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Intel

Intel Responds to Crusoe 133

spaceorb writes "According to Zdnet, Intel is preparing to do away with the mobile Pentium III in favor of a new chip, codenamed Northwood, in 2001. Northwood is based on Intel's next generation 32 bit chip Williamette, which will mark the beginning of their transition to 0.13 micron. Also briefly noted in the article is the mobile Athlon. "
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Intel Responds to Crusoe

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  • I found it interesting that Intel is scrambling to respond to the Crusoe. A few days after the announcement by Transmeta, my immediate supervisor at my job (a major computer retailer) called me to let me know that there was going to be a "mandatory Intel meeting next friday" (Which was last night.)

    The representative didn't talk at all about the Crusoe or ANY competition, but talked about the features of the NEW Mobile Pentium III, such as SpeedStep technology, which adjusts the processor's clock speed on the fly to conserve power (ala LongRun), as well as the new Mobile Pentium III's socket, heat dissipation, etc.

    While Intel training events aren't uncommon, a MANDATORY one never happens. This is the first MANDATORY training that there ever has been. My guess is, Intel got with the retailers, and said "Look, we have to educate the retail workforce on why the Pentium III is the ONLY choice for any computer." (They emphasized that a LOT, mind you.) They touted things like Intel's experience in the microprocessor field, their well known market share, the Intel "name", and the Intel Inside marketing campaign. A lot was fluff, but there was tech talk too. (Talk about Coppermine, etc. No mention of this "Northwood" though, but I'd imagine it's going to rip off some features of the Crusoe.)

    Just some speculattion on my part.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Don't forget AMD's Sledgehammer. I have no idea of the timeline on it. I know there's an AMD timeline for the next year or so floating around somewhere.

    Mike
  • Don't forget AMD's Sledgehammer. I have no idea of the timeline on it.

    The Sledgehammer is a really interesting CPU. Not really technically innovative or interesting 64bit design (compare to x86 going from 16 bits to 32 bits), but the 32bit compatibily offered by it might be real killer in the consumer market. Intel will have the same problems as all other companies making totally new istruction sets have. All the Intel name and market muscle will needed, but even that might not be enough. I'm really eager to see if AMD can steal Intels market..

  • Sure... Intel may not use marking FUD such as MS... but that does not mean that they have played "fairly"

    Intel is legendary for suing any of their competitors just to slow the introduction of their processors. For example, Intel sued AMD over the K5 (okay, it's a long time ago... but still) and managed to get a temporary injunction against AMD which stopped them from shipping the K5 until the PII was almost ready for release.

    You should read some books on Intel such as "Inside Intel" (I don't have the link on me) that tell the story of how brutal intel is against their perceived competitors. I remember that they made MS seem like a couple of puppy dogs in terms of their ruthlessness.
  • I'm running out of the house, so i didn't read the article, or any other comments. But upon reading the /. post, this was my first thought: seeing how Intel plans this processor in about a year, its a good thing Transmeta kept Crusoe so secret until it was able to ship. This way, crusoe has a chance to establish itself in the embedded and mobile market before Intel can even get a competitor injected in.
  • The cars-laptops analogy is interesting. However, the question is not necessarily pure speed vs. pure efficiency. To pursue the car analogy further, the Geo Metros and other ultra-efficient cars were not commercially successful because the same design that produced ultra-efficiency also caused the performance to drop below the acceptable threshold of most consumers. Rather than really small cars that could get 50mpg, consumers decided that 30-40mpg cars with more power were more desirable. It still remains to be seen whether Crusoe-based laptops will be in the Geo Metro class or the more successful Civic/Corolla class.

    Another consideration is the growing trend of business laptop users using their laptops as their primary computer. Whereas in the past, laptops were used mostly for their mobility and more demanding tasks were executed on more powerful desktops, there is a growing shift to using a single laptop in a docking station. Such machines must not only be efficient in a mobile mode, but performance must rival desktops. This trend will only grow and will only drive up the minimum acceptable performance threshold for laptops.
  • ....nothing. No mention of Crusoe anywhere in the article, no mention that the Transmeta announcement had anything to do with Intel rushing this product to ship..

    In other words, /. has Transmeta on the brain. ANy announcement of a new chip wil be couched as a "response to the Crusoe", which as everyone knows, must be the do-all, be-all, and end-all chip.

    Sheesh.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Intel doesn't have to "rip off features of the Crusoe."

    The whole point in Crusoe, although nobody here seems to be willing to admit it, is that it's and end-run around the fact that companies can't just steal and clone the x86 architecture. AMD can only compete in that market because of lawyer-weasel moves they made based on the fact that they were licensed to produce '286 chips ages ago.

    Transmeta adopted their rather baroque architecture because it was the only way to break into the x86 compatability market with a product that had any merits whatsoever to compete with in Intel's market.

    Say what you want about it's inherent superiority... thats marketing-speak, and only really works because it snowballs in all the irrational anti-Intel x86 hatred out there to give it some momentum.
  • Intel will never be able to compeate with the Cursoe, Its a hell of alot better. Eats less power, and that is they key, its not speed, its battery life. I'm happy with my p166 laptop, it just needs a little more memory, and a longer battery life. Half a hour to a hour is not a long time, espicaly when High School classes run 65 min. My laptop with a intel chip has never made it threw a full class on a fully charged battery.
  • by PG13 ( 3024 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @05:35AM (#1303129)
    No mention in this article of specially reduced power consumption (beyond normal mobile chips) so I find it hard to believe that this chip will be able to outcompete the Crusoe. I don't know if the Crusoe has SMP support but if it did you should easily be able to beat the intel chips on speed as well by putting four of them in a laptop with still lower power consumption.

    That raises an interesting question: Can the kind of technology which lets Transmeta optimize instruction translation on the fly be used to optimize the execution of single processer code on a dual procesor system? Just like in the translation case we would keep a software table but instead of most used instructions/jumps it would be of independent blocks of code.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thnik Intel can, just like Microsoft, they have a virtual hegemony in the computer market. Granted, AMD is gaining significant market share, but remember that Intel has a huge brand name.
    They'll just spread FUD against Crusoe (or buy them out or copy their technology...) or use other Microsoft-like tactics to keep them out of the market.

    I think Crusoe's primary market is going to be PDA's and the ultra-thin laptops; regular laptops using the new battery technologies can go for quite some time. However, having owned a Sharp Actius A250 (an ultrathni laptop), I can tell you they get _very_ hot because they use the power-hungry Intel chips. A Crusoe chip would probably be a big help there!
  • I don't think there is any practical way to put a Pentium-derived processor into a palm-sized computer.
  • Transmeta? AMD? Intel? Motorola?
  • Will someone care to indulge me with details on why Intel is sticking with 32-bit chips while Motorola and friends churn out faster offerings? Is incompatibility with older software the cause of this?

    Golddang it, I like PCs, but when you need to do graphics or 3D stuff, Apples are looking pretty good...

  • Because of heat, power, the supporting infrastructure? why?

