Palm is to migrate to producing handheld devices based on UK-made ARM processors, with the help of ARM's fellow chipmakers Motorola and Intel.

The chipmaking trio will optimize Palm OS for use with ARM chips. ARM-based processors already power hand-held offerings from Compaq, and ARM-driven devices have more power than Palm's current market offerings.

Apple still holds stock in ARM, which it helped spin-off as a company several years ago.

The move allows hardware manufactures to develop more innovative devices to run Palm OS, and makes it possible to run more advanced applications on the devices, Palm said.

Motorola and Intel have signed on to the Palm OS Ready program and licensed components of the Palm OS, to tie it to microprocessors based on the ARM core. Texas Instruments will use its development license with Palm to create a wireless-processing platform optimized for the Palm OS, Palm said.

Intel will work with Palm to optimize the Palm OS device-abstraction layer (DAL) for the StrongARM and Xscale-based processors. Motorola, meanwhile, will optimize the Palm OS DAL to work with its DragonBall MX processor family, Palm said.

Existing Palm handheld devices use versions of Motorola's DragonBall processor not based on the ARM core.