Chipzilla and Transmeta in power squabble

Microprocessor forum hosts war of words

Without naming any names, Intel has countered claims from Transmeta that Intel's processors ran hotter and consumed more power than Transmeta's own Intel compatible products.

According to a report in the online NYTimes, Intel said that not only did it have stuff in the pipeline for 2002 and 2003 that would keep it ahead of the game, but that its current Pentium offerings consumed less power on average that products available from Transmeta.

Howver, the product Chipzilla demonstrated to back its claims ran at 500MHz from the mains or 300MHz from the battery. Compared to this, the Transmeta processor in the forthcoming machine from Sony is rated at 600MHz. The extra processing power would be a fair trade for a little extra heat, it seems.

The debate raging about power consumption hangs on a central peg of battery life. All the big names have proprietary power saving programs that monitor CPU activity and respond accordingly to try to extend battery life on portables.

But, as many people have said in the past, and as one analyst, Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64, told NYTimes: "The biggest power consumer is the LCD display. It has a whole lightbulb behind it." ®

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