    With the newer and smaller processes, I would guess that intel could make a pretty low power pentium (not P2, the original) on a .18 micron process.
  • I hate to rain on your metaphor, but if it holds out things look bad for Transmeta. Detroit ended up fighting back against little efficient Japanese cars with big gas-guzzling SUV's, convincing people that yes, they really do need the kitchen sink on the road. (Also, these beasts get all the attention because margins are higher).

    If your metaphor holds, then all Intel has to do is a) continue to invent new multimedia instruction sets; and b) hope that a software company that lives on such feeping creatures remains dominant. Transmeta wouldn't be able to keep up.

    Of course, as someone who will soon be running my laptop on pure solar power, I hope that this doesn't happen...
  • Only OEMs that may not jump on the Crusoe bandwagon are the Dells, etc. that have a a HUGE Intel based desktop/server market. Intel may say "if you use those Crusoe chips in your laptops, there maybe a Xeon shortage next month. And how many Xeon systems you have to build next month? Be a shame to lose them" Being put in situations like that make it hard to choose Transmeta.

    Correct me if I'm a little slow, but isn't this kind of attitude from Intel exactly what anti-trust laws are supposed to prevent? As far as I understand the Sherman Act, it is perfectly legal to be a monopoly just as long as you don't abuse that monopoly power. Surely if Intel even hinted something like that to a big OEM, anti-trust investigators would be all over them? I thought that one of the key findings of Judge Jackon in the Microsoft case was that it had effectively stomped on competition and innovation through a combination of methods that included threatening big OEMs in much the same way you hypothesise Intel might do.

    If Dell or anyone else want to use Crusoe as a hardware platform, Intel's recourse should be limited to mundane stuff like making better, cheaper and faster mobile chips that use less power. IOW - fair competition.

  • I mean, aren't we moving to a 64-bit world? alpha's are already there, sparc's are already there...intel will eventually get 64-bit desktop machine...why shoot laptop users in the foot with another release of old technology? Sure, it eats less power, but you won't be able to run the latest-greatest-64-bit-only app.
  • Intel does use strategic timing of press releases. Although chips are in the pipelines for years, Intel consistently preannounces new chips as a response to what other people are doing. They have been doing it for years against AMD and other competitiors
    That's just foolish. Intel constantly has chips in the pipeline. Does anyone seriously think that the Intel engineers were sitting with their feet up on their desks and then suddenly there was the Transmeta announcement? "Good God! We better start designing a new chip!" Not to mention that Intel constantly makes new roadmap announcements, so the FUD argument doesn't fly either.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@ajCOWs.com minus herbivore> on Saturday February 05, 2000 @08:22AM (#1303143) Homepage Journal
    You missed the point. Intel is timing this ANNOUNCEMENT to chip away at some of the glow around Transmeta. Yes, they likely have had this in the pipeline forever, but they also almost certainly rushed the announcement out the door after the Transmeta pess conference.

    Intel needs to be scared by Transmeta. If they're not, they are doing their shareholders a disservice.
  • A couple of people have said that this Intel announcement has nothing to do with Crusoe. I will tell you now why it does. It is the fact that Intel is putting a chip on the market that overlaps some of what the Crusoe is supposed to accomplish. The terms that clearly shout "Crusoe" are 'heat-dissapation' and 'low-power consumption'. This is Intel's way of trying to say that no-one needs to buy or use a Crusoe processor. The one problem they have is that the secrecy of Transmeta allowed the Crusoe to stun Intel when they were taking their sweet time to make advances on the problems that the Crusoe chips confront. Thus, Transmeta has a year to get OEM's and companies behind the Cursoe chips. Also, they have the time to start on the next generation of Crusoe chips that might extend the foothold that they have gained on the mobile processor market. All this should have been obvious.....
    Ciao
    nahtanoj
  • 'lightweight low power chip that's good enough but not a real performer' it will be what accountants stick people with when they're not allowed to make a choice. When that perception becomes predominant (if it does, I should say) then you'll find people getting STUCK with Transmeta based gear, and wishing they had Intel.

    It's probably not that much of a problem. The current Transmeta chips are close to the top performers in speed. Many people prefer to buy one less than top speed anyway to take advantage of the large dropoff in price. The price/performance and absolute performance of the Transmeta chips is in that ballpark.

  • My point is that Willamette wasn't rushed out to compete with Athlon, since Willamette designs must have started before anyone had even heard of the K6-2.
    Obviously they were planning the Willamette processor for quite some time, but I still think that Intel rushed the processor to market because of the Athlon. They are going beyond their traditional Moore's Law pace (maybe it should be renamed "The Old Intel Monopoly Law" instead) which they rarely did before.

    So now you think that Intel has mentioned a future laptop chip just because of Transmeta???
    We all know how bad MS is at vaporware... now Intel is playing the same game. 800 mHz coppermines were announced over a month ago, and yet you can't buy them. Just as Intel is trying to prevent Athlon purchases, they will try to prevent Crusoe purchases throught vaporware. Isn't it interesting that vaporware applies to HW as much as it does to SW?
  • Intel says 'We are planning on bringing out a new chip that's faster and has lower power consumption, to replace our current mobile PIII laptop chips, it might run at 1Ghz'

    And the Crusoe is *already* out, and has amazingly low power requirements.

    Now, I'm not saying intel isn't capable of bringing out a strong competitor.. but they don't have it yet...

  • The VHS comparison is useless. It was a catch 22. Withtou Betamax players, you couldn't watch beta tapes. WIthotu a market of people with betamax players, nobody can economically produce tapes.

    This is not the same thing in any way. Systems based on crusoe will run normal, desktop software. IT's x86. They have no barrier to entry in that respect.

    Companies *everywhere* will give them a good hard look when they are looking at an embedded/mobile product. The advantages are huge. People make PDA's on non-x86 gear because x86 chips are power hogs. WinCE isn't the naswer, WinCE sucks.
  • I think in theory, the Crusoe software could optimize single threaded code for a system with multiple processors, but I seriously doubt this would work effectively because of the vast difference in scale. When working out an optimization for multiple pipelines, the software must only look at a relatively small number of lines of x86 assembly. The instructions it converts to a parallel form only have to be independent from each other for a small chunk of code. With a multiple processor code, in order to really boost performance, the instructions have to be independent for tens of thousands or more clock cycles due to the delay in communication the results of computations from one processor to the other.
    At least that's my initial impression of the difficulty.
  • What a sissy name for a product...

    It's a code name, and Intel have been using river names from Northern California and Oregon as product code names for a while (Klamath, for the first Pentium II; Deschutes, for the first PII rev after that; Merced, which I find less of a pretentious name than "Itanium"; and probably others. I don't know whether they've branched out from Northern California and Oregion, and named "Coppermine" after the river in Nunavut, or not.)

  • Don't come down like a ton of bricks on someone just because the site an example of the shortness of baterylife in today's laptops. Also, the "quit bickering.....through school" comment is like me telling you to stop bickering about your car battery dieing and get to work. It had NOTHING to do with his post. His comment was only making an example of his real point which you obviously missed. People like you are the ones that start senseless wars and file for stupid patents.
  • I didn't see a thing in the article that said anything about Crusoe. Nor did I see an official announcement from Intel. And I also see nothing out of the ordinary from Intel releasing info on future products. The release roadmaps all the time detailing the future chips comming out.

