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The presentation Outline. Quick history of PDA The Operating Systems used by the PDA The hardware of the PDA The Future of the PDA. The Past The Future. A Quick History of PDA’s. What is a PDA ? PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistance

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the presentation outline
The presentation Outline
  • Quick history of PDA
  • The Operating Systems used by the PDA
  • The hardware of the PDA
  • The Future of the PDA

The Past The Future

a quick history of pda s

A Quick History of PDA’s

What is a PDA?

PDA stands for Personal DigitalAssistance

Even though many handheld devices have been introduced since the 80’s, they are not defined as PDA’s.

PDAs were first introduced by Psion in 1984, it was called the Psion 1

Apple introduced the Newton Message Pad in 1993

Palm Pilot was introduced in 1996 by U.S. Robotic and 3Com with functioning of Stylus pen.

how do they look like
How do they look like?

- Psion1 (1984)

- Apple Newton (1993)

- Palm Pilot (1996)

(Early PDA) (First PDA) (The PDA)

CPU: HD6301X, .92Mhz

Ram: 2KB, (16K external)

Rom: 4KB

Software: Basic

Display: LCD 16-characters

CPU: ARM 610, 20Mhz

Ram: 640 KB

Rom: 4MB

OS: Newton 1.0

Display LCD (3360x204 pixels)

CPU: Motorola 68328, 16Mhz

Ram: 128MB Rom: 4MB

OS: Palm OS 1.0

Display: LCD( 160x160 pixels)

how are pdas used
How are PDAs used?
  • basic functions
    • Designed to work as a companion to the PC.
    • date book
    • address book
    • to do lists
    • short notes
    • calculator
    • Mail
how are pdas used continue
How are PDAs used? (continue…)
  • advanced functions
    • synchronizing data with desktop
      • contacts, schedules and tasks
    • content access
      • sync updated content from web
      • real time via wireless
      • databases, books, journals, etc.
palm os varieties
Palm OS Varieties

PDAs run on several different operating systems . The two most common are Palm OS and PocketPC (Windows-CE). Most applications have been written for the Palm OS, but the PocketPC is catching up. Other operating systems include EPOC,BlackBerry, Psion, and PocketLinux.

the palm operating system
The Palm Operating System

In 1996, a product called the PalmPilot was released by US Robotics. The Palm Pilot ran on an operating system made especially for that device, called the Palm OS.

The Palm Operating System (Palm OS) is the current leader in the PDA market, accounting for 70% of the market share. The Palm Pilot (now known as just Palm), became one of the fastest growing computer platforms in history, reaching the million-sold mark faster than the IBM PC or Apple Macintosh.

Today, the Palm line has grown to include a variety of models. In addition, a number of other companies such as IBM, Qualcomm, and Symbol Technologies released their own Palm OS PDA models, with Sony's version hitting the market later this year.

the windows ce operating system
The Windows CE Operating System

Although the Windows CE Operating System is the leader among home PCs, it holds only about 10% of the PDA market.

The latest version of Windows CE is coming back with a vengeance. They have partnerships with some key companies in the industry like, Casio, HP, and Compaq, who all manufacturer PocketPC devices.

But perhaps Microsoft's biggest ace in the hole is the coming onset of broadband wireless.

Needless to say, compatibility is going to be a major issue in the coming years. And with the world already utilizing a number of Microsoft products, PocketPCs might just slide into favor simply due to ease of portability.

the epoc operating system
The EPOC Operating System

The third major player is EPOC, an operating system developed by London-based software developer Symbian. EPOC has three device designs: one for mobile phones, one for PDAs, and one for home PCs.

EPOC does have some major advantages. It is an extremely power-efficient operating system -- other operating systems require double to triple the size of a battery. Also, EPOC has a small memory footprint and compact code, which allows for easier customization. This potential for customization is a huge advantage over Windows CE.

Recently, Symbian announced a deal with Sony whereby the Japanese giant will use the EPOC platform and possibly a range of applications in its forthcoming line of devices, such as mobile phones. This is in addition to deals already existing with companies such as Ericsson, Motorola, and Psion.

