SANTA CLARA, Calif. Motorola Inc. will leverage ARM MPU technology in its DragonBall family of microprocessors to keep pace with the evolving PDA market, the company said Monday (Dec. 11).
The announcement follows by one week Motorola's decision to license ARM technology to join its PowerPC, MCore and ColdFire 32-bit embedded MPU families. More significantly, perhaps, the news comes on the heels of Palm Inc.'s decision to use an ARM core rather than its mainstay DragonBall MPU in future product lines.
"When the first DragonBall product line was announced five years ago, nobody really talked about what a Palm was, the market was still emerging" said Kyle Harper, business manager of emerging markets for Motorola's wireless communications division. "Fast forward to today: our customers have been asking for higher performance and scalability," Harper said. "Technically, in terms of mark et access and market perception, ARM won out. And we chose ARM also because it provides a gateway to the wireless community, and we think that's extraordinarily critical to the end user PDA space."
Motorola plans to introduce new members of the DragonBall-ARM hybrid family throughout next year, with production availability in the second half of 2001. The products will most likely include both ARM-based DragonBall platforms with media and expanded peripherals, and higher performance, 68K-based DragonBall platforms with expanded peripherals.
"By doing this, Motorola is able to provide a stepping stone of scalability and connectivity, as well as leveraging the software and investment that already exists out there," said Ed Valdez, director of marketing for Motorola's wireless communications division.
Future user interface improvements in the area of voice recognition, and the processing demands of 3D and multimedia features have forced Motorola to add punch to the DragonBall's performance, and to b roaden the product line, Valdez said.
"This approach to DragonBall's product family enhances its scalability and connectivity between ARM and 68K for years to come, through reuse of peripheral set and interface structure" said Omid Tahernia, vice president and general manger of Motorola's wireless division.