    The other thing I don't understand is the people whining that the systems they bought today are going to be replaced. It happens all the time. Plus this is set to be released 2001, so it's a ways off. I will continue to get many good hours of use out of my Celeron based laptop and have been for the past few months. I decided not to wait for the PIII moble chips, and I am glad that I did this.

    Oh, and for all those wondering, Linux will hit 2.4 and 3.0 one day. Intel will release a 64 bit chip. AMD will release a 64 bit chip. Palm will release a color Palm. Microsoft will release an upgrade to Win98. 3dfx will release a T&L based card, codenamed Rampage. Nvidia will release a card faster then the GeForce. I could keep listing things off that are down the pipeline, but they don't overly influence my buying choices today, so why should this information from Intel do anything different?
  • but you won't be able to run the latest-greatest-64-bit-only app

    I don't expect many "latest-greatest-64-bit-only" applications of the sort most people would run on their laptops to come out for a while; I suspect that, for some amount of time, 64-bit apps will primarily be server apps and high-end workstation apps.

    As such, doing a 64-bit lower-power processor now might not be the best use of Intel's large-but-finite funds.

    Note that Willamette will be a 32-bit processor for desktops and servers as well; when they made the IA-64 announcement Intel indicated that this didn't mean the immediate end of the 32-bit x86 processors - they'd continue to develop them.

    IA-64 may eventually replace x86/IA-32, including in the mobile general-purpose computer market, but I don't expect the arrival of Merced or even McKinley to instantly kill x86 (and suspect that 32-bit processors - or even 64-bit processors, e.g. various MIPS processors, running in a fashion that doesn't make much use of the 64-bitness of the processor - will be around for a while in the "embedded" marketplace, including client "appliances").

  • The fact that Crusoe has better technology may not be able to hold up when Intel fires up the marketing machine that Transmeta may not be able to afford. . .

    How many "better technologies" have we seen dissapear because of lack of marketing money?
    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Intel has announced that after they release their new desktop chip, they will make a mobile version. Well, color *me* shocked!

    Face it, this announcement may have been timed to take some wind from Transmeta's sails, but if Intel's releasing this chip early next year, they've been working on it for some time. Intel always works in stages:
    -"It's only for workstations" (saves face in case the new chip doesn't sell well)
    -"It's for desktops, too" (makes Intel a wad of cash while the customers get to pretend their new home system uses the latest in high-end technology)
    -"Here's the mobile version" (after they've figured out how to keep the heat it generates from melting a plastic laptop case)
  • Correct me if I'm a little slow, but isn't this kind of attitude from Intel exactly what anti-trust laws are supposed to prevent? As far as I understand the Sherman Act, it is perfectly legal to be a monopoly just as long as you don't abuse that monopoly power. Surely if Intel even hinted something like that to a big OEM, anti-trust investigators would be all over them?

    You're absolutely right except for on thing: Intel is not a monopoly. AMD is a very relevant competitor, so how could Intel be a monopoly? Intel was actually investigated by the FCC (or whoever investigates this stuff) and it took just a couple of weeks for them to make make their decicion: Intel != monopoly.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nope, the architecture is not baroque but quite the opposite in fact. Intel's instruction rearrangement produces complicated silicon - Transmeta gets by with simple software. Run-time instrumentation and optimization of code to fit the particular problem at hand, with SIMPLE hardware support to notice mistaken assumptions and do rollback. Simply ingenious.
  • I also have a p166 laptop which serves my needs (mainly a desktop user). I'm not going to argue if Intel will be able to compete, because I believe it is way to early to tell. But if your only getting 30 mins out of your laptop battery you need to look at the battery not the processor. I often get any where from 2.5 hours to 4 hours from one battery charge. Batteries wear out, need to be maintained (full power cycle,) etc. Also the more you use the CD the shorter the battery life. Not that you do this, but I sake my head when people ask me why their battery didn't last and they've been listening to CD's while on battery power.
  • Yes, Willamette has been in design since 1995. The media is clueless about the microprocessor industry, and when Willamette is released, the headlines will be "Intel Releases Willamette in Response to Athlon", even though it was been brewing for 5 years. It was not like Intel just decided to whip out Willamette because Athlon came out (though, yes, Athlon has pressured the schedule, somewhat, at the end).

    By the way: anyone see the news about Timna?

    Timna is going to rock hard, and I expect it to bring Intel stock to even higher levels. Samsung has announced a "disposable PC" based on Timna which will be sub-$200 and will be in a sealed case - not updgradable/repairable. When it breaks down or gets too old, the user will just replace it. (Sorry - I don't have the URL describing this offhand). Obviously the margin is low for the CPU/chipset in a sub-$200 PC, but can you even come close to imagining the volume?? This will be a "Crusome Killer" much more than any other product, because of its sheer cost.

  • Go back and read his example -- AMD isn't currently selling a competitor to the Intel Xeon. Dell can't afford to lose the server business with their highest profit margins (as well as "end-to-end" sales.)

    Besides, switching from 100% Intel (with associated discounts) to AMD carries a bunch of re-engineering and support costs, as well as the risk of chipset shortages and so on. (essentially the same boat they're in with Intel.)

    However, any smart business doesn't rely on a single supplier. (But, historically, PC companies haven't been so smart.) So, like Compaq and Gateway, I would expect Dell to slowly introduce AMD-based computers into their lineup, starting at the low-end and hoping that Intel doesn't get too pissy.
    --
  • There is no geographical feature named "Coppermine" in California or Oregon according to the USGS's National Mapping Information System or the Census Department's TIGER Mapping Service.

    Of course, there are various features named Coppermine in Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North & South Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  • Obviously they were planning the Willamette processor for quite some time, but I still think that Intel rushed the processor to market because of the Athlon. They are going beyond their traditional Moore's Law pace (maybe it should be renamed "The Old Intel Monopoly Law" instead) which they rarely did before.

    Contrary to what's reported in the media, most people on Willamette (and, to some extent, in the rest of Intel) consider Athlon to be a pretty good thing - it keeps us on our toes and challenges us to do better. It would be a pretty boring life, especially as an engineer, to simply crank out a product year after year, if there really wasn't any challenge to perform. Yes, management has pushed on Willamette hard, and has gotten the frequency to some pretty high levels but this is a natural response - any company who doesn't constantly respond to competitors new products will not succeed. So yeah, Willamette is being pushed farther ahead than usual because of Athlon, but why exactly do you consider this to be strange or unexpected behavior??

    We all know how bad MS is at vaporware... now Intel is playing the same game. 800 mHz coppermines were announced over a month ago, and yet you can't buy them. Just as Intel is trying to prevent Athlon purchases, they will try to prevent Crusoe purchases throught vaporware. Isn't it interesting that vaporware applies to HW as much as it does to SW?

