Samsung Joins the Palm OS Ready Program

PalmSource today announced Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., has joined the Palm OS Ready Program. Samsung brings expertise in wireless chip sets and memory technology to the program, which lowers development cost and shortens time-to-market for Palm OS licensees manufacturing ARM-based handhelds and smart phones.

Samsung joins an impressive list of Palm OS Ready Partners including ATI Technologies, Intel, MediaQ, Motorola and Texas Instruments. Joining the program certifies Samsung ARM chips compatibility with the Palm OS and allows them to make them available to other licensees.

"We are proud to welcome Samsung to our program. The caliber of industry luminaries in the Palm OS Ready Program strengthens the entire Palm Economy," said David Nagel, president and CEO for PalmSource. "The Palm OS Ready program is helping to bring ARM-based Palm Powered devices to market faster and more efficiently, enabling licensees to deliver products that provide a variety of enhanced multimedia, security, and wireless benefits."

Samsung's chip, the S3C2410, features an ARM920T CPU core and is the world's first System-on-Chip (SOC) to have a NAND flash boot loader. The S3C2410 also offers a set of tailored peripherals that are desirable for smart phones and portable handhelds. For example, the processor has SD/MMC and SDIO support, which enable mobile devices to support expandable storage capacity and SDIO protocol devices such as digital cameras through a single slot. The S3C2410 is now shipping in discrete form and a System-in-Package (SiP) solution has been announced-integrating 256Mb NAND Flash and 256Mb SDRAM with the S3C2410 in a single package for substantial board real estate and power savings.

Samsung's application processor and reference board have already passed Palm OS Ready certification; the final step silicon providers must take before their chips can be included in new Palm Powered devices. The certification process puts the chips and driver software layer through rigorous performance and compatibility testing. It facilitates the solution's high performance, ease-of-use and software compatibility standards the Palm OS platform has established in the industry.

"Samsung is known for delivering reliable, powerful and low-cost chip solutions and now they are tailored to meet the specifications of Palm OS," said Dr. Yun-Tae Lee, vice president of Samsung Electronics' Mobile Solution Project.

About the Palm OS Ready Program
By licensing components of the Palm OS platform to silicon providers, PalmSource is enabling them to provide more complete processor solutions to licensees of the Palm operating system. This program facilitates processor manufacturers by allowing them to create a Device Abstraction Layer (DAL) between their chip and the OS. This saves licensees development time, freeing them to focus technical resources on innovative differentiation based on their own areas of expertise. Users of Palm Powered devices benefit by having more innovative mobile products to choose from, available in the market sooner. The Palm OS Ready program was launched in July 2001.

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Nice memory specs

bcombee @ 3/3/2003 11:03:56 AM #
256Mb == 16MB, so that means you have one chip that can store the whole Palm OS image and also provide 16MB of RAM. Keeping memory inside the chip reduces power usage considerably, and also allows a smaller device. This looks really, really cool, especially for Palm OS smartphones.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
RE: Nice memory specs
bcombee @ 3/3/2003 11:06:40 AM #
Oops... 256Mb == 8Mb. Arghh... early morning math. That's still enough for the OS and some RAM, but you'd really want a bit more RAM for most Palm OS devices.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
RE: Nice memory specs
neoyuan @ 3/3/2003 11:12:48 AM #

RE: Nice memory specs
Palminator @ 3/3/2003 11:38:14 AM #
Keep in mind with NAND flash, you cannot execute in place, so the OS image and all ROM based apps must be copied to SDRAM which consumes up to 16MB to RAM space. So, you're left with 16MB of code space and 16MB of storage space.

RE: Nice memory specs
bcombee @ 3/3/2003 12:04:46 PM #
Yep... 8X8 == 64, 8X32 == 256. I think I get that confused because of the old 64K computer days... that was the original memory barrier, and its still with us in Palm OS 5 in the design of HotSync Manager (arghh!).

You're right about the NAND flash requiring being copied to RAM, so its likely you'd have something like a 8MB OS/24MB RAM split on a device like this. That's still pretty nice for a tiny Palm OS device.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at

RE: Nice memory specs
rsc1000 @ 3/3/2003 12:26:25 PM #
Ben - you do what for a living now? :)

RE: Nice memory specs
twalk @ 3/3/2003 12:32:49 PM #
I've heard that PPC PDAs have can't do rip with nand, but this is the first I've heard it with Palms. Does someone know the reason why you can't do rip with nand? (Too slow?)

Also keep in mind that they're using a SiP. This means that the memory can likely be increased pretty easily in later designs compared to a SoC.

RE: Nice memory specs
BlueAnon @ 3/3/2003 1:56:41 PM #
Microsofts already showed 'catfish' in several developer conference based on this chip.

PIC reported it last year when Microsoft put out a press release. Everybody thinks it'll be a flop, and dragonball will eat it alive.

Well, meet the future of sub $180 ARM device.

RE: Nice memory specs
JKingGrim @ 3/3/2003 3:07:02 PM #
>>the processor has SD/MMC and SDIO support

No MemStick. Give it up Sony.

RE: Nice memory specs
hotpaw4 @ 3/3/2003 4:59:05 PM #
NAND flash typically has serial (1-bit-at-a-time) access, whereas most CPU cores require parallel (16/32-bit wide) memory for instruction and data fetches (ROM or RAM). The flash boot loaders usually either preload some RAM memory from flash, or allow the CPU to very slowly fetch just enough code to copy the rest of the boot image in software. This means that a cold reset (RAM/storage wiped) may take a lot longer with these devices. On the other hand, NAND flash is usually also cheaper.


kev @ 3/4/2003 10:25:40 AM #
Samsung have PDA OS agreements with all providers: MS Smartphone, Symbian, Palm OS. Anybody any idea what they plan on doing with all this? Sounds like they're either cowards and can't pick a platform or they're on a spending/signing spree gone mad.

RE: Players!
ConceptVBS @ 3/12/2003 1:00:30 PM #
Samsung is known to be agressive in signing contracts and, more importantly, keeping them. What they are planning to do is to be the dominant player in the smartphone market. I think they've gone mad.

RE: Players!
Konstantin @ 10/25/2003 9:15:50 PM #
[b]oh no[/b]

RE: Players!
Konstantin @ 10/25/2003 9:16:29 PM #
^b g



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