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
 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?
- Psion1 (1984)
(Early PDA)
- Apple Newton (1993)
(First PDA)
- Palm Pilot (1996)
(The PDA)
CPU: HD6301X, .92Mhz
CPU: ARM 610, 20Mhz
CPU: Motorola 68328, 16Mhz
Ram: 2KB, (16K external)
Ram: 640 KB
Ram: 128MB Rom: 4MB
Rom: 4KB
Rom: 4MB
OS: Palm OS 1.0
Software: Basic
OS: Newton 1.0
Display: LCD( 160x160 pixels)
Display: LCD 16-characters
Display LCD (3360x204 pixels)
How are PDAs used?
basic functions
Designed to work as a
companion to the PC.
date book
address book
to do lists
short notes
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
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
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
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 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.
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
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
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 letterperfect.
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.
Generic PDA
Dual core processors
- TI-Enhanced ARM925 Microprocessor
- TMS320c55x DSP for Multimedia Enhancement
Wanda PDA
Tasks performed by each
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 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
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?
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 email 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.

The history of PDA - Cullen College of Engineering