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Transmeta

Pix of The Crusoe Chips 98

A reader pointed us over to Transmetazone, a Transmeta Weblog, (Hey, why not!). They've got some cool pictures of the Crusoe chips - to scale. Take a gander at the TM5400 & the TM3120.
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Pix of The Crusoe Chips

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  • "Slightly difficult to make out are the 474 balls (small black dots) which enable its connections."

    So I guess you could say that the Crusoe processor has a lot of balls.

    (No, I'm not proud of this post. It's not my finest work. Post 2.0 will be better, I promise.)
  • I was getting 500 Server Errors all morning.
    Man, it can't be a pleasant morning around the old Slash compound today. :-)

    Production servers down. I think we've all been there. I wish slashdot kept a world accessable admin log. It would be an interesting read.

    Cheers.
  • by Foogle ( 35117 )
    On an related, but tangent note, has everyone noticed all the weblogs that are popping up? I for one think it's great. I mean, I like Slashdot just fine, but it's certainly not the end-all of discussion forums. And I think everyone can agree that smaller sites tend to be more meaningful, as they don't attract the hordes of trolls, yes?

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • all i have to say is sweet
  • by hodeleri ( 89647 ) <drbrain@segment7.net> on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @06:00AM (#1251842) Homepage Journal

    The push-pin is a much better investment in computing power than a crusoe. For the price of the Crusoe you can buy several hundred push-pins which can be used to poke or stab your way into getting someone ELSE to buy you the Crusoe. Or two.

  • by noblee ( 97688 )
    All I can say is wow. They are powerful, cool (tempurature) and look really nifty. And maybe they will kill Intel in the mobile market (which would make me very happy). Go Transmeta and make us proud!
  • by Leghk ( 30302 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @06:02AM (#1251844)
    On the website they said they didn't know what those four holes around the microprocessor were for. They're for mounting a heatsink. The slot one celerons use the same architecture for mounting their heatsinks.
  • it's freakin' small :P

  • If you define sexy as large, hard and long, I guess not.

  • On the website they said they didn't know what those four holes around the microprocessor were for. They're for mounting a heatsink. The slot one celerons use the same architecture for mounting their heatsinks.

    I believe that was a joke - aren't these chips supposed to run cool enough that they don't need a heatsink? :-)
  • So why exactly are they called "balls"? I don't remember reading anything about balls being used to connect the chips to things on the Transmeta site. Is it some kind of ball & socket joint, or just a way to create a smaller area to solder things to the chip?

    They've gotta be the smallest chips I've ever seen. If I ever buy a machine with a Crusoe in it, I'll be sure never to open the case for fear of the chip dropping out and being lost between the fibers of my carpet.... Yeah, I know the chip would be held in pretty well, but that would just be my luck.

    Eruantalon
  • With it being this small do you all think I could build a decent Beowulf in a cigar box?
  • Does anyone know if you can have two of these babies in a machine?
  • The Clueless weekly Award goes to the author of that page.

    So microprocessors are small. Why do you think they are called "micro"? Does he think an AMD K6-2 is big as a pick-up truck? Or Pentiuns are the size of a brick?

    Showing a processor without it's encapsulement (sp?) is a dirty marketing trick. Anyway, size does not matter.

  • A lot of hoopla seems to made of the (impressive seeming) tiny size of these dies. As I undersatnd it, these 1x1cm dies are the silicon hearts of the Crusoe chips, but a complete, socketed processor assembly can be much larger.

    I wonder how big the corresponding part is on a 486, Pentium, PII, UltraSPARC, Alpha, etc... That would give me a better framework to be impressed.

  • Looks can be deceiving, but it's cooler than PIII (temperature-wise :)
  • Is the "typical Win9x application" running on those blank-screen laptops "reboot.exe"?
    --
    Here is the result of your Slashdot Purity Test.
  • by reality-bytes ( 119275 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @06:15AM (#1251856) Homepage
    Well, the crusoe is indeed a very tiny looking chip in both of its forms. However, it should be remembered that these chips are only every this size as a bare unit that they are now; unless the unit is to be 'hard-wired' to the mobo (removing the possibility of future upgrade) the chip will have to be mounted on a 'plug'.

    It can be noticed that the PII/PIII and AMD K6 / Athlons all are mounted on 'plugs' which are then inserted into a socket on the mobo. Have you ever broken up an old CPU and discovered the size of the actual chip: typically no much more than 2x2cm. (I submit here that maybe the PIII 'plug' is a little on the gigantic side considering the chip within :)

    Not to worry tho: if what you are looking for is a hugely powerful miniture PDA, a hard-wired crusoe is definately a top option, as for a laptop or even desktop; a plug option has to be the way to promote sales with the option of upgradability
  • They've gotta be the smallest chips I've ever seen. If I ever buy a machine with a Crusoe in it, I'll be sure never to open the case for fear of the chip dropping out and being lost between the fibers of my carpet....


    That's not the size of the "chip", but the size of the die. The actual size of the part in your computer will be much larger, since that die will be inside a much larger ceramic package with a ball grid array on the bottom.

