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Transmeta chips not up to scratch – Toshiba

Intel does power management better, says notebook vendor

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Transmeta claims its Crusoe CPU offers very low power consumption and heat generation. And Toshiba reckons that claim is bollocks, according to the notebook nabob's UK product marketing manager, Steve Crawley.

Interviewed by VNUNet - a UK newswire we're told - Crawley said: "[Crusoe] does give a reasonable increase in battery life, but nothing like Transmeta's publicity is claiming. The back light consumes a lot of power - one quarter of the power is used pushing light out. Realistically, in sub-notebooks it gives a 30 to 40 per cent increase in battery life." [our italics]

That explains why Toshiba - in investor in Transmeta, ironically - isn't using Crusoe in any of its upcoming product launches.

Instead, it will be sticking with Intel. Toshiba apparently has slimline notebook prototypes capable of eight hours' battery life in its development labs, according to Crawley - all of them based on "standard Intel" parts.

Toshiba's rival, Sony, clearly doesn't think so. It recently announced it would be using Transmeta's TM5600 chip in the next version of its Vaio C1 sub-notebook. Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC have all committed themselves to offering Transmeta-based kit, and IBM has built a prototype Crusoe-equipped ThinkPad with a view to shipping a production version to the PC-buying public.

Transmeta's doesn't agree with Toshiba, either. The company's head of spin, Ed McKernan, told VNUNet: "Toshiba's eight hour battery life today requires a 2.2lbs battery attached to the base of their Portege 3440 and 3480 notebooks. This means that [it] ends up weighing 5.61lbs - which is outside the ultra-light category of 2lbs to 4lbs." So there. ®

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