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AMD to Resell Transmeta Chip for Pay-as-You-Go PC 28

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the stamp-of-approval-for-more-cash dept.
InfoWorldMike writes "InfoWorld.com reports that AMD will resell Transmeta's chip for Microsoft's pay-as-you-go PCs. Transmeta said that they had struck an exclusive arrangement for AMD to brand the specialized Efficeon chip under their own name and resell it worldwide. AMD plans to use Microsoft FlexGo and its Efficeon deal with Transmeta as part of its 50X15 initiative, which aims to build a global network of partners and business models to help connect 50 percent of the world's population to the Internet by 2015." From the article "For the first time, Transmeta and the Efficeon technology will have the brand and power and reach of AMD," said Art Swift, president and chief executive officer of Transmeta. "[Our goal is] to reach as many consumers in the world as possible in emerging markets."
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AMD to Resell Transmeta Chip for Pay-as-You-Go PC

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  • It's a STD for geeks in the form of a CPU.
  • How a nice technology is being involved into ruining your privacy.
  • IIRC the AMD chip which is going into this laptop may not have been completely decided. Would the Transmeta CPU be a good match for that application? Perhaps Microsoft could sell pay as you go software for Linux :)

    • Whilst a don't think that it is set in stone, the Geode chips the OLPC project are planning to use include a south and northbridge along with graphics in one package (IIRC 1.1W for a 533Mhz PIII equivelent with direct pin out to an LCD sounds ideal for a very cheep laptop).

      The Efficion has an integrated nothbridge, but the extra chips needed for a southbridge/graphics package would be bound to up the costs. (Not to mention the Efficions are more like a 1Ghz Pentium-M with AMD64 added on for good luck, and t
  • by nlago (187984)
    I don't get it. Aren't the transmetas optimized for low power consumption? Why bother with that on a desktop, why didn't AMD go with one of their "standard" processors?

    Well, I guess a possible answer is that their processors are faster than the transmeta and they want to keep the market split ("cheap computers are ok, but if you want performance go for the K8"). Maybe it is also a means of diminishing the competition (previously, transmeta was one of the companies working towards this, now they are partneri
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:47AM (#15478159) Homepage Journal
      I don't get it. Aren't the transmetas optimized for low power consumption? Why bother with that on a desktop,

      Even desktop PCs are starting to hit a heat wall now.

      More power = more heat = more fans = noisy heap o' crap. Noone wants a noisy heap o' crap.
      • Err because it's a good idea ? Just because you can afford to throw out a pizza after taking just one bite doesn't mean it's a good idea.

        I'm all for high-performance low-power chips. For most uses, we don't need the super-multi-ghz light-flickering beasts anyway. Frig, my main PC needs a 600 watt power supply just to breathe. Give me an 8-cpu low-voltage rig and I'll be happy, not to mention saving a chunk on my hydro bill. Hell, I'd build servers around massively-parallel mobile CPUs if I could.. just
        • by nlago (187984)
          You realize you did not answer my question?

          I didn't ask "why is less power consumption good"; I asked "why would AMD bother to use a transmeta chip intead of one of their own"? The only advantage offered by the transmeta being less power consumption, this is not relevant to the application (this "pre-paid computer"). Why wouldn't they just use one of their more power-hungry cpus *or*, if anything, use the turion, which (I guess) is a little lighter on power?
    • Less heat dissipation lets you fit more cores in.
  • This CPU is one of those technology jewels [transmeta.com] that never got a spread interest in the market.
    It is power savvy while being powerful enough and x86 compatible.
    It would be great if AMD could really revitalise it to avoid flops like Amiga [wikipedia.org]: good ideas with no luck! at all
  • Torvalds would be rolling in the grave if he knew what they do with the technology he helped to develop.
  • ...why would anyone want a Transmeta in a pay-as-you-go PC? Transmeta chips like the Efficeon are optimized for low power usage, not price (as a value pay-as-you-go PC would require)...

    Sure, if you're selling PCs in sub-saharan Africa where there isn't a good power net, something like this might make sense- But this story says these PCs are being sold in places like Mexico/Brazil/Russia- Last I checked, a power outlet isn't too hard to come by in these places...

    The other possiblity is that they are embedding the cost metering of the PC directly into the Transmeta "Code Morphing" software that allows Transmeta chips to emulate other PCs... maybe this would allow the metering to be done at a low enough level inside the chip that it would be hard to hack the "metering" out of the final PC... If this was the case, however, they would have trumpeted this in the press release.

    Here's what I suspect is really happening: AMD and Transmeta have probably struck an unannounced deal licensing some of the valuable Transmeta patents. However, since Transmeta has been hurting lately and probably is seeking extra funding to survive, AMD threw Transmeta a little PR nugget that allows them to forecast increasing chip sales in the near future to help secure additional capital- just my guess.
  • is this AMD admitting that their Geode and Turion processors aren't really that efficient?
  • This is a bit of paranoia, but imagine waking up to this one morning:
    "Like that body you're living in? Since it was grown in our lab we own it and you are only renting it. You are now 3 months late on your rent, violating the terms of service you implicitly agreed to by being born. Have a nice afterlife."
    • And no children without permission - no unauthorised reproduction of patented genetic material - we don't care that it was some virus that inserted "Our Patented DNA" into your germline, anymore than we do if wind spreads pollen containing "Our Patented DNA" to crops on your farm.

  • Anyone think that maybe this could be the first move towards AMD taking Transmeta into the fold? While Transmeta hasn't done all that well in retail, and AMD has very good competing products, there are a few things that would make this merger a good thing for both companies. For Transmeta, they don't become another casualty of the "great technologies that were poorly marketed, and slightly ahead of their time" type, and become part of a larger company rather than a mountain of paperwork, memories, and ang
  • ...help connect 50 percent of the world's population to the Internet by 2015.'

    Sweet, just imagine the viruses and spam we'll get when 50 percent of the world is connected. And all the new crappy myspace pages that will be created.

  • It's not the standard Efficeon, is a modified version that stops running if the owner doesn't pay the bill -- built under contract from Microsoft. Because the security is all in the CPU it is much more difficult to hack (ie. stop paying the monthly pay-as-you-go FlexGo bill, and just keep the computer). I think Intel-based machines are going with some kind of BIOS modification, but its much less secure. Apparently AMD has recognized this, but clearly Intel would lose serious face if they in any way recogni
  • Art Swift as CEO of Transmeta? What's next, Joe Cool as
    CEO of Intel?

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