US chip startup Transmeta has received a major boost from PC
maker Sony, which announced that it would launch a notebook
computer using the company's low-power chips later this year.
Sony said it will use Transmeta's Crusoe chips in its Vaio C1
series, which is an 'ultra-portable' device with a built-in digital
camera. The company used Intel's Celeron 366Mhz processors in
previous versions of its C1 range.
The announcement follows confirmation earlier this month from
IBM that it will be launching a Crusoe-based version of its
I-Series of consumer notebooks in the fourth quarter of this
Following its demonstration of prototype notebooks running
Crusoe at the PC Expo show in June, IBM had cast doubt on its
commitment to the chip and said it was still evaluating customer
demand, but later confirmed its commitment to launching a product
based on the processors.
Both products are described as ultra-portable, and the companies
said Crusoe's lower power consumption and reduced heat generation
are beneficial in these types of device.
Transmeta claims that, when running, the Crusoe chip consumes
around one watt of power compared with an Intel Pentium's 15 to 20
watts. This means that it uses significantly less battery power,
and enables lightweight notebooks to work for up to eight hours. In
standby mode, Crusoe consumes about 20 milliwatts of power.
Analysts said the announcement is good news for Transmeta, which
needs backing from some of the big names in the mini-notebook
market, such as Sony, Toshiba and Sharp, to ensure its success.
Andy Brown, a senior analyst at researcher IDC, said: "This
is a massive boost for Transmeta - getting industry backing from
these guys who are producing solid ultra-portable machines and have
a reputation in this market. It remains to be seen whether
other companies such as Toshiba get on board, too."
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.