February 07, 2005

Palm Wi-Fi

Palm and Wi-Fi don't mix very well right now. I recently bought a Palm Zire 72 and a Sandisk wi-fi card. The wi-fi card claims compatibility with the Zire 71, and since the Zire 72 is just a rev. up from the 71, and has a SDIO card as the 71 does, I expected the card to be compatible with the 72. WRONG. After having problems getting the card to work I sent a support request to Sandisk. They say that the card (model number SDWSDB-000-A10M) is only compatible with the Zire 71, there is an unspecified hardware incompatibility with the Zire 72.

I expected the SDIO port standard to be pretty well defined, but I suppose it isn't. My guess is that the Zire 72 uses a different SDIO controller than the 71 and either there is a hardware incompatibility between this controller and the Sandisk card or Sandisk is too lazy to write a new driver for the new controller (if that is infact Sandisk's responsibility and not Palm's). It does seem just a little suspicious that now the Palm has their own wi-fi card a previously compatible 3rd party wi-fi card is not compatible with a new Palm model.

I wonder which controller the many PocketPC devices that are compatible with the Sandisk wi-fi card use. I wonder if there is linux for Palm and if they have made any drivers for SDIO wi-fi cards.

No matter what, I'm not very happy with Palm and Sandisk and I think the next PDA type thing I purchase will most likely be a Symbian powered 'smart' phone.

Posted by bforsyth at February 7, 2005 07:05 PM

interesting, sounds like the SDIO protocol used for wi-fi is 'secret', http://linuxdevices.com/cgi-bin/board/UltraBoard.pl?Action=ShowPost&Board=linuxpda&Post=179&Idle=0&Sort=0&Order=Descend&Page=0&Session=

Posted by: bforsyth at February 7, 2005 07:08 PM