Comments on: WiFi SD Card Coming Next Year

Back in June, SyChip announced that it was developing an 802.11b SDIO card. Recently more details have been released on the company's website. It will be able to do both peer-to-peer networking and connect to network access points. SyChip plans to have the design process finished, a prototype made, and the drivers ready by the end of this year.
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Battery drain?

dboehme @ 10/10/2002 8:53:11 AM #
At 300ma, I wonder how long a fully charged battery will last.

RE: Battery drain?
pocketscience @ 10/10/2002 9:44:20 AM #
Well, considering Palm have been stating that a card in the SD slot shouldn't draw more than 200mA at peak, and draw less than 100mA to be "battery friendly" - I think 300mA is not going to give a very good user-experience...

So in standby it'll be drawing < 70mA - that's good - but if you have the card in chances are you will be using it - and chewing 297mA when receiving and 287mA when sending... not so good...

Roll on DMFC's, AdLB, Powerpaper... and whatever other battery technologies are being worked on...


RE: Battery drain?
stupidnewpolicy @ 10/10/2002 9:44:48 AM #
If they develop the drivers/interface with some sanity, they will integrate with the built-in PalmOS "Connect" applet. If you can easily connect and disconnect, and thus enable and disable the power-draining device, I don't think battery drain will be as significant as a lot of folks are worried it will be.

A couple of caveats to my premise:

1. Sure, you need to be connected constantly in order to get alerts that you have new mail. Email alerts are a luxury to most - they're darn nice, but not a necessity for all.

2. Sure active web browsing (as opposed to cache-based like AvantGo) requires a constant connection. As many have said before me, active web browsing on your PDA will likely not become the primary vehicle used for accessing the web. It's more of a time-waster/meeting boredom reducer/etc.

But performing a network sync from time to time (and nearly as often as you'd like without having to lug cables, notebook, cradle, etc) to get new email and maybe even refresh browser cache, would be a wonderful addition. I'd be surprised if periodic synching via 802.11b takes more power than a constant Bluetooth or infrared connection to the Internet (or intranet) would. Am I wrong here?


RE: Battery drain?
ska @ 10/10/2002 1:08:44 PM #
If other company can make the alternate option, sure as heck Palm should be able to do it too.

with the 3000ma battery attachment the Toshiba E740 can do Wi-Fi 5-6hrs continuously. Sure it uses enhanced battery and not svelte, but the point is, if Palm keeps waiting until battery technology to catch up so WiFi can be put in m500 form factor for long usage, softwares utilizing WiFi will not be written until after. Than Palm will be half step behind in software offering.

RE: Battery drain?
hotpaw4 @ 10/11/2002 1:36:13 AM #
The right way to do this is to plug the wifi module into a bluetooth bridge with its own separate battery, and have only low-power bluetooth built into the handheld. That way the appropriate size battery will be on the device that's drawing the power; and you won't need a big ugly power sled directly attached to your handheld. PDA's need to get thinner, not bigger.
802.11 NOT the one-size-fits-all wireless technology
pdangel @ 10/11/2002 2:42:19 AM #
It's looks a cool product.....although the product was expected end 2002, the card is sticking out of the SD slot (a lot of people called that a BIG minor with the Bluetooth SD card), 802.11 is battery sapping.....

Dual, multi mode or Software-defined radios (SDRs) who support various Wireless Technologies (Bluetooth AND 802.11 or GSM/GPRS/CDMA; see new HP/iPaq 5400 model with 802.11 AND Bluetooth) are prefered for future mobile devices, especially pda's imho. 802.11 and Bluetooth are complimentary and that's the reason why HP/iPaq seems to integrate both in all new upcoming 5000 models.

Bluetooth Makes Telematics a Reality; Daimler Chrysler, Microsoft, Visteon, Johnson Control, Saab, VW, Nissan etc. are all working on Bluetooth Telematic Solutions. Handsfree with a Bluetooth integrated smartphone/PDA and voice dailing would be of the reasons why i think mobile devices with phone future should have Bluetooth integrated. 802.11 has not this advantage plus bigger sized chip, more costly (compared in quantity), higher power so battery sapping, no automatic synchronization), doesn't support voice right away, not mobile enough (limited to Open Access Points/Hot Spots).....

Bluetooth and (not Versus) Wi-Fi (802.11): Wi-Fi And Bluetooth As Complementary, Not Competing, Technologies

802.11 NOT the one-size-fits-all wireless technology

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: Battery drain?
cbowers @ 10/15/2002 12:37:26 PM #
"with the 3000ma battery attachment the Toshiba E740 can do Wi-Fi 5-6hrs continuously. "

And? You can do that now with a HE330 and the Symbol WiFi card, with just the standard battery. No hyperbole. The 6 hour continous ping test has been mentioned long ago.

