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NetworkWorld: Crusoe: Linux's next big adventure

Jul 05, 2000, 18:39 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Phil Hochmuth)

"Crusoe chips are designed for small, handheld devices and PDAs. Using a method called "code morphing," the chips replicate the performance of Intel Pentium-class processors and are able to run X86 code while consuming a fraction of the battery power of a laptop Pentium. (Crusoe chips can run up to 10 hours on a battery.) The design of the chip mimics that of Reduced Instruction Set Computing processors, where instructions that would be burnt into silicon on an X86 processor are executed in software."

"The company is currently shipping two processors. The TM5400 has a clock speed of up to 700 MHz and is geared towards lightweight notebook computers running some version of the Windows operating system. The lower-end TM3120, which comes in speeds up to 400 MHz, is intended for mobile Internet appliances and PDAs."

"For the TM3120, Transmeta has created its own specially tuned distribution of Linux that it is shipping along with its microprocessor line. Mobile Linux, which the company distributes to its OEM partners, has been optimized for power consumption and is small enough to fit on a ROM. While small, Mobile Linux is still Linux, and it can support a range of applications for handheld devices, such as Web browsing programs and personal productivity software."

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