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VNU Net: PC giants unveil Transmeta-based notebooks

Jun 27, 2000, 15:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jo Ticehurst)

By Jo Ticehurst, VNU Net

Four PC manufacturers will demonstrate 'ultralight' notebooks incorporating processors from startup chip maker Transmeta at the PC Expo show in New York this week.

Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM and NEC will unveil prototype models of notebooks based on the low power processors. IBM will also confirm plans to manufacture the Crusoe chips at its microelectronics division, with full production expected in the second half of the year.

Transmeta was founded five years ago by a former Sun Microsystems employee but shot into the limelight when it recruited Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system. Crusoe was announced amid industry fanfare in January as a rival to processors from Intel. Both Gateway and America Online are among a group of investors that have injected $88m (£59m) into the young chip manufacturer.

Although the notebooks are all only prototypes, the four manufacturers are expected to start shipping products based on the chips in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Crusoe chip enables lightweight notebooks to provide up to eight hours of battery life. It includes Transmeta's LongRun power management technology which enables the processor to optimise its performance to the actual application it is running, while continually adjusting its speed and voltage so that it delivers the maximum battery life.

Transmeta said the ultralight notebook designs are also quieter, because the Crusoe chip does not require noisy fans to keep cool.

Tim Bajarin, president of research company Creative Strategies, said: "The Crusoe-powered units being demonstrated in the Transmeta booth represent a significant step forward in the evolution of ultralight notebook design. The Crusoe processor makes it possible for these OEMs to offer designs for all-day computing with full PC capabilities in a lightweight form factor."

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