IBM has cancelled plans to launch a notebook based on
Transmeta's Crusoe chip, dealing a major blow to the semiconductor
startup just days before its flotation.
The PC company confirmed today that it would not offer a
Thinkpad 240 notebook running the Crusoe chip this year as planned.
IBM said it would still consider using Transmeta chips in future
In a statement, IBM said: "This particular project with
Transmeta - the Thinkpad 240 with a Crusoe chip - has been
cancelled. We are always looking for technology that will enhance
customers' notebook computing experience to include longer battery
life, and will continue to consider Transmeta, along with other
suppliers, for future Thinkpad models."
Following demonstrations of prototype notebooks running Crusoe
at the PC Expo show in June, IBM said it would be offering
Crusoe-based versions of its Thinkpad 240 consumer notebooks in the
fourth quarter of this year.
Transmeta, which is expected to float on 6 November, claims that
the Crusoe chip consumes around one watt of power when running,
compared with an Intel Pentium's 15 to 20 watts. This means it uses
significantly less battery power, and enables lightweight notebooks
to work for up to eight hours, according to the company. In standby
mode, the chip consumes around 20 milliwatts of power.
Earlier this year, however, notebook manufacturer Toshiba poured
cold water on Transmeta's claims about the low power consumption
and heat generation of the Crusoe chip, despite the fact that it is
an investor in the chip maker.
Steve Crawley, Toshiba's UK product manager, told
vnunet.com at the time: "[Crusoe] does give a reasonable
increase in battery life, but nothing like Transmeta's publicity is
claiming. The back light consumes a lot of power - one quarter of
the power is used pushing light out. Realistically, in
sub-notebooks it gives a 30 to 40 per cent increase in battery
He added that Toshiba has no current plans to offer a
Crusoe-based device in the near future.
Research company Gartner has warned that Transmeta needs to
clinch deals involving the use of its processors in high-end
notebooks and internet access devices if it is to remain in
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, research director Kevin
Knox said that Transmeta, which is targeting the ultra-light
notebook space, won't survive in such a small segment of the market
because of the high costs involved in microprocessor
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