Transmeta shows working 1.6GHz 90nm Efficeon

Unveils compact 130nm chip, too

Computex Transmeta this week demonstrated its first 90nm Efficeon silicon operating at 1.6GHz and utilising the second generation of the company's LongRun power conservation technology.

The company also unveiled a more compact package for the 130nm version of the chip. And chipset partner ULi - formerly ALi - announced a new Efficeon-oriented South Bridge part as XGI said its Volari XP5 graphics chip was now certified to work with the new Transmeta part.

LongRun 2 essentially provides software capable of control transistor characteristics to minimise leakage currents. That's in addition to the dynamic voltage and clock-frequency modifications the current version of the technology offers.

Demonstrating the technology in public for the first time, the company was able to reduce Efficeon's in-sleep power consumption from around 0.25W to under 0.03W.

Transmeta also demo'd the chip's support from Windows XP Service Pack 2's no-execute feature.

Company representatives reiterated its H2 2004 schedule for the 90nm Efficeon, to be labelled the TM8800, but the demo of the 1.6GHz part suggests that the 90nm chip's arrival will be sooner in the six-month period than later. Indeed, Transmeta suggested as much itself recently.

Transmeta this week began shipping the 130nm TM8620, a version of the TM8600 launched last October that's mounted in a 2.1 x 2.1cm, 592-pin package - just over half the size of the 8600's packaging.

The new unit will spearhead the company's push into the embedded market, but it hopes it will also drive sales in the thin'n'light notebook market. So far its wins in that arena have been with sub-notebooks aimed primarily at the Japanese market. Its new reference board, a four-layer 6 x 4cm job that includes a TM8620, a ULi South Bridge and an ATI Mobility Radeon chip, may help it here too.

The TM8620 is available in sample quantities, and will go into volume production later this month.

ULi will start shipping its M1563S South Bridge in volume in the same timeframe. The 2.3 x 2.3cm part is designed to operate alongside the TM8620 and provide the I/O options that the Transmeta chip's integrated North Bridge doesn't. The ULi part provides PCI, DMA, interrupt and keyboard controllers, support for up to six USB 2.0 ports, and 10/100Mbps Ethernet and 56Kbps modem controllers. ®

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