Sony signs Transmeta

Crusoe to power upcoming Vaio, thanks to outsourced production deal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Updated Sony could be Transmeta's next high-profile customer, if a company source is to be believed.

According to said deep throat, Sony is lining up Transmeta's notebook-oriented Crusoe CPU for a new Viao C1 sub-notebook aimed initially at the Japanese market - it'll ship this autumn, apparently - but possibly making it to the US and Europe later on.

We're not remotely surprised. Sony, which has produced its own hardware up 'til now, recently signed an outsourcing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta, which is - guess what - an investor in Transmeta (see Sony to outsource notebooks to Taiwan). So is Sony.

Taiwan has become the world's main centre of notebook production, with almost all portable PCs, both major brand and minor, coming from the island. Transmeta was long courted Taiwanese manufacturers, precisely to help it get its chips into well-known PC vendors' notebooks.

The Taiwan connection has allowed Transmeta to get Crusoe into upcoming notebooks from NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and IBM. Or, rather, all of them have at least demo'd systems using existing or upcoming Crusoes - IBM showed a prototype Crusoe-based ThinkPad at PC Expo in June, but later said that it was simply a proof-of-concept model and was not a commitment to Transmeta's chip (see Major vendors cagey on Transmeta support).

Still, Taiwan's notebook manufacturers are interested in using Crusoe and, for that matter, AMD's mobile CPUs, as much to break their reliance on Intel as for any technological reasons.

Indeed, according to the source, Sony will also release a Vaio - the 'Note F' - based on mobile-oriented AMD CPUs. Again, that's primarily because the machines will be outsourced to Quanta.

The source said Sony had chosen to use the Transmeta chip in the sub-notebook because of its very low power consumption. The use of the AMD, on the other hand, is more about getting the price down. ®

Related Stories

Transmeta strikes .13 micron notebook stroke
Transmeta not x86 compatible - Intel
Transmeta grows Crusoe line-up
Transmeta signs stack of notebook suppliers
AMD notebooks beat Intel to GHz punch


Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.