TI Processors to Power Next-Generation Palms

 
 
By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2001-12-18
 
 
 

Palm Inc. announced Monday that Texas Instruments Inc. will provide processors for its next generation of handheld computers.

The devices will be based on TIs OMAP (Open Media Applications Platform), which enables wireless applications to take advantage of upcoming high-speed wireless networks.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Handspring Inc., Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB already have committed to OMAP.

In March, TI invested $100 million in the development of applications based on the platform.

Earlier this month, Palm announced that an anonymous investor had ceded $50 million to Palm; officials would not comment on whether TI was that investor.

Palm products based on OMAP will be available in the next year, according to officials at the Santa Clara, Calif., company.

"Working together, Palm and TI can accelerate the convergence of wireless voice, multimedia and data," Todd Bradley, chief operating officer of Palms Solutions Group, said in a statement. "We believe these capabilities will be increasingly important to the growing number of mobile enterprise users."

Motorola Inc. and Intel Corp. have been competing with TI to provide processors for Palm devices ever since Palm announced its plans to build devices based on technology from ARM Holdings plc. All three companies manufacture ARM processors.

"At the heart of the OMAP processor is an ARM processor," said Richard Kerflake, marketing manager for wireless computing at TI. "They all are 100 percent ARM-compatible, but they had other bells and whistles to make some attractive products."

Currently, Palm handhelds use the Motorola Dragonball processor. Bradley said that the deal with TI is not an exclusive one, but it is certainly a coup for TI.

"We conducted a clear evaluation," said Angel Mendez, senior vice president of operations for Palms Solutions Group. "TIs wireless capability was very much a strong variable. … We obviously looked at cost, too, and TI was by far the most competitive. … Theres room in our road map for other silicon providers for wireless or non-wireless products in the future. However, clearly the preferred relationship is with TI."

In other Palm news, NASDAQ announced Monday that Palm is one of 13 stocks to be removed from the NASDAQ 100 index this year.

Rocket Fuel