My device idles with an active but distant AP connection at around 12mA draw. It *seems* to be in the same ballpark as the 1st gen Toshiba/Palm SD bluetooth card for power consumption.

RE: Battery drain?
valid @ 7/13/2003 3:32:06 AM #
the antenna sticks out because the thing can go over 200 feet away and the bluetooth only goes a weak 30-40 feet.

WiFi on PDAs is great---for email

robman @ 10/10/2002 10:48:50 AM #
I own the Xircom/Intel PWE1130 Wirless Lan sled. It clips on to the back of my m515 and lets me surf the web, HotSync wirelessly, and check my email.

There's no question about it, the ONLY think I use it for is email. Palm's screen resolution (combined with increasing webpage size/complexity) makes browsing the web live very uncomfortable.

Now here's the frustrating part---(and I'm going against what I said about the new SD cameras, I know)---I can't use a keyboard and my WiFi sled at the same time. If I had an SD-based WiFi card then I could reply to email from my local coffee shop. Whohoo!

What I really want is a PDA with two expansion slots---one SD for memory and one UC-like for peripherals, and I want the UC one (like USB) to daisy-chain easily so I can use multiple peripherals at the same time!

Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
ska @ 10/10/2002 12:27:03 PM #
you seems like type of user who scream for PocketPC instead of Palm. (needing pocketable office app instead of well made organizer)

get one of those cheapo PPC with built in WiFi. E740 goes for $370 or so after rebate in amazon. I don't think even the upcoming $199 Dell can compete with any built in wireless like OS 5.0 Tungsten. Since you still have to pay for $140 WiFi CF card etc...

just a thought.

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
robman @ 10/10/2002 1:24:17 PM #
I own a Compaq iPaq. Even with a PC Card slot and a Wi-Fi card, it's practically useless. The interface is poor and difficult to use, but most importantly, it's slooooooooooooooow.

I just want a handheld device which manages my PIM functions, one of them being email. And I want a way to check my email while out and about. But most importantly I want it to be easy to use, like Palm has been since 1996.


Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
mashby @ 10/10/2002 1:36:49 PM #
I've actually used it for more than that. E-mail does work well, but AIM, Blazer, upIRC and ICQ work really well too.

From what I've heard, OS 5 has a GREAT browser built-in that should make browsing much nicer.

Michael T. Ashby

Great for MORE than just email!!!
BrettBanks @ 10/10/2002 10:05:56 PM #
I'd love to see the Palm used to it's fullest technologies usage. I think with good software, you could run high end multi-media software. WIFI can help run wireless Palm Apps faster and more better than no wireless. WIFI is just like when Palm first got the newest colourization teknolgies on Palm IIIc. This will bring more better people to use the Palm.

Brett Banks

I love my Palm Dictoinaree

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
TDS Computer @ 10/10/2002 10:58:26 PM #
I use my Visor Prism with my Xircom 802.11b Springboard in my home for reading news on various websites. The connection is very slow. Easily as slow as a dialup modem. I think it is a limitation of the Springboard slot itself.
I find I use different browsers for different sites. Blazer for some, Xiino for others that require Javascript, and Eudora for very fast text-based access.
I am looking forward to this SD card so I can enjoy the same convenience on my Treo 90.

Visit us at
RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
pdangel @ 10/11/2002 2:59:55 AM #
To add both Bluetooth and 802.11 (+ GSM/GPRS/CDMA) would be THE solution imho. The media (so-called tech experts!?) seem to have seen the light (finally) and write that 802.11 and Bluetooth are COMPLIMENTARY. You can see more and more devices added with both 802.11 AND Bluetooth INTEGRATED (2 radios built-in, so am not talking about WiFi or Bluetooth integrated plus SD/MMC slot for extra wireless option); Notebooks of Fujitsu, Toshiba, IBM; PDA's of Intermec and soon HP/iPaq; Tablets; Acer showed a 802.11a/Bluetooth solution, and Toshiba seems to integrated Bluetooth into there Tablet device....

WiFi on PDAs is great for email.....when you are "networking" and in range of access point/hotspots. Add Bluetooth and you have a wireless cable function with other devices, automatic synchronization and wireless connectivity threw telecom networks like GSM, GPRS or CDMA for real mobility. It's mainly a matter of costs, but i like to see both wireless options on my future mobile devices.


"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
ska @ 10/11/2002 7:10:40 AM #
HP will introduce iPAQ H5400 in November, with one having built in WF/BT and possibly GSM/CDMA also. They use replacable battery apparently to answer complain about being non-replacable.

I am not sure who is crazy enough needing 3 radio built in into one unit tho'.

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
pdangel @ 10/11/2002 10:23:23 AM #
Next question: Will all HP/iPaq PPC 5000 models have BT=Bluetooth?

