"In actuality Transmeta has developed a whole new approach to
microprocessor design, and not just another processor. Currently an
entire processor with the accompanied instruction set is
implemented in hardware (for example a x86 processor such as the
Intel Pentium III), and then the software is written specifically
to make use of that instruction set. Transmeta chose to do it
differently; rather than implementing the entire x86 instruction
set of the processor in hardware, the Crusoe processor consists of
a compact hardware engine surrounded by a software layer."
"The hardware component is a very simple, high-performance,
low-power VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) engine with an
instruction set that bears no resemblance to that of x86
processors. Instead, it is the surrounding software layer that
gives programs the impression that they are running on x86
hardware. This innovative software layer is called the Code
Morphing software because it dynamically translates or rather
"morphs" x86 instructions into the hardware engine's native
"This unique approach to executing x86 code eliminates millions
of transistors, replacing them with software. For example, the
current implementation of the Crusoe processor uses roughly
one-quarter of the logic transistors required for an all-hardware
design of similar complexity."
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