Transmeta goes public with Crusoe chip

The long anticipated processor from the secretive startup Transmeta was finally unveiled today.

The long anticipated processor from the secretive startup Transmeta was finally unveiled today.

Called Crusoe, the chip has been best known for one of its main backers, Linus Torvalds, rather than its technology, until now.

The heart of the technology revealed today is a microprocessor that attempts to remove the complexity and expense of designing a processor by putting that complexity into software rather than into silicon.

David Ditzel, chief executive officer of Transmeta, called the software "code-morphing software" because it translates the instruction set to the simplified processor.

Two chips were unveiled: the TM5400, a 700MHz processor for lightweight notebook computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, and the TM3120, a 400MHz processor for Internet appliances running the Linux OS.

The processors will be marketed for the mobile market and consume an average of 1 watt of power, which, according to Ditzel, will greatly enhance battery life.

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