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
ska @ 10/11/2002 1:41:10 PM #
It's in the FCC pdf. Yes. (all have 2 radios, not 3)
RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
pdangel @ 10/12/2002 3:25:55 AM #
Could you point me to the refered FCC pdf file ska? I can't find it?

Thanx in advance ;o)

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
alexito @ 10/12/2002 10:00:47 PM #
robman in fact you can use a keyboard. I own a m130 (I was fooled but I get a great game :)) and I also have the Xircom sleed. In fact you have 3 expansions into a Palm handheld, UC, SDslot and the IR port. I connect with the Xircom, type with the Pocketop keyboard (a must for any PDA owner, even PPC ones) and store apps in a Sandisk 128MB SDCard. I think I've made a laptop killer that fits in my pockets (both of them).
I'm looking forward for the new Kyocera (my next Palm I think) and was wondering if that sweetheart will have IR port so I can use my keyboard. I think I'll have to trow away the xircom sleed, but that new card would be great.

Here come my unanswered questions:
1. Will the new Kyocera have IR port?
2. The new Kyocera VS an OS 5 device, wich one wins??
3. Does anybody know about a carryng case that can fit a Palm with the Xircom sleed mounted and a keyboard?
4. Is any company working on a SD adapter that can put 2 SD card in one slot, so I can make my dream true, the Kyocera with the WiFi SD and the memory SD?

Also I emailed Sychip an that's what I get:

SyChip will not be selling the card directly but via our accessory partners and major OEMs. These have yet to be annouced. The WLAN SD card is expected to be available at all major retail stores in Q2 of 2003. Pricing has yet to be announced.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Mayorga Adame []
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 2:21 PM
Subject: Info WLAN 6060


I'd like to know when it'll be available in Mexico and how much will it cost.

Thanks in advance
Alex Mayorga
Greetings from Mexico

Technology moves faster than you can afford... at least for me.

RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
alexito @ 10/12/2002 10:30:41 PM #
Sorry, I forgot, PLEASE answer my questions if you can.
RE: WiFi on PDAs is great---for email
valid @ 7/13/2003 3:34:45 AM #
does anyone know where to get facts on the wifi cards such as how fast they go with processor speeds i need to know if it will be worth it to get it for my Zire 71


Strider_mt2k @ 10/10/2002 10:55:20 AM #
I am tired of the PPC guys having all the fun!

I work alot of trade shows where guys are walking around connected back to thier booth PCs. It's a very nice way to grab pricing data and other stuff.

The industry that I work in is also looking for more wireless connection options for video transmission as well. I hope the new generation of Palm OS devices makes use of it all, video AND wireless.

Hmmm, if someone makes a handheld with 2 SD slots, in theory one could snap pics and send them off using a camera card and WIFI (or bluetooth) card! :D

RE: Cool!
Token User @ 10/10/2002 3:21:50 PM #
Even better would be a BT enabled Camera talking via BT to a BT enabled PDA with a WiFi SD card or a BT connection to a GPRS/1xRTT enabled cellphone to transmit the images.

Personally, I would like someone to build a BT "hub" with an enhanced power supply. The "hub" has enough intelligence to serve files from a multitude of devices (1GB CF microdrive, CF card, SD, MS), and act as a hub for an integrated WiFi connection. That might be an option to get around the limited number of slots available in PDAs for expansion.

Just a thought.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

sony, when will be your turn?

dhchung @ 10/10/2002 11:26:25 AM #
CF slot on NX series is stupid...
even a smaller SD can have a WiFi card. What about you?

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
markgm @ 10/10/2002 11:44:24 AM #
This is really an impressive feat of technology. I can only imagine that sony will have their turn at creating one, and will lead to a clie with dual ms slots. Though probably the same thickness as the NX to allow for the batter ;-). Technology is amazing!

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
EdH @ 10/10/2002 12:12:30 PM #
Sony still doesn't have a MS higher than 128MB. SD is already up to 512 available now.

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
graph @ 10/10/2002 12:38:04 PM #
DUAL MEMORY STICK would have been nice, in that way more people will buy ms camera, ms bluetooth and etc since another memory stick slot is still free for storage. Its a nobrainer. PLUS Its small! and why would i choose CF over MS if CF cant take other devices?

Palmpro, IIIe, Vx, IIIxe, m505
& Clie Peg-T665c owner
email add:

T665c photos:

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
mashby @ 10/10/2002 1:30:45 PM #
I agree with the dual slot Memory Stick format. Back in 2000 at PalmSource, Sony gave a presentation with the future of their products. It was totally marketing hype and vaporware (Aibo answers the door and tells you "You have mail" and transmits the e-mail via bluetooth to your TV complete with video attachment), but they did show a Clie with dual Memory Stick slots. So, at least they are thinking about it.

The unfortunate thing is that there haven't been much in the way of devices for the Memory Stick slot. At least they aren't here YET.

