba runs for 8 hours or a month stadn by"
"The Clie T665 runs for a mere 3 hours or four days stand by."
Obviously you are comparing apples to oranges if this is the case. If the Toshiba can get 8 hours (at the most while turned off) or a month (blatant lie) then the Clie T665 should be able to get at least a week and a half if they are compared fairly. And I don't think you can compare a crappy Toshiba to the Clie T665. The Clie is infinitely quicker and has so many more apps for the same amount of money ($400).

•Bosco

Waiting for ARMed Palm Smartphone

Troll Post

abosco @ 6/27/2002 2:32:28 PM #
Thanks for taking out that comment from that Troll from the University of BS. He obviously didn't know what he was talking about!

Viva Ed!
Viva PIC!
Viva Palm!

•Bosco

Waiting for ARMed Palm Smartphone

RE: Troll Post
Ed @ 6/27/2002 3:40:03 PM #
Apparently some people don't believe us when we say, "Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments may be moderated/deleted." When a troll post gets removed, all the replies do too so don't waste your time responding to them.

---
News Editor
RE: Troll Post
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/28/2002 6:33:49 AM #
What does PIC has against educational institutions like the popular University of Puerto Rico?
Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass: