Saturday, February 05, 2005

Why portable hardware will become more and more similar when memory is concerned

Memory always has been one of the biggest points of discussion-how much does a good PDA need, how much does the new machine have-and most important of all, how much does its competition have! The Tungsten T3 had 64MB like most of its competing ipaqs-q00t, the Treo 650 had less-so laaame in comparison with Symbian phones. While this craze may not really be justified, it will soon have an end-because IC manufacturers start creating "memory sandwiches". these chips contain many different types of RAM and ROM-basically everything that a Palm/PocketPC/whatever needs.
Lets take the recently anounced MCP's from Samsung. Please don't run away just yet, as MCP doesn't stand for my highly-certified Microsoft Certified Professional comrades, but rather for Multi-Chip-Package. These chps will be about 1.4mm high and wil contain different dies for different memory types-here is a link to the manufacturers homepage:
http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semiconductor/MCP/
In accordance to the german magazine c't Sony isn planning to use/is using a slightly modified version of these chips in its PSP.
Lets now look at the subject from a PCB designer's view. I myself was an electronician for quite some time(give me a lab and I am at it again, d00ds). the Main concern when creating printed circuit boards for a mobile computer is simple-size, size, size. The planar needs to be as small as possible in order to simplify case design,....
Now, can you tell me a good reason for a circuit developer to not use one of these chips instead of sacrificing lots of board space for "huge" RAM/ROM/FLASH/.... chips? The planars will get smnaller, and costs will get lower. Since no company wants to pay too much for its production, the handheld markers should jump on this like crazy. So, maybe we will soon have Palm powered handhelds with as much Flash as their PPC counterparts. Then, licencees could finally install all the softare inton the flash and make the devices look better in the stores......
What do you think?

2 Comments:

Blogger Ron said...

When it comes to a Palm, the RAM compairson is a red herring. WinCE is so bloated and the Microsoft file formats are so bloated that they NEED to have 64 MB to do anything.

My Tungsten C has 64 MB of RAM. It's packed up with apps, games, data and eBooks - but I still have 20 MB left.

Playing the "I have more memory than you" game only has meaning if you can actually USE all that memory.

No. I think that the next big thing for PDAs will be the screens. Sharp has already raised the bar with the Zaurus (check out the screen on the SLC-760) but great quality screens suck the power out of the system and they are fragile.

Organic LCDs (or something similar) is the next big thing for PDAs. No back light (which is what sucks the power). Thin, light and more durable.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
you are absolutely right about this when native Palm data is concerned. However, MP3's etc take the same amount of memory on Palm and PPC.....
Best regards
Tam Hanna

11:30 AM  

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