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RealTime IT News

Palm OS To Be Built Into Silicon

Palm, Inc. said Tuesday that it will work with three of the largest microprocessor vendors to include key elements of the Palm OS on four widely-used Net device platforms.

Specifically, Palm said it will work with Intel Corporation, Motorola and Texas Instruments, all of which use ARM core technology for their microprocessors. That means the microprocessor vendors will offer device manufacturers platforms that are already optimized for development of Palm OS-based devices.

Specifically, the arrangement involves Intel's StrongARM and XScale platforms, Motorola's DragonBall MX1 and Texas Instrument's OMAP platform, the companies announced. In addition, ARM, which provides the core technology for the platforms, said it will work to facilitate integration of Palm technology.

Palm uses Motorola's platform for its own devices and the arrangement could open the way further for the company to move to either Intel's or

In a statement, Palm said the arrangement will save OEMs time, "freeing them to focus technical resources on innovative differentiation based on their own areas of expertise."

"This new program is a good move for Palm because it should both shorten the time to market for device makers and expand the total number of copies of Palm OS in use," said Al Gillen, research manager, system software at International Data Corp. (IDC). "More copies of an operating system in use translates to a bigger market for application vendors."

Under the agreement, Palm will provide a kit that gives the vendors access to relevant parts of its operating system. The company said the kit is designed to simplify transferring elements of the Palm OS to the processors.