    Intel actually uses vaporware hardly at all. The 800 MHz Coppermine IS available - I know of many systems which are shipping with them. With the exception of Merced, Intel generally does not pre-announce projects. A prime example is Willamette, which has just barely been spoken about, and which absolutely NO technical details have been announced for. The reason is simple: If Intel announced that Willamette was going to come out on such-and-such a date, and that people should not but Athlon because of it, guess what? People would not but Pentium III either. Pre-announcing in the microprocessor industry is suicide, and Intel does it VERY little (besides Merced). Intel certainly does it less than the other processor companies, and has a history of bringing out a product which nobody knew was planned (remember how surprised people were at how fast the P6 was?) Most of the info in the press you see about Willamette etc. is not officially from Intel sources.

  • There is no geographical feature named "Coppermine" in California or Oregon

    That's why I said "in Nunavut" and "branched out from California and Oregon"....

  • I compleatly agree with you, this kind of bickering causes all kinds of problems, and people din't see the example I set forth, A real world example. That Intel cannot compeate with the Crusoe processor because it eats less power, and less power is good, it allows longer battery life. So people like me can finish my program for computer science, or not halfto shut down my laptop 5 min before the bell, So I can get any last minute notes.

    It's a real world example...
  • Sure Crusoe has to be a better chip, even though we've only seen product demonstrations and hasn't been tested on the street by real consumers. While it has better technology behind it, it still is only a 1.0 version product which can can mean ruin if there are problems with it.

    Even you've done studies of Win NT/2K, technological it is superior to any OS, it is unforunate that MS has not gotten the bugs out of it, which is why WinNT can suck at times.

    I hope crusoe is not an MS in disguise. That could prove torture to lots of users.

  • The Crusoe was rebuilt from scratch, and it's not just a new CPU that uses less power because of a new production process. Intel can try it, but I don't think they'll really surprise us.
  • Intel is the new Fudmeister these days taking the crown from MS. They seem to be living by press releases and yet where is the product. Have you tried buying any of the new 700 Mhz + chips lately or better yet since they were announced. They can issue all the PR they want and announce new CPu's but where is the product in the pipeline?

    Witness Dell's comments on product availability from Intel. Better yet in Canada as i dont know the full availability other what i read in the press, i notice that a P3-500 actually has increased by 120.00 Cad in the last 2 weeks at the Distributor level. The reason given is NO PRODUCT.
    I was talking to a large OEM in Canada this past week. Guess where they are buying CPU's from?

    Soooooooo let Intel announce all they want but unti its in the piplelie and readily available to OEM's and VAR's its just vapour.

    Kinda reminds me of the old commercial..... Where's the beef?

  • The terms that clearly shout "Crusoe" are 'heat-dissapation' and 'low-power consumption'

    Hello, those terms shout "mobile processing," not "Crusoe." Those are the two things that notebook makers have been struggling with for years. Just on a lark, I searched News.com for that subject, and turned up this article [cnet.com] about that very topic. Wow, Intel must have some top-notch industrial spies on their payroll to have stolen Transmeta's plans way back in 1997!!

    Transmeta could really have a field day if they ever decided to sue Intel for stealing their completely original idea that "heat-dissipation" and "low-power consumption" are good for notebook CPUs! Just look at this 1994 Byte article [byte.com], where those thieving bastards at Intel mention the improvments in their (obviously stolen!) 486DX4 CPU design:

    "The DX4 chips also introduce other improvements, including 3.3-V operation; pin compatibility with existing 486 sockets and 5-V parts;
    lower power consumption and heat dissipation; 0.6-micron process technology; and a 16-KB instruction/data cache, twice as big as a normal Intel 486 cache."
    Call the lawyers, call the lawyers, we've got a clear case of trade secret theft on our hands!

    Damn, it's truly hilarious watching you naïve Linus Torvalds fanboys making asses of yourselves as you slavishly scramble to heap greater and greater praise upon anything with which he's associated.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

  • I don't think I have ever seen an anonymous coward receive a 5.
    Strange.....

  • I don't know if the Crusoe has SMP support

    They don't come right out and say it, but no it doesn't. It integrates the RAM and (3.3V) PCI controlers onto the CPU, which makes multiprocessor support basically impossable. (in thery each CPU could cntrol it's own PCI bus, but with DRAM controlers rateher then an SMP-orianted cache snooping bus, you are SOL)

    The closest the existing Transmeta chips are gonna get to a MP system, is a cluster in a box (beowolf), which they would be decently suited to given their low power draw and low tempatures.

    This is not to say that Transmeta doesn't have a MP chip ready for their next product line, but they would have to target a market segment other then moble computing. Which is possable if you read their white papers they hint that they have some non-low-performance/low-temp ideas...

  • Well let's look at the facts:

    1.transmeta has a one year lead
    a.intel releasing chip in 2001+
    b.transmeta is here now

    2. transmeta chips use little power
    a. can run one for a week off a single charge
    b. may be able to make 'human motion' chargers,
    if motorola chooses to persue - and allow for
    wearables to not need a recharge at all
    c. most people when asked what they hate most
    about their laptop it's power consumtion

    3. transmeta code morphing is a larger factor
    a. people can run 'appliances', not computers
    b. not everyone likes computers, ie mom factor
    c. appliances are an open market till this day

    4. transmeta chips are cheap compared to intel/amd

    ------ conspirisy alert for following --------
    1. IBM was going to release wearables 1999 july
    2. IBM retracted andset new date 2000 july
    3. Transmeta chips use IBM copper technology
    4. IBM has transmeta listed on PCI and various
    venedor m/b parts list
    5. Transmeta IBM wearables by this summer?

    --- pathetic begging for IBM wearable ------
    Someone please get me on IBM test list this time! Bruce-san, I know you'll read this... I love you man, you're my hero - now gimmie gimmie... I'll give weekly reports, all typed up. ;)
  • I have this funny feeling that, even WITHOUT Transmeta, Intels days as numero uno PC chip-maker are numbered. How many times in the last few years have they gone back and forward on where their roadmaps are going, delayed releases, completely dropped/abandoned/changed plans...

    There is no reason why Intel has to stay number 1. It's not like Microsoft, where everyone has sold their souls to MFC and other Windows "standards." Computer manufacturers are going to use whatever chip performs the best for the lowest cost. AMD kicked their butt with Athlon, so the crown should rightly pass to them. If Crusoe is everything its being hyped as, Transmeta should rightly become the mobile chip king.

    So I see these recent developments at Intel as a sign that Intel sees the writing on the wall, and is scrambling to keep up.
  • 32bit, eh? I thought we'd finally get over that phase...

    Anyway, this naming scheme is too unlikely to be an incident. Anybody who's ever been to Northwood, NH, will know what I mean.

    Northwood, NH, is a place were the color peels off the buildings, the only motels are smelly roach traps, and half the town deals in -this is no joke- antiques.

  • Which means that that if Intel DID try such a tactic (artificial drop in supply), Dell could say, "Fine! We are now selling AMD chips." Not the easiest solution, and certainly Intel does wield (and use) power over OEMs. But, AMD is a credible competitor, and this makes the market work out better for the consumer.


