On the hardware-side, the new Garnet OS supports up to 256M bytes of RAM and ROM and much larger screens. Most devices sold today have screens no larger than 320 pixels by 480 pixels. With Garnet the limit is a billboard-size 32,000 pixels by 32,000 pixels, according to PalmSource.
"You're going to see some really interesting things, all based on Cobalt," Nagel said. "We think there is going to be an explosion in innovation in this space in the next few years."
"We have changed our focus to devices that have multimedia capabilities, high security and different size screens, devices that have never been seen before," Nagel said.
Already PalmSource partners have come out with devices that have amazed the software maker, according to Nagel. TapWave Inc. offers a gaming device while Garmin Ltd. uses it in a GPS (Global Positioning System) product.
Palm OS Cobalt requires a processor based on ARM Ltd.'s ARM9 core design with MMU (Memory Management Unit). The recommended processor speed is 200MHz. Memory required is 16M bytes of RAM and 16M bytes of ROM; less memory is possible if a graphics accelerator is used, PalmSource said.
Garnet requires an ARM7 core processor or better running at 70MHz and 8M bytes of RAM and 8M bytes of ROM, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said.
Palm OS Cobalt shipped to device makers in December and the first devices are due out this year. Palm OS 5.4, now called Garnet, is due out this week, PalmSource said.