OS 5 Handhelds to Need Half the Power of PPC Equivalents
Handhelds running Palm OS 5 will be available later this summer. These will run processors based on designs from ARM Holdings, rather than the familiar 68K Dragonball family. Handhelds running the Pocket PC OS will use some of the same processors.
The new Palm OS handhelds will be much faster than current ones but there has been some concern if this will come at the expense of battery life. A Motorola spokesperson told ZDnet UK that the Palm OS 5 handhelds will use roughly half the power as Pocket PC handhelds running the same hardware.
"It's the difference between taking technology derived from a PC and making it more energy efficient, and something that's designed from scratch to treat power as a scarce resource. There's a lot you can do when you don't have a huge operating system footprint to deal with," said Kyle Harper, business manager for Motorola's Wireless and Baseband Systems Group.
These battery saving won't come at the expense of features, either. At this week's PalmSource developer conference in London, Motorola is demonstrating a real-time MPEG video encoder-decoder and small video camera running on Palm OS 5 and a DragonBall MX1.
The DragonBall MX1, the first ARM core-based DragonBall microprocessor, offers speeds up to 200 MHz.
While Palm Inc. has chosen processors from Texas Instruments to power its OS 5 handhelds, none of the other Palm OS licencees have announced who will supply their chips. Intel also makes ARM-based chips that could be in OS 5 devices.
Thanks to montyburns for the tip. -Ed
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