    So buy from Intel's competitors (at least some of the time), to help keep the market favorable for you in the future.

  • In one corner we have the Crusoe, burdened by needing to re-compile, err code morph, x86 instructions on the fly via software.

    In the other Corner we have the StrongARM with no FPU.

    StrongARM runs (will run?) at up to 600Mhz on half a watt.

    Crusoe runs 700 Mhz on one watt.

    Anyone have an idea at which is actually faster? It seems to me that StrongARM is better suited (slightly) for the mobile market. Crusoe major advantage seems to be x86 compatibitly, though being able to intelligently adjust its speed might help (although my guess is that it can't adjust it so much to take away the StrongARM's half watt power draw advantage).

  • Of course Transmeta is a MS in disguise. The name of the game is no longer "Let's make money to feed our families" .. the name of the game is "Let's dominate the market because it's fun and it's the only true challenge in the business world."

    That's why MS is so big. As a parallel example, look at SimCity.. what's the point of that game? to build a huge ass sprawling city.. and why? because it's fun. sure.. a smaller city might keep you interested for a while.. fix sewage and electrical problems, rebuild after those nasty disasters (though i know you all turn those off).. but no.. you end up adding to the city until there's no more available space and then get bored and pissed and start over.. and why? because it's more fun that way and sticking within the confines of your intial little area gets boring pretty quickly.

    Do you think MSFT or Gates need the money? Hell no.. this is a game to them, and it's a fun one at that.
  • by JCholewa ( 34629 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @08:22PM (#1303192) Homepage
    Actually, it's simpler than even that. All Northwood is is the mobile version of the Pentium IV on a 130nm process. Saying that Intel is whipping this up in a panic is silly since this is a perfectly natural evolution in their roadmap.

    We've known about their 130nm process, and we know that all their x86 chips get put into a mobile format. Also, we know that Willamette's core will be release a la the Pentium IV product very late this year.

    FWIW, the Willamette is Intel's first new core since the P6 back in the mid 90s, which found itself inside the Pentium Pro, II, III, and Celeron. Rumours and admissions declare the below to be its likely improvements:
    • A deeper (or smoother, at least) instruction pipeline for stronger frequency ramping
    • Added execution pipelines and functional units (eg, allowing it to issue more instructions per cycle)
    • A "trace cache", to optimize the order in which instructions are fed into the pipelines (I admit, I could be screwing up this particular explanation)
    • variable frequency units -- this one's a leap of faith, but tentatively according to some sources, different parts of the cpu will be clocked at different rates. A 2GHz Willamette chip might have a 2GHz integer unit, a 1.7GHz fpu, and a 1.5GHz SSE unit (mind you, this is a speculative example, with numbers picked out of the air)
    • An improved motherboard bus, capable of 200MT/s (100MHz, double pumped) but also 128-bit, twice the width of the Athlon's EV-6, allowing for twice the peak bandwidth. Also, quadruple pumped (400MT/s) for the later server version, codenamed Foster. On the other hand, it will still be a shared bus, which is supposedly less "clean" than a point to point protocol that the Athlon uses, meaning that high-way SMP may get lots of collisions and degraded performance on Willamette.


    The 130nm process basically will decrease the size of the features on the processor. Basically, imagine drawing stuff with a big fat marker, then getting a nice, fine pen. You can make much more detailed drawings, right? Basically same thing here. Benefits of going from 180nm to 130nm process:
    • Area of processor will be chopped in half, allowing for more than twice the amount of raw processor die to be fit onto one of those round fab wafers.
    • Because defects increase exponentally with die area, yields per die will improve
    • More on-die cache can be added with less risk of yield crash
    • processor can use lower voltage and much lower power dissipation
    • processor can be clocked much higher, generally a boost of 50-70% in the long run, but that's just my WAG.

    -JC
    PC News'n'Links
    http://www.jc-news.com/pc [jc-news.com]
  • They used to be pretty good at delaying the succes of a new product by claiming they would have a better product ready within a few months. but 2001? sjeeezz.... where do they think the mobile market will be by then? Every company that wants to put a cool mobile device on the market should do it now and -thus- should use a transmeta chip. There simply isn't anything else in the high-end mobile processor area right now.

    By the time intell releases it's little project it had better be a really kickass powerhouse of the high-MHz/low-power-use kind. I'm selling my intel stocks for now.
  • I understand that McKinely and the new EPIC architecture developed with HP where going to switch intel over to 64 bits.

    Of course more bits isn't always better. Im not sure exactly why but I believe it is because more bits force the procesor to wait for the bus to deliver data more often if I am not mistaken. In addition to forcing the program to operate on large data sizes even when he doesn't want to.
  • Granted, the new Intel chips probably won't be ultra-low power consuming chips like the Crusoe ones, but is that going to matter?

    Beta was better than VHS but the VHS crowd was able to get the spin and the edge and got their technology adopted.. Same goes with Windows vs OS/2.

    How do we know that Intel won't pull MS like tactics ("If you buy Transmeta chips, we aren't going to sell you P-3's for your desktop boxen") or won't otherwise collaborate with MS to keep Crusoe and its technolgoy from being adopted?

    Heaven knows it's in their interest -- if Crusoe can emulate just about any instruction set, it would allow people to install pretty much whatever they pleased on their Laptops or PDAs.. Talk about interoperability.. "Oh, I think I'll run MacOS today, or the new Amiga operating system, or AIX, or.." That is technology that is really geek-cool but suit-frightening. And after the deCSS debacle, I think we can see that suits still have a lot of power in society, and can influence a lot of things (even if just through brute force of lawyering).

    On another note, when can I buy a box or palmtop running Crusoe?
  • by gammatron ( 120978 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @05:49AM (#1303197)
    There is no mention of either Transmeta or Crusoe in the story, other than in the "related links" section. I don't think any of this was prompted by Transmeta's actions - Intel has this stuff planned out months in advance. Slashdot is just using any chance it gets to hype Transmeta b/c Linus works there.
    --
  • After hearing pundit after pundit spelling doom for Trnasmeta because they can't compete with Intel, this is good news. They said Intel isn't worried in the slightest about Crusoe. It doesn't run fast, and no OEMs jumped on the bandwagon.

    Now Intel is rushing out a postable chip of thier own. Sounds to me like Intel is worried. They are probably even more worried that the 5400 Crusoe will be out in lapstops by summer. Say evev on best estimates Intel releases Q2 2001. that's almost a full year after Crusoe. I don't think OEMs are going to wait that long. And I think that once OEMs and people use the Crusoe chips, it's going to be a hard sell to go back to Intel. Expecially if they release a PPC emulation layer, and they are all running OS X on their laptops.

    Only OEMs that may not jump on the Crusoe bandwagon are the Dells, etc. that have a a HUGE Intel based desktop/server market. Intel may say "if you use those Crusoe chips in your laptops, there maybe a Xeon shortage next month. And how many Xeon systems you have to build next mont? Be a shame to lose them" Being put in situations like that make it hard to choose Transmeta.