With a good, flexible product and a support from key companies, EPOC has a lot of potential to make it in mobile market.

pda hardware


Regardless of the type of PDA, they all share the same major features:

Microprocessors (Main CPU and DPS)

operating system

solid-state memory


LCD display

input device - buttons in combination

with touch-screen or keyboard

input/output ports

desktop PC software

  • Unlike desk and laptop PCs, PDAs use smaller, cheaper microprocessors.
  • There are two popular PocketPC processor types, Xscale and StrongARM. Xscale is the current technology
  • Most Palms will either have a Motorola Dragonball or Texas Instruments OMAP processor in it.
  • Modern PDAs also have DSP to enhance multimedia (mp3,digital camera etc..)
  • Although the microprocessor’s speed ranges from 100-200 MHz they are adequate for the tasks that PDAs perform. The benefits of small size and price outweigh the cost of slow speeds.
  • PDAs don’t have a hard drive. Programs (address, calendar, OS, etc) are stored in a ROM chip so data remains intact even when the machine shuts down.
  • So when the PDAs are turned ON, all programs are instantly available without having to wait for applications to load.
  • When a file is changed, they’re stored automatically so you don’t need a Save command.
  • One megabyte of memory can store up to 4,000 addresses and 100 e-mail messages.
  • Also, PocketPCs take more memory space so PDAs with this operating system usually have 16 or 32 MB. In some PDA models, the amount of memory is upgradeable.
input devices
Input Devices
  • Hand-held computers typically use a miniature keyboard in combination with a touch screen.
  • Palm-sized computers use a stylus and touch screen exclusively in combination with a handwriting recognition program.
  • The screen of the palm PDA serves as an input as well as an output device. It displays information with LCD and on top of it is the touch screen which can be tapped by a pen-like stylus to launch programs.
  • Data can also be written on the screen by using the stylus. The letters are recognized by special software and are automatically stored in the PDAs memory.
  • The disadvantage of handwriting recognition software is that you have to learn a new way to write, it is slower than normal handwriting and the device's character recognition is rarely letter-perfect.
input output devices
Input/Output Devices
  • PDAs can share information with desktops and laptops. If you make an appointment on your desktop computer you can transfer it to your PDA and vice-versa.
  • The communication between PDA and PC is referred to as data synchronization or syncing. This is done through a serial or USB port on the PDA.
  • In addition to communicating through a cable, many PDAs have an infrared communications port that uses infrared (IR) light to beam information to a PC or another PDA.
  • Some PDAs also offer wireless methods to transfer data to and from a PC/PC network through a wireless e-mail/internet service provider like those available on new models of cell phones.
  • Finally, some PDAs offer telephone modem accessories to transfer files to and from a PC/PC network.
dual core processors
Dual core processors

- TI-Enhanced ARM925 Microprocessor

- TMS320c55x DSP for Multimedia Enhancement

Wanda PDA

dsp bios bridge api
  • The OS uses the DSP/BIOS Bridge API to:
  • Initiate signal processing task on the DSP
  • Exchange messages with DSP tasks
  • Stream data buffers to and from DSP tasks
  • Pause, resume and delete DSP tasks
  • Perform resources status queries
pda applications
PDA Applications
  • PDA technology has been focused on providing basic administrative functionality, such as diary facilities and contact management.
  • The increase in PDA performance and the convergence with mobile telephony, has encouraged the extension of traditional desktop applications such as email and web access becoming readily available.
  • Wireless technology such as Bluetooth and WiFi (802.11x standards) can provide easy ways for PDA based applications to communicate to other devices. This instantly opens a PDA application to communicate with other systems –in the immediate vicinity (using Bluetooth) or elsewhere within a building (using WiFi technology).
  • Mobile telephone technology is fast converging with PDA technology and this technology can provide direct access of the PDA device to the internet and internet connected applications.
why pda
Why PDA?
  • We are beginning to see a future where the lines between the PDA and the laptop are increasingly blurred. First it was PDAs with laptop-like capability, and now it is laptops gaining the advantages of PDAs.
  • Advantages of this low-powered PDA mode: virus checking and maintenance. Since the OS doesn't boot, any viruses designed for it won't run. That lets you scan and remove them before they do damage.
  • Booting up a laptop to check your calendar or e-mail can take a minute or longer. Not only is that often dead time, but you may actually be holding up a customer or your boss while you're struggling to get the laptop running.