Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
One of the most hyped about companies in recent years, Transmeta, finally lifted the shroud of secrecy on their first products. Transmeta was formed in 1995, and has, among other people, Linux guru Linus Torvalds and former SPARC processor architect and evangelist Dave Ditzel (founder) working for the company. Because of the latter, speculation in the industry was always that the company would produce some kind of RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) microprocessor. These speculations turned out to be correct, when Transmeta last Wednesday announced 2 new processors called Crusoe.
In a radical departure from traditional microprocessor design, Transmeta made innovative use of software to implement many functions that had previously been implemented in hardware. This approach gives Crusoe both the high performance and low power required for today's demanding mobile computing environment.
The key to Crusoe's unique architecture is its Code Morphing software. It is this software that provides the compatibility by "morphing" (i.e. translating x86 instructions) to the underlying hardware engine. This software examines a program written for another processor, translates the code into the Crusoe chip's own machine language, telling the chip to run the translation.
Crusoe is a smart processor that "learns" about an application while it runs and uses that experience to greatly extend battery life. Using a new Transmeta invention called LongRun power management, Crusoe continuously adjusts its operating speed and voltage to exactly match the needs of the application workload.
This LongRun power management however sounds quite familiar to Intel's new SpeedStep technology, which I reported on in the January 8 Newsletter.
Some analysts where a little dissapointed by the lack of OEM (Original Wquipment Manufacturer) support at the product launch, but a day later, S3 announced that they will use the Crusoe chip to build a "Linux-based Internet device".
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