    Intel is now playing catch-up on two markets now. AMD is releasing faster Athlons as Intel releases faster P3s. Now Transmeta is going afer the mobile market. Both companies do what they are doing better then Intel is right now. And unlike Intel,their chips aren't tied to x86. Althons have a x86 layer themselves, and Transmeta has their code morphing.

    It's the begining of the end of the Intel monopoly now. Intel will always be a player, but soon their bark will be worse then their bite, and this Intel monopoly will be over. And maybe once Intel loses it's bite, x86 will just go away, and we all know what dies with x86? Windows. It's a dream isn't it? =)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    with the prowess to communicate that you've demonstrated, i think i understand precisely why it is that you need your laptop for literally everything, including your classes....
  • Like micros~1 missing the internet message in the early 90s, It looks as if Intel has missed the wireless/handheld message and is now trying to catch up with Transmeta and StrongARM.
    For the moment, the bulk of the CPU market is still in desktop peecees but that is changing fast.
    The only questions is, is Williamette "to little to late"?
    _________________________
  • They do have a large market share, but the crusoe is obiously better. I know the crusoe is going to be comming out in all those little devices that we have been drooling at for like two years, like the webpad, that runs linux.

    Intel could buy them out, but I don't think intel is worried, if they are going to try and develop a new chip. The Crusoe will probaly halfto bite intel in their ass before they realise whats realy going on, it will be interresting.
  • Warning -- Warning!!

    An objective, intelligent thought was posted above. Slashdot will self destruct in 30 seconds...

  • Transmeta is the new Fudmeister these days taking the crown from MS. They seem to be living by press releases and yet where is the product. Have you tried buying any of the new Crusoe chips lately or better yet since they were announced. They can issue all the PR they want and announce new CPu's but where is the product in the pipeline?

    Soooooooo let Transmeta announce all they want but unti its in the piplelie and readily available to OEM's and VAR's its just vapour.

    Kinda reminds me of the old commercial..... Where's the beef?
  • ... because on appliances so small, there's just not enough room to fit the whole intel inside label.

    Seriously though, the Crusoe is being manufactured on 0.22 micron processes (processesi? processen?) and is already much lower power than any mobile pentium out there even on the 0.18 micron process. All Intel has is vaporware that's at least 1 year away. They probably hadn't started it until after the Crusoe was released. A whole year to develop a CPU based on a core you've already perfected?
  • Just for the record, I'm writing this on a PIII-750, so they do exist. Dell takes a while to ship them, but oh well.

    Harvey
  • I'd say Crusoe isn't really out, if I can't go to the store and buy one. Which I will probably do, the day it really is out.

    It's announced.

    Yes, I know that samples are shipping to OEM's. That and about 6 bucks will get me a cup of coffee, these days.
  • They have the one thing that Intel's been lusting after - a reliable, speedy way to run x86 apps on a VLIW architecture chip, that's done all in software. For a long time, it's been looking like intel would have to dedicated die space for x86 compatibility.

    So that's one.

    For two, I'm not certain how much, but a lot of transmeta's work is protected by patents. Intel's not going to stand for a little company telling them they can't implement software compatibility on their new chip that lets them mimic THEIR OWN INSTRUCTION SET.

    And then there's #3. Intel's not blind to transmeta. They've been acutely aware of competition ever since AMD rolled out the K6-II. Look what their ignorance of AMD got them: the Athlon. They're certainly not going to ignore then new Transmeta development...

    I'd almost bet that Intel buys them out before they ever go public.
  • The Coppermine River does exist.

    Yes, I know, that's why I mentioned it.

  • Well... Most users aren't even pushing the limits of a 32 bit world... I mean, yes, we have 64 and 128 bit wide databuses. Those shuffle the bits around in larger chunks. But that's not what a 64 bit world would entail... It'll enable much larger address spaces. How many slashdotters have a machine with > 2GB RAM?

    That's one of the main advantages to 64 bit designs, as far as I've heard. But that does nothing to help someone running Linux or Windows on a laptop with 64 or 128 Megs of memory.

    Intel's been targetting the high end of the market with Merced. Everyone here's been saying that they'll have one, because demand will merit that they get it into the low end of the market quickly. But there really is no demand from end users. The demand comes from network admins, database admins for starters. There may be a few graphic artists in the batch, too... You can never have too much RAM when working with broadcast and film quality video. But the rest of the world really won't see a need for 64 bit chips until their machines start coming stock with 1 - 1.5 Gigs or RAM and Windows has bloated so much that that's not even enough.
  • I'll admit Transmeta is on to something, but seriously, Intel is huuuuge! I mean they have the money and the resources to trampel all over Transmeta and their Crusoe processor. They have some of the best minds and of course plenty of money and time to throw at a processor like Crusoe. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they come out soon with a processor that competes directly with Crusoe or even surpasses it.

    Intel is no "startup". I mean they've been around the block for awhile. What can slow them down of course is the large bureaucracy that is in place in a large company like this, but at the same time they can use their large marketshare and name to essentially buy their customers. Even though the Crusoe processor might be better and faster it doesn't mean it will sell. Advertising is the key in today's world. Take a look at the large advertising campaign that went into the Pentium processors.

    Your average consumer has never even heard of Transmeta, Crusoe or Linus Torvalds for that matter. And to make matters worse, they don't care. Let's face it, the people here at Slashdot and the other's in the know are an educated minority. But it will take more than this select few to make Crusoe a success. That is where Intel has the advantage.

    If you need a real world example, take my own dad for instance. All he knows and hears is "Pentium" so when he goes to buy a new computer, thats all he asks... "Is it a Pentium?" or "Does it have the Pentium?". I mean he doesn't even realize all the differences between the Pentium one, two and three but at least he knows its a Pentium and therefore it must be good.

    Sadly, a vast majority of consumers have similar outlooks and knowledge, and therefore in the long and short run I predict that Intel will win... but of course only time will tell.


    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC
    www.npsis.com [npsis.com]
  • As much as you hate Intel's and Microsoft's FUD, you've completely bought into Transmeta's FUD. It looks like they've done a tremendous job at freezing the market for laptops among slashdot readers.

    They don't have a product yet. Or at least if they did, I didn't see it. I did see "video taped demonstrations" of Crusoe in action. I also saw "video taped demonstrations" of how removing IE would kill Windows.

    I'd say, if you need a laptop, go buy your laptop. Crusoe's not going to be that much more advantagous that you should put off your purchase for 6 - 9 months in order to get one. Or at least wait until a somewhat more objective 3rd party takes a look at a system based around the chip before pledging that it's the best thing since slice bread.