Michael T. Ashby

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
derby @ 10/10/2002 4:25:58 PM #
Well, with the rate that Sony is churning out new models, don't expect them to waste money on a dual slot machine until there are more devices available.

-- derby
RE: sony, when will be your turn?
mashby @ 10/10/2002 9:08:40 PM #
Good point!

Michael T. Ashby
RE: sony, when will be your turn?
msmasitti @ 10/11/2002 12:45:04 AM #
It's not like the Wifi SD card is coming out within the next months... this is next YEAR we are talking about guys - and we know how Sony likes to be hushhush about development stuff.

O/T Mod
RE: sony, when will be your turn?
Fly-By-Night @ 10/11/2002 5:47:07 AM #
I don't think we will have to wait too long for dual Memory Stick PDAs. Sony have a new small form factor MS called the 'Memory Stick Duo' out (I think then new SonyEricsson P800 uses them) that are about the size of SD/MMC cards.

Here's a link to their site:

As you will notice, one of the items is an adapter to use a Duo in a standard MS socket. I can envisage an adapter haveing BT built in, thus effectively giving older single stick users a dual stick device. This may also explain why the new small MS is called the Duo.

Fun and games, fun and games....


RE: sony, when will be your turn?
pdangel @ 10/11/2002 10:26:57 AM #
SyChip 802.11 SD Card Coming 2nd Q Next Year: the product was expected end 2002, the card is sticking out of the SD slot (a lot of people called that a BIG minor with the Bluetooth SD card), 802.11 is battery sapping.....

"For Bluetooth and wireless connections, Sony said it is preparing for them."

Sony will introduce the PEGA-MSB1, a Memory Stick that adds Bluetooth connectivity to its CLIE line of PDAs, to the European market. I'd be surprised if Sony chose to not introduce the PEGA-MSB1 into the US market as well.

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
pdangel @ 10/11/2002 10:39:10 AM #
ooooooops....forgot the positive add that the WiF SD card looks very handy for networking if 802.11 is not built-in (i hope it's faster then the Xircom WLAN module!?). We will see.

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"
RE: sony, when will be your turn?
gfunkmagic @ 10/12/2002 2:39:51 AM #
i agree with the 1st poster, sony's quasi- CF slot is a collasal blunder. I'd much rather purchase a pada that supports a dual SD and REAL CF slot!!

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
cbowers @ 10/15/2002 12:57:09 PM #
"802.11 is battery sapping....."

So can bluetooth be. The specs on the 1st gen Toshiba/Palm SD Bluetooth card taken from their literature is: 100mA (max. 150mA)

RE: sony, when will be your turn?
cbowers @ 10/15/2002 12:57:09 PM #
"(i hope it's faster then the Xircom WLAN module!?)"

I wouldn't imagine it will be too much faster.
The sled is a serial connection. And the SD slot is essentially also a higher rate serial connection. You'll note from the specs on SD slot Mxxx series devices (and HandEra 330 as well), that the faster 4-wire mode isn't usable because those pins aren't connected. Thus you're limited to either 1-bit or SPI mode.

CF WiFi still has the theoretical benefit of 8 and 16 bit data transfers. Still that tends to be obliterated by our current hardware with the constraint of every 4th clock tick at 33Mhz.

Not until we're all using ARM hardware will we see much more speed out of our card slots.

But that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying WiFi on my 330 in the mean time.

Battery Technology Advancements

Gekko @ 10/10/2002 11:27:49 AM #
It's too bad that battery technology doesn't move as the same speed as other technologies - imagine if it followed "Moore's Law"? You'd have battery storage capacity doubling every 18 months!!! Then WiFi drain would be no problem! I guess laws of physics have taken over where we've hit the wall?

Any one want to guess on pricing?

razorpit @ 10/10/2002 11:22:32 AM #
I bet this will be cheaper than Sony's new "CF" solution. This announcement is pushing me a little more in to the Tungsten camp. I just wish Palm would implement virtural graphiti.


RE: Any one want to guess on pricing?
polymath @ 10/10/2002 10:40:16 PM #
Not sure this will be cheaper. Sony's Wi-Fi card can be had for $130 right now, and I'm sure other cards will soon follow since it doesn't use the proprietary slot (Even existing card can be used with the right type of driver such as the Symbol Wi-Fi card). Remember, we are probably talking at least one year if not longer away for SD Wi-Fi card whereas CF Wi-Fi has been around for awhile.

Besides, if you go with "Tungsten," you don't have the dual slot option.

Are we there yet?

mmmarkiep @ 4/14/2003 5:31:10 PM #
Are these available yet? I've been unable to determine if they are. Anyone?

RE: Are we there yet?
valid @ 7/13/2003 3:40:22 AM #
found maybe in late august or mid september but it doesn't look good



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