Gateway will use Transmeta's Crusoe processors to power its
forthcoming line of internet appliances being developed with
service provider America Online (AOL).
The PC manufacturer said it chose Crusoe for its range of mobile
devices because of the chip's extended battery life, smaller size
and lower operating temperature. Transmeta's Mobile Linux will be
used as the operating system.
Peter Ashkin, Gateway's senior vice president and chief
technology officer, said: "Crusoe is a great processor choice to
help us deliver the kind of new internet services that consumers
will value in this new marketplace."
The appliances will include a customised version of AOL's
internet service that displays web pages, and includes features
such as email and personalised information. Netscape's Gecko
browser technology will also be used.
Although further details were not revealed, the companies said
they are working on specialised applications and databases that
will turn the devices from general-purpose machines to those
tailored to their environment. For example, appliances designed to
sit on kitchen counters could be used to display recipes or to
order food. They could also be carried around the home as wireless
Gateway and AOL's move is a break from the so-called Wintel
duopoly grouping of Intel hardware and Microsoft software. The
first Gateway-AOL internet appliances are scheduled to ship later
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 Linux. Crusoe was announced amid
industry fanfare in January as a rival to processors from Intel.
Both Gateway and AOL are among a group of investors that have
injected $88m into the young chip manufacturer.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at researcher Giga Information Group,
predicts that Compaq and IBM will employ the chip in a forthcoming
laptop PC scheduled for later this year.
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