The Transmeta Microprocessor chip

3rd Oct 2000
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Apparently if you are a real anorak in the IT world, the new breakthrough in technological advancement that has all techies jumping up and down in wild excitement is the announcement of the new Transmeta Crusoe processor.

Don't just grunt and move on to the next story, believe me, this is supposed to be exciting! This Crusoe chip was originally brought into the limelight around January this year after being kept under wraps and is reported to be five years ahead of the industry giants Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. The man behind this design is Linus Torvald (the man behind Linux).

This chip uses software to perform many of its functions that were previously handled by hardware thus enabling lighter PC notebooks with much longer battery life. This processor termed as a hardware-software hybrid interacts with operating systems and applications as a single processing unit and replaces millions of power-hungry transistors by using software. This means that people will have true portability and access to information and connections no matter where they happen to be.

The Crusoe processor boasts the following features:

  • Low power consumption, this allows the processor to run cooler than conventional chips and batter life is thus extended by one day.
  • High performance optimised for real-usage, whether browsing the web, watching a DVD or using your spreadsheet application.
  • Full x86 compatibility thus allowing free run of applications and internet plug-ins.

Transmeta's technology is reportedly the first real competition in the PC microprocessor arena that has been seen in the last fifteen years and for other organisations to develop the same type of technology would have to start from scratch. Transmeta do not have their own manufacturing capacity and are turning to IBM Corp. to use their facilities.


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