Comments on: MemStick Support Built In to Next Gen Dragonball Chips

Motorola has licensed Sony's Memory Stick technology and will build slot control circuitry for it into the processor of its next generation of Dragonball and Dragonball-ARM processors. The effects of this are two-fold. Making handhelds with the MemStick slot will be significantly cheaper for Sony and other handheld makers can save a similar amount of money if they adopt Sony's expansion slot for their handhelds.
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Sanity Lacking

Coyote67 @ 5/23/2001 12:13:34 PM #
Are they insane? All they are doing is giving Palm and incentive to go else where for the arm cpus.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.
RE: Sanity Lacking
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 12:24:20 PM #
That was my first thought, too. If Motorola was going to support an expansion standard, why didn't they pick the one their largest customer uses? I want to know how much money changed hands. How much did Sony have to pay to convince Motorola to piss off Palm?


RE: Sanity Lacking
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 12:29:10 PM #
Won't that essentially be the same thing? Palm's SD card access was originally based on Sony's memory stick technology.

RE: Sanity Lacking
MacBirdie @ 5/23/2001 1:19:14 PM #
Licensing MemoryStick in Motorola Dragonballs doesn't change anything for Palm, except that it's now Sony who might create smaller form factor devices, but if Palm accepts Agilent's embedded system-on-chip, then.. well... the roles can be reversed again :)

RE: Sanity Lacking
MacBirdie @ 5/23/2001 1:40:48 PM #
Besides I don't think Palm wants to lose their maybe biggest strenght - LOADS of software, over 10 000, so if they want to support it, they have to have a processor that is more DragolBall- , than ARM-like and DragonBall ARMs might be the best choice...

RE: Sanity Lacking
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 2:00:34 PM #
I'm not sure if there is so much difference betw. the Dragonball-ARM and plain ARM chips when it comes to supporting 'legacy' apps. I think you need to run some kind of 'emulation' mode in either case. Maybe it's easier to code the emulator for the former, but you only have to do this once anyway.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism... it's just so...big!

What are the facts on Dragonball volumes with Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 4:22:34 PM #
Everyone here is writing that Palm and Palm OS devices are the biggest user of Dragonball processors but is that correct? I thought Dragonballs were also used for cellphones, mp3 players, digital cameras, etc., which far exceeds any volumes Palm may bring to the table.

Does anyone have any facts on this? Would Motorola really loose any sleep if they lost Palm?


Perhaps Palm isn't their target

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 2:08:53 PM #
1) Palm is moving to ARM.

2) Sony is a Palm OS licensee that is having very good success in Japan and should do well in America.

3) ARM chips are used on a lot more than PDAs. Think digital cameras, cell phones, video cameras, printers, and music players.

4) Motorola wants Sony as a strategic customer. Supporting its Memory Stick standard on a high-powered chip makes a lot of sense, because Motorola can sell it into a lot of Sony's designs that need microcontrollers and Memory Stick access.

Good for them.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 2:36:23 PM #
So what if Palm decides not to buy the chips from them but Sony does. How has the sales figure been for Palm? How many embedded devices does Sony or Palm make? It's not like Palm is going to revoke Sony's PalmOS license...

Go figure.

RE: Good for them.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 4:19:11 PM #
Let's not forget that Sony will probably soon *OWN* Palm.

RE: Good for them.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 4:21:58 PM #
> Let's not forget that Sony will probably soon *OWN* Palm.

No, they won't. As Ed said

> Palm isn't going to be bought out. When Palm was spun off from
> 3COM last year, the IRS said the deal was tax-free as long
> as neither Palm nor 3COM bought or sold more than 50% of Palm's
> stock for two years. This means that if a company bought Palm, they
> would have to pay all the taxes for distributing Palm's shares to
> 3COM shareholders in 2000. In short, the deal would almost
> certainly be prohibitively expensive.

RE: Good for them.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2001 1:23:07 PM #
>> Let's not forget that Sony will probably soon
>> *OWN* Palm.

> No, they won't. As Ed said

That's just Ed's opinion. Although he is knowledgeable and has contacts, he runs neither Sony nor Palm. There IS a possibility. Betting on either of the opinion is _your_ choice.

Palm will not survive the year on their own.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2001 3:28:43 PM #
They will be taken over by another company (you'll be surprised) within 3 months.

Hmmm.....the noodle is ready

Coyote67 @ 5/23/2001 4:19:16 PM #
See now this got me thinking, something very rare.

Isn't ARM ARM? I mean, If palm uses another company's arm chips, and sony uses motorhella, can't the progs be compatible?

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.

