Transmeta Corporation has ended four and a half years of secrecy with the
introduction of Crusoe, a group of so called smart microprocessors. Named
after the fictional character Robinson Crusoe, they are designed to create a
new category of mobile computing devices. The Crusoe processor family is
based upon a unique architecture called Code Morphing software. Code
Morphing software surrounds a silicon engine to deliver a fully PC
compatible processor. It is this software that provides the compatibility by
translating instructions (or "morphing") to the underlying hardware engine.
Crusoe hopes to deliver on the consumer need for mobile devices such as
Mobile PC's, operating with the standard Windows operating system and
Microsoft Office applications, can take advantage of the Crusoe processor's
low power. It is being estimated that the power savings should be enough to
allow an average user to operate on a single battery for up to a full
workday without recharge.
Crusoe-based Internet devices such as Web pads and mobile clients can take
advantage of the Linux operating system to create a very economical machine.
Although they will be economically sound, they will handle all the required
Internet plug-in applications. In addition, Linux offers an additional
advantage in that it is an operating system that can be stored in Flash ROM
thus removing the need for an expensive hard disk drive.
In a departure from traditional microprocessor design, Transmeta made
innovative use of software to implement many functions that had previously
been implemented in hardware. This approach gives Crusoe both the high
performance and low power required for today's demanding mobile computing
Crusoe is a smart processor that "learns" about an application while it runs
and uses that experience to greatly extend battery life. Using a new
Transmeta invention called LongRun power management, Crusoe continuously
adjusts its operating speed and voltage to exactly match the needs of the
application workload. LongRun can make adjustments hundreds of times per
second, which can dramatically extend battery life. This is in contrast to
other processors that run at a fixed operating speed, needlessly wasting
LongRun also provides a solution for today's strenuous multimedia
applications that typically drain an ultra-light PC's battery in as little
as an hour. With LongRun, it is possible to design a lightweight mobile PC
that plays a DVD movie for three hours or more.
The Crusoe processor family consists of two solutions, the TM5400 and the
TM3120, for the Mobile Internet Computing market. The model TM5400 is
targeted at ultra-light mobile PC's running Microsoft Windows and NT
operating systems. These PC's will take advantage of the TM5400's high
performance and LongRun power management to create the longest running
mobile PCs for office applications, multimedia games and DVD movies.
The TM3120, operating at up to 400MHz, is designed for economical Web pads
and mobile clients. With the Crusoe processor and the Linux operating
system, users can expect a complete Internet experience, including access to
the full range of plug-in applications. Transmeta is also providing
assistance to OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers) looking to accelerate
their time to market with new mobile Internet devices.