    All we've heard so far is that Transmeta say's their chip beats Intels chips in terms of power consumption in their controlled environments. That's a far cry for the real world, and it doesn't seem to take into account that already, the CPU is likely to use the least amount of power in todays laptops, compared to the hard drive, CD drive, DVD drive, video controller, or active matrix screen...
  • Face it, Intel is just not scared of Transmeta. I mean, the mobile chip Crusoe is neat but I can't believe it scares Intel that much. If AMD couldn't make Intel budge, how can scrappy Transmeta do any real damage. (They're so small they're evading our turbolasers! --sorry I couldn't help it.) I mean, Intel spends billions and billions of fab plants, R&D, marketing, etc. And anyone who believes that this is the death knell for Intel is either really young or just plain forgot the leapfrog way in which of CPUs are developed.
  • I'll disagree with you on a couple points, for starters Transmeta isn't exactly a brand new start-up as I think you are implying. They have been around Silicon Valley for about 5-6 years. Second of all I think you're wrong about no one knowing about the Crusoe, the day it was released I saw half a dozen news reports about it and tons of stuff all over ZDTV. ZDTV does have quite a few viewers all over the country and they all talk to their friends about things they see on the network so I would imagine by now plenty of people realize there is something other than Intel in the chip market. Alot more people now are finding themselves keeping up with technostuff. While this adds a whole bunch of new "Me too!" type users it also lends to increasing mindshare of technostuff.
  • I would consider them a startup considering they have yet to actually ship a product... and make a real PROFIT. They don't have the money base or stockpile that Intel has to dig into in case the situation arises.


    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC
    www.npsis.com [npsis.com]
  • I want a 1Ghz chip that costs 5$ that runs MacOS X.

    I just KNOW that Intel will go out of business soon.

    Linux is the best thing ever, heeeeeey you meanie head open up your source code cuz we said so!
    Geez this topic is like a giant whine fest. The Crusoe is a good processor that will be able to hold its own against Intel's mobile chips. Big deal. This doesn't mean Intel is going to close its doors next year or that anything you buy now won't ever be obsolete. Everything eventually becomes obsolete in the computer world merely by obeying Moore's law. Intel's monkey clogging all the gears in the 32-bit x86 instruction set. Just look at the Athlon if you need convincing. The Athlon needs a ton of extra die to take care of x86 instruction handling, even Intel's chips have a rough time with x86. In my opinion x86 has FAR outlived its usefulness as an ISA. Sure we have 800Mhz Athlons but compare these to other entirely RISC based processors and you'll find that clock speed isn't everything. The thing that impressed me most with the Crusoe wasn't its handling of x86 code but the fact that Transmeta looked up RISC in a technical dictionary and actually followed the RISC ideology. Intel needs to do something similar and completely reengineer an existing chip, not revamp and speed up an old design. The Merced/Itanium was supposed to do this but everyone is still waiting for a real scoop on that project. The Crusoe achieved lower power consumption cutting down the die size while the Coppermine achieved lower power consumption by shrinking the transistor size. A chip I would be impressed by is one that was a happy medium between the two lines of thought. A 64/128-bit RISC processor that kept code translation down to a minimum (maybe with JIT instance specific compiling or compiling strait to machine code a la Java) AND most importantly had tiny transistors on a pretty small die. I would be very happy with a processor that could get me 3Gops and only dissipate 2-3 watts of power. That kind of chip is not even far fetched right this minute, it will just be whoever figures out how to balance egos and ideology.
    I think this can be compared in part to American cars in the 70s. For years American dealers were building behemoths that sucked gas but had pretty damn good power, then along came Honda and the other Japanese cars that were really fuel efficient but sacrificed a bit of power to get that. Eventually the American car makers tried more fuel efficient cars but ended up proving they needed to rethink their engineering philosophy. Now you can expect a decent priced car to have a good amount of power while still getting 20-25mpg in the city.
  • Geez, dude. Try to remember to take your pills in the morning from now on, eh?

    ----

  • The 800 MHz Coppermine IS available - I know of many systems which are shipping with them.
    Okay, I checked and you are right... Dell is shipping 800s, so I am wrong there. But they DID just start a while ago. They certainly pre-announced for a couple of weeks.
  • On the same subject...
    The "Northwood Facility" in Silver Spring, MD, is used by the county school system as a holding school for students whose normal schools are under construction. It is in pretty bad shape also.
  • That's BS. The first glow from transmeta has faded. An example of 'timing the announcement' can be found when the geforce was announced. I was sitting, waiting to release my article on the 31st when I got word of a press release from S3 about the Savage2000 (this was on the 30th). Now that's timing to steal the glow.

    In order to steal some light from transmeta, Intel would have done this within a couple days of the announcement, dont you think?

  • I fail to see how Northwood would be a direct competitor to a "chameleon" such as Crusoe. When I read the information on Crusoe, I was astounded.

    Intel is making this type of announcement, frankly because they see the death of thier mobile processors. And evidently with the unvieling of actual working IA64 machines...why would they even bother with more IA32 stuff?

    I'd like to know what Intel is thinking. Are they truly worried, or does it just look like it?

    -Pat
  • The basic design is wrong. There is zero mention on Intels web site about how many watts a Mobile Pentium II consumes for a reason (except in standby and deep sleep modes).

    Heat is another reason. Who wants to hold a 110 degree device in your hand all day? Nice sweaty palms.

  • Too bad Intel owns StrongArm, huh?
  • by mfterman ( 2719 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @06:03AM (#1303231)
    Not to beat the computers vs automobiles down, but this does in some way feel like back when the Japanese automobile manufacturers started taking on Detroit, with its low powered but cheap and fuel efficient cars those high powered gas guzzling models. And Detroit learned in the end people didn't need to be able to do 200 mph so much as they wanted 30 mpg.

    The laptop market is going to go in the same direction. People don't use laptops, excuse me, most people don't use laptops to run Quake and other games at ridiculously high fps. In a laptop, having good enough performance and a long battery life are more than sufficient. They may be slower but the question is will most people really miss the performance. If one does not run graphics-heavy games (and Microsoft operating systems and applications), how much CPU power does one need?

    The Transmeta people had some good ideas. Pity that it's the x86 instruction set they're stuck with, though it will be interesting to see how good a Java virtual machine they might get out of it. For some reason I like the idea of a standardized instruction set and then forcing the chips to run that everywhere very appealing.

    As for Intel, I think they're going to have to eventually learn that they can't be all things to all people. Microsoft is starting to slowly come to that conclusion as well. Sooner or later you have to pick a market segment and hope that it stabilizes. Trying to go against AMD and Transmeta just seems a bit much for one company to do.
  • If Intel is worried, it is worried about what AMD can do with mobile Athlon. Crusoe really doesn't compete with Intel x86 mobile CPUs. The reason for that is of course that in laptops, CPU consumes a relatively small percentage of all electricity while the HD and the LCD-display end up taking the most.

    Crusoe is threat to Intel, threat to the Intel StrongARM to be more specific.

  • Thank you for the correction :)
    _________________________
  • The mobile P4 (Williamette) and the mobile Athlon will never be able to compete with the crusoe, The crusoe has very little transistors and therefore does not need very much power. The core of the 7'th generation AMD has 22 million transistors and the 7'th generation *ntel will also have lots of transistors. High Power consumption = Low battery life.
  • My understanding was that Crusoe is not a high end processor.
    Who makes CPUs for Palm Pilots? Are they also a threat to Intel?

