Transmeta CEO scoffs at Amiga connection claims

Claims that Amiga was to use Transmeta CPU are "off beat", claims Ditzel

Amiga community conspiracy theorists went into overdrive this week following comments from the boss of mystery CPU developer Transmeta during an interview with Time magazine's Web site. David Ditzel, founder and CEO of Transmeta -- and employer of Linus Torvalds, creator of the open source OS, Linux -- told the site that ex-Amiga president Jim Collas' use of Torvalds in a presentation earlier this summer was a "false alarm". Instead, claimed Ditzel, it was just a statement from Torvalds -- as creator of Linux -- supporting Amiga's use of the OS in its then upcoming next-generation multimedia computer. Claims to the contrary were "off-base", said Ditzel. Register readers may recall that the Linux connection was an option we ourselves put forward for the inclusion of Torvalds and Transmeta in Collas' presentation. Of course, the conspiracy theory mongers reckon that the real reason for Ditzel's comments is that Collas was signalling Amiga's choice of the Transmeta CPU. In turn, that annoyed the highly secretive processor company to such an extent that they canned the deal. And that ultimately led to Collas' sacking, as the theorists allege is the real reason behind the ex-president's resignation. The downside is that other conspiracy theorists would have it that Collas was booted out of Amiga because its parent, PC vendor Gateway, succumbed to Microsoft persuasion not to get involved in Linux. Still, Ditzel's own comments are sufficiently vague as to prove nothing at all -- Amiga's selection of Transmeta, or the idea that there never was any deal between the two companies are both valid conclusions from the CEO's statement. We tend to favour a middle course. Amiga was in talks with Transmeta, just as it was talking to other CPU vendors, most notably Sun for its MAJC (Microprocessor Architecture for Java Computing) CPU, and possibly MIPS too. In fact, given Amiga's next-generation operating environment appears to contain at least as much Java technology as Linux software, the Sun chip was a more likely contender than Transmeta. Of course, since Amiga is now no longer a hardware company, the question of CPU is largely academic now. ®

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