Transmeta preps pumped up Crusoe

Plans to outstrip 20% per generation chip performance

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

David Ditzel, chief technology officer of low-powered chip maker Transmeta, said the industry would see "much greater" performance improvements than the traditional 20 per cent per silicon generation, when it ships the next version of its Crusoe processor.

The TM5800, which will ship in the second half of this year, will feature processor speeds of greater than 700Mhz, according to Ditzel. It will feature the same 516KB of L2 cache as the TM5600, will is currently available, but will use 0.13 micron processor technology, unlike the 500-667MHz TM5600, which uses older 0.18 micron fabrication techniques.

This performance is lower than the 1GHz benchmark for TM5800 mentioned in its IPO filling last year, but would still offer higher performance on a lower powered chip.

Transmeta believes the TM5800 is small enough to be included in handhelds and, possibly, within 3G phones once they are introduced in 2002.

The processor will feature the next rev of Transmeta's code-morphing software, CMS 4.2, which translates x86 instructions to the VLIW (very long instruction word) instructions that the Crusoe processor can understand.

CMS 4.2 will ship to OEMs in the "next couple of months", according to Ditzel, and will feature technology to lower power consumption and improve battery life.

Together these developments mean by 2002, Transmeta will be shipping Crusoe chips with software that allows them to perform five instructions per processor cycle and consume less than 0.5 Watts in power.

Transmeta sees almost as much potential for this technology in the server and Internet appliance marketplace as for notepads.

In the last couple of months startup companies like Fibrecycle, Rebel and RLX Technologies have announced plans to include Crusoe chips in ultra-dense Internet servers, and Ditzel said it was talking to major server manufacturers.

Speaking at the CeBIT trade show in Hangover, Ditzel wouldn't say who these major server manufacturers were but suggested that IBM, which earlier backed out of producing notepads based on Crusoe, was still evaluating Transmeta technology. Ditzel refused to name names but predicted announcements of servers that he suggested could be eight times as dense as conventional Internet servers.

Ditzel expressed confidence that Transmeta wouldn't be particularly affected by the jitters in the US economy, and claimed that its hardware partners will provide the marketing spending that will push sales of Crusoe.

Most of the ultra-slim notepads Transmeta supplies chips for are targeted at the Japanese market, which is not showing the falloff in demand that that has blighted the US and European PC markets of late. Still we can't help but believe that the long-term success of the firm is tied into whether it can break into the server and Internet appliance markets. ®

Related stories

Transmeta files for IPO
Transmeta strikes .13 micron notebook stroke
Transmeta x86 notebook to hit CeBit show
Transmeta's Ditzel drops CEO title for CTO role
Transmeta ships, renames Mobile Linux
Transmeta sales ramp, losses rack up
Intel reveals Transmeta 'killer'


Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.