RE: Hmmm.....the noodle is ready
bcombee @ 5/23/2001 5:46:00 PM #
ARM has several different architectures, but they all have compatible code. Palm announced that they will be building devices based on the ARM4 architecture, which is used in the ARM7, ARM9, and StrongARM cores. So, the same 32-bit ARM code would work on any these cores. However, a core isn't everything. There is all the additional hardware around the core than makes chips unique. However, Palm OS will abstract out any chip differences, providing hardware access through the same APIs that developers use today.

One nice thing about the ARM is scalability -- you can get ARM7 core chips that run at 10Mhz and cost $3 dollars, or you can make fast StrongARM chips that run at 200MHz and cost $40. This range of chips that are all compatible means that ARM-based Palm units can really hit lots of different price points and feature sets. The GameBoy Advance uses an ARM7, and Nintendo is breaking even at $100 with a color screen. I'd expect that a m105-class ARM Palm could be produced and sold at a nice profit at $200.

RE: Hmmm.....the noodle is ready
Coyote67 @ 5/24/2001 9:13:52 AM #
Thats very interesting. Thanks for the info.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.


atrizzah @ 5/23/2001 5:27:26 PM #
Why MemStick? Why not CF or SD? Why not some combination of these? I just don't get it. There is absolutely *NO* way Palm will switch to MemStick after the hell they took for switching serial connectors. Imagine what would happen if all the people who bought m50X's went shopping next year only to find that their SD cards and peripherals--if they ever get finalized--are no longer compatible with the 2002 Palms. For these reasons, I doubt that any current Palm company will switch to Memory Stick.

Peace Out
RE: Why??
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2001 8:24:41 PM #
Like you said "if they ever get finalized"... at the rate it's going, the SDIO standard won't be complete until 2002 anyway. ;) Buy then who know how many MS peripherals the Clie camp will be rubbing in our faces.


RE: Why??
Coyote67 @ 5/24/2001 9:12:11 AM #
I'd wager it'll be like 5. Since only Sony will make them.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.
RE: Why??
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2001 10:25:32 AM #
The SD card is based on the memstick, so it helps both companies...

RE: Why??
atrizzah @ 5/24/2001 3:27:06 PM #
I think you are wrong. SD support in the OS was based on the MemStick support Sony wrote but the hardware part is very different. SD was based on MMC, and I believe Memory Stick came out after MMC, so unless Memory Stick is also based on MMC, I don't think the new chip will have any benefit for non Memory Stick Palms.

In addition, there aren't many Memory Stick IO devices either. The only one that I know of thats actually been seen is the InfoStick (memory+BlueTooth). Besides, I think that it's probably not going to be that long before SD is finalized.

Peace Out

RE: Why??
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 9:41:12 AM #
Like you know Alan

Smart Move

taco @ 5/23/2001 10:26:12 PM #
Motorola is betting that other companies that use the palm os will be receptive to the ms-its simply exposing itself to more processor sales by implementing a fairly well licensed technology. I work in retail and can say that Memory Stick has become a widely accepted storage format among our customers.
RE: Smart Move
alchemist @ 5/26/2001 2:18:04 AM #
I think it should be pointed that MS is not only used on the Clie but also on digital cameras and voice recorders... that may also rely on Dragonball chips.


Memory Stick Rulez!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2001 3:37:27 AM #
Now, now, where are those guys who said "CLIE is destined to die because of the memory stick standard."

Come out come out wherever you are...


MegaZone @ 5/24/2001 11:17:48 AM #
Palm picking another chip vendor does not necessarily lock Motorola out. If OS 5 is designed for the ARM core, then it may run on chips from multiple vendors - Motorola, Agilent, Intel, etc.
ARM, Palm & Newton
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/25/2001 3:48:17 AM #
In five years probably Palm is where the legendary Newton message pad was 3 years ago.
in terms of user interface, ease of use, processor (same ARM as the palm in 6 months) & software.


a devoted Palm & Newton User


MegaZone @ 5/26/2001 3:58:03 PM #
Lost in the discussion of MS is the statement from Motorola that they will be adding on chip support for a 2nd system later this year. Saying MMC/SD is a "logical choice". So don't read to deep.

My Thoughts

Crittenden @ 5/27/2001 5:52:31 AM #
What a novel idea.

Grip the stars

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 11:14:12 AM #
and fall off the clif.

The discussion for OS 5 and next generation is obsolete.

Just try to send today your namecard or any adress from a IIIC (OS 3.5) to a m500 (OS 4.0) and see the m500 deeply crash.

(The other way around its funnily working)

As long as the OS is so buggy I would not build hastily further but rather fix the today problem.

But thats not lifestyle - or?



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