    Motorola makes the CPU for Palm. I believe the current speed is around 25Mhz. Is Motorola a threat to Intel, not in the desktop market or the notebook market. However, in the palm top market, they are blowing Intel away right now. In the palm top market, Motorola will be Transmeta's competition. In the laptop market, Intel will be Transmeta's competition. As for being "high end". In the palm top market, Crusoe is "high end". In the laptop market, Crusoe is middle of the road, but way ahead in terms of power usage.

  • That's BS. The first glow from transmeta has faded [...] In order to steal some light from transmeta, Intel would have done this within a couple days of the announcement, dont you think?


    I dunno. Do you think that after this announcement people (not slashdotters) will be asking "Yeah, but what about that Transmeta" or saying "Gee, Intel is stepping up the portable market". If they'd timed it a few days earlier, I think it would have been the former. Now, it's the latter. Trust me PR and marketing folk stay up late thinking about this kind of crap, and Intel's are very good.
  • ok, you have a valid point there.

    but in order NOT to catch flak, what would have been an appropriate timing for Intel's announcement? because any time they would do it now would be 'after transmeta's announcement' and people would still be saying "Gee, Intel is stepping up the portable market." Get my point?

    Seriously, I am really, REALLY into the crusoe - but I also love my intel hardware like nothing else. I would absolutely adore crusoe if transmeta would make a java VM layer. :) but i'm sure that's the general consensus.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2000 @06:12AM (#1303241)
    > Every company that wants to put a cool mobile > device on the market should do it now and -thus- > should use a transmeta chip. There simply isn't > anything else in the high-end mobile processor > area right now.

    First, I'd like to point out that Crusoe is not being used in devices right now. Their web page tells us to check back in about 6 months or so. Granted, this is before Intel is going to release their new mobile processor, but I think many people would consider waiting several months for a tried and true technology which will have a larger support infrastructure in place. Where does one buy a motherboard that accepts Crusoe processors? Are they available in sufficient numbers? What about other hardware to go with it? There will be loads of support for Intel processors because companies know that there will be a large demand and they've actually heard of Intel before.

    Second, you say "high end". My understanding was that Crusoe is not a high end processor. It trades raw speed for lower energy consumption due to a simpler architecture. Certainly the clock speeds are high, but a 700 MHZ Crusoe will not deliver the same performance from a computational standpoint as a 700 MHZ Athalon or Pentium III. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, as many people here have pointed out that the number one issue with mobile computers is battery life, but the Pentium III and Crusoe were designed with different goals in mind.

    There is nothing that prevents Intel from designing a low power chip which uses fewer transitors than a PIII using the .13 micron process that the article mentions. They will have to sacrifice functionality and computational speed in order to do so, but Intel is in a position with some of the best hardware engineers and best fabrication plants in the world. They can design a simpler chip which uses less power if they want to. They have "Evil Empire" status with Microsoft, so many people criticize them here, but they, like Transmete employ smart people. (No, I don't work for them and I don't own Intel stock either).

    Why must this new processor be a response to Crusoe or the mobile Athelon? Certainly Intel is watching what its competitors are doing, but the Pentium III has been around for quite a while. I think it's perfectly reasonable that this is just the next generation chip from Intel. Just because they release a new chip, it doesn't mean they're playing a frantic game of catch up. I know we all like Linus here, but Transmeta hasn't even proven that it is a threat to Intel. They have a product, but who here owns one? Who makes CPUs for Palm Pilots? Are they also a threat to Intel?
  • Why is everybody so convinced that Intel will lose the battle for mobile devices? Intel has been winnng this war for a long time. They haven't done it with FUD like Microsoft, they've done it with great chips.

    Okay, so recently AMD came out with a faster chip. That's great and AMD has been rewarded [yahoo.com] for it. It's not accurate (as far as I know) to say that Intel has competed unfairly. Also, it's not safe to assume that will not be able to compete on their chip's merits.

    Let's just wait and see what they come up with. They have enough money to overcome any first mover advantage that Transmeta may have.

    One assumption is safe. The ultimate winner will be us, the consumers. :-)
  • no need to compete...
  • by Tim Behrendsen ( 89573 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @06:29AM (#1303244)

    That's just foolish. Intel constantly has chips in the pipeline. Does anyone seriously think that the Intel engineers were sitting with their feet up on their desks and then suddenly there was the Transmeta announcement? "Good God! We better start designing a new chip!"

    Not to mention that Intel constantly makes new roadmap announcements, so the FUD argument doesn't fly either.

    I still might point out that Transmeta has not even shipped a product yet, so I would argue against throwing FUD in glass houses.


    --

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2000 @06:33AM (#1303245)
    Does anyone here realize how long it takes to design a new architecture? How about 3-4 years? (How long did Transmeta take? Almost 5 years.) My point is that Willamette wasn't rushed out to compete with Athlon, since Willamette designs must have started before anyone had even heard of the K6-2. So now you think that Intel has mentioned a future laptop chip just because of Transmeta??? Did you think that the were going to use the mobile PIII forever? Willamette comes out in Q2 or Q3, so you would expect a mobile version a year later, just like with the P6 architecture. I haven't found except Slashdotters who think that Transmeta is a competitor to Intel's main processor business. It is a competitor to StrongArm and Motorola's embedded chips, period. By the way: anyone see the news about Timna? It is a very low power (no numbers were mentioned)completely integerated chip (sound, video, chipset, all integrated with the CPU) which Intel is supposed to announce next week. *That* might be a competitor to Transmeta, but its design must have started several years ago, too. Remember, everyone can see trends develop. Transmeta isn't some god-like company just because the Finn works there.
  • by Skinka ( 15767 ) on Saturday February 05, 2000 @06:36AM (#1303246)
    Will someone care to indulge me with details on why Intel is sticking with 32-bit chips while Motorola and friends churn out faster offerings? Is incompatibility with older software the cause of this?

    Haven't you ever heard of Merced/Itanium or McKinley? Intel is (with the help of HP) very hard trying to make a 64bit chip, but is not doing very well. Itanium is behind chedule, a lot. First Itanium silicons have been produced, and the rumour is that they suck badly. McKinley which is mainly HP effort *should* be coming along just fine, infact there is small chance thatit will be done before Itanium (originally it was cheduled 1.5 - 2 years after Itanium). Making a good 64bit CPU is not easy.

    And yes, incompatibility with x86 is a VERY large obstacle to overcome when moving to the IA64 architecture. If it wasn't, we'd all be using 64bit alphas/whatever right now. 32 bits will be enough for consumer market for many more years, and the Intels current x86 CPU is already starting to max out in terms of clockspeed (can't find a 800MHz PIII?). Remember that PII, Celeron and PIII are all based on the PPro, which came out way back in 1996. If Intel doesn't soon come upwith a new x86 core, they will totally lose the high-end x86 market to AMD. As for the low end market...64bit CPUs are friggin huge, and thus way too expensive to be fitted into a $1000 computer.

  • Dont ya know, when you get moderator status, it comes with free mind altering drugs.

    How else could moderators survive the petrified-portman-grits posts?

    I browse at -1, and read almost everything. Moderation is pretty irrelevant to me.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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