Samsung Wants to Increase Use of its Chips

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While most Palm OS and Pocket PC handhelds run on chips from Intel, Texas Instruments, or Motorola, Samsung also makes an ARM-based microprocessor designed to be used in handhelds. This company has lately been working to increase the use of its S3C2410 application processor with both these platforms.

Palm OS

Earlier this week, Samsung joined the Palm OS Ready program, which lowers development cost and shortens time-to-market for Palm OS licensees manufacturing ARM-based handhelds and smartphones. As part of the program, Samsung will create a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) between its chip and the operating system. This allows a Palm OS licensee to design a handheld around the S3C2410 without having to go to a lot of effort.

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.

“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.

Other members of the Palm OS Ready program include Intel, Texas Instruments, and Motorola.

Pocket PC

A few months ago, Microsoft and Samsung announced a new concept design for a low-cost Pocket PC.

“This ultralow-cost, maximized design gives consumer electronics OEMs and ODMs the ability to rapidly bring to market high-value, low-cost mobile computing solutions,” said Dr. Lee.

Of course, the concept design uses the S3C2410 chip. It also includes a 3.5-inch QVGA grayscale or color display and an SD/MMC card slot with SDIO support. It is 4.1 by 2.8 inches and the grayscale version weighs only 2.9 ounces.

More About the S3C2410

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 useful for smartphones and portable handhelds. For example, the processor has SD/MMC and SDIO support, which allow handhelds to support removable memory cards 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.

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