Time digital: The World’s Most Secretive Start-up

[ Thanks to Neelakanth for this link.

Playing 20 questions with Transmeta.

“Buzz is king in Silicon Valley, and at this moment in history,
nobody has bigger buzz than the Transmeta Corp. That’s only
natural, because everything about Transmeta is secret. Like many
start-ups, Transmeta has no announced products. But unlike those
other IPO-seeking missiles, it has never issued a press release.
Nor does it have a p.r. department. No one even knows how many
people work there. Or what they’re working on.”

“Naturally, Transmeta, like most high-tech start-ups, has lots
of venture capital – upwards of $12 million, in fact. But few of
Transmeta’s peers can claim funding from Microsoft cofounder Paul
Allen, the third richest person in the world. Oh, and Transmeta
just happens to employ Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux
operating system and arguably the most famous computer programmer
on the Net.”

“So what could Transmeta be making to excite such unparalleled
interest and talent? We read all we could find on the subject (not
much) and talked to everyone we could pin down (not many),
including Torvalds; David Ditzel, Transmeta’s CEO; and Linley
Gwennap, publisher and editorial director of Microprocessor Report.
The more we pushed and probed, the more it felt as if we were
playing some kind of elaborate Silicon Valley parlor game. Rather
than a list of all the tortured permutations, what follows are the
best answers we could muster. (We planned 20 Questions, but the
government seized five.)”

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