It was only a matter of time before PDAs joined other mobile devices like notebooks and tablets in offering dedicated video memory. Currently the only Palm OS PDA with dedicated video RAM is the Zodiac from Tapwave, but that’s about to change.
Tapwave released their Zodiac line in November, 2003. Up to that point, PDAs were used for gaming and video watching, but most heavy lifting was done by the processor. When the Zodiac was released, it was the first product to put any sort of emphasis on video performance as a major point of differentiation. Tapwave went on their own more or less to incorporate an ATI Imageon W4200 graphics accelerator with 8MB dedicated SDRAM.
Not surprisingly, Nvidia wants into the game. They will be announcing entry into the PalmSource Ready Program. Nvidia has also licensed Cobalt and Garnet tools and components so they may work on drivers and software tools for the new operating systems. GoForce chipsets from Nvidia promise improved multimedia performance and multi-megapixel image capture while minimizing battery consumption.
The implications for PDAs are serious. The dream of having an all-in-one PDA with the ability to handle heavy-duty multimedia and gaming with ease could soon be real. Dedicated video is coming and the end result will dramatically alter the capabilities of the PDA over the next year. Palm OS PDAs with Nvidia chips are expected during this calendar year.
nVidia had a large CeBIT presence