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Transmeta to brand TM8000 ‘Efficeon’

Half as fast again as Crusoe

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Update Transmeta has revealed to the world the name under which its next-generation TM8000 chip - codenamed 'Astro' - will be marketed.

That name is Efficeon.

"The Efficeon name and look communicate the ideal of efficient computing," explained Arthur L Swift, Transmeta's Senior VP of Marketing.

For what it's worth, Efficeon is eight letters long - the same length as the space allowed for the brand name in the marketing teaser crossword puzzle on Transmeta's web site.

Whatever, the new chip will run everyday applications around 50 per cent faster per clock cycle than the current generation of Crusoe TM5800 can. Multimedia apps will run up to 80 per cent per clock cycle faster, the company claimed. Clock speeds for the part have yet to be announced.

Products based on the new processor are likely to be announced in Q4, after the chip's scheduled introduction this quarter. It will be fabbed by Taiwan Semiconductor using a 130nm process.

The new chip features upgrades to Transmeta's LongRun power-saving technology and its Code Morphing x86 compatibility software, but that's only to be expected. More interesting is a revised architecture allows the TM8000 to execute up to eight instructions per clock, like IBM's upcoming PowerPC 970. The TM8000 sports a 256-bit VLIW engine.

The TM8000 will sport three on-chip bus controllers: AGP, DDR 400 and HyperTransport. The latter is clocked at 400MHz. The AGP bus operates at 4x speed. Essentially, then, it integrates its North Bridge onto the die. ®

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