  • With it being this small do you all think I could build a decent Beowulf in a cigar box?

    Has anyone written a Linux kernel for Modulo-2? i.e. could this be done with some of the other EPROM type chips?

  • It doesn't seem likely that a dual configuration is possible. The northbridge of a machine's chipset would be responsible for allowing MPS. The Crusoe has a northbridge built into it, so unless they specifically designed it to allow multiple processors this would be unlikely. This may be something they decide to add in to a future Crusoe processor.
    -
  • So, mount a heat sink hey ...
    1) The versions shown were restricted in some way: when running flat out they need cooling?
    2) The motherboard is for a different processor: so the pinouts match?
    3) They put some holes in the board to give people with too much freetime something to think about.
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @06:30AM (#1251863) Homepage

    Not to sound sour but this Transmeta hype is beginning to get a bit galling, we've seen a lot of pictures of chips, we've seen suggestions of users, but in terms of cold hard reality its been a bit on the thin side. Every dribble from Transmeta is slapped onto Slashdot as if this is the defacto winner. Come on guys get a bit of perspective, they appear to be a great company with some great people, but many companies have failed even though their ideas seemed the coolest or the best.

    I wish Transmeta all the success they can earn, but as with the ignoring of the Windows2000 launch, this is exactly the sort of attitude that /.'s regularly condemn in other companies.
  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @06:36AM (#1251864) Homepage
    You have missed a very important thing. What are all these pins for? They are more than on a P6. And considering that the north bridge is integrated on chip they actually should be less. Somethings's strange here...
  • There was Pascal for the BBC micro that came on two 16K EPROMS {:-)
  • Were you under a DoS attack? Or were your servers down while you played Quake deathmatch? I couldn't get on Slashdot last night for hours.

    They were slashdotted by billions of geeks running Linux on their new Crusoe chips.
  • Whelp, I pulled out a 386 chip I had lying around (A80386DX-20) and removed the casing.
    It's 1.6 x 1.6 cm... and that came out in 1985.

    I'd imagine that they managed to make theirs smaller over the course of 15 years... :-)

  • but as with the ignoring of the Windows2000 launch,

    You're looking for SlashCash : News for Investors, Money matters. Or maybe ZDNet...

    Seriously if you didn't know Win2K was coming out, M$'s billion dollar promotions were totally wasted. I've seen enough about them, I want the new stuff, and 30-hour battery life laptops are stuff that mattes to me. I don't want /. covering stories that I'll get from about 10 commercials when I watch TV at home

    --
  • If the TMS5400 was to be used for laptops and the TMS3120 was to be used for handhelds... why is the TMS3120 smaller than the TMS5400? Does this make sense? Are they fabbed on the same process? If not, then OK, I understand, but if they are why would a better performing chip be smaller than a slower chip? I would think added complexity and increased performance would make a chip bigger. Either the sizes are wrong or they are fabbed at two separate feature sizes. (I dunno maybe .22 and .18, or .18 and .15?)

    Also if one is bigger than the other there will probably lower yield associated and thus higher cost. So a slower chip would be more expensive than a faster one? Again, it doesn't make sense.
    -
    -alex-
    lyx [lyx.org] me.
  • May I offer a little perspective here?

    Part of the reason we are so hyped about chips like the Athlon and Crusoe is that for years their have been essentially two partners in the near monopoly 'x86 game -- Microsoft and Intel.

    So along comes {AMD and Transmeta and Linux and Apache, etc.} who essentially shout "freedom for the masses" from the tyranny of the unholy duo's ability to control and profit from our needs for ever more useful and powerful technologies.

  • How could someone _not_ know what the holes are for? A heatsink of course. Maybe not for this particular design but for future ones using the same pcb.
  • Why in the world would they make such a beast for a palmtop CPU?


    You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.
  • Not a joke.. Cyrix did the same thing with the engineering samples of their 'fanless' MediaGX (Which ended up needing the fan anyway for production clock speeds).

    They're photos of the early samples, for which there is always the question 'How fast can we clock it with x amount of cooling?'.
  • You're looking for SlashCash : News for Investors, Money matters. Or maybe ZDNet...


    Damn, someone beat me to it ;-)



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  • (Anon L0ser said this too, but it bears repeating).

    The picture is of the die (the little black thing in the middle of the actual chip). The die on your old 486 is about the same size.

    Still, it makes for pretty imagery.
  • Remember that Transmeta stated clearly that this would not be the fastest or most powerful chip around. It is made specifically for mobile applications, not for servers or power-hungry geeks.

    I think the future Transmeta CPUs will allow some kind of multiprocessing - right now, it would serve no purpose but distracting the motherboard manufacturers from what they need to do - produce motherboards and chipsets for simple laptops.
  • Let me start by saying I'm in the market for a laptop. I don't need to get one right away but I'm looking. My needs are modest -- I use VIM [vim.org] as my web page editor, so any platform will do (except wince).

    function whine (excitement, disappointment, opinion) {

    Ever since January 19th I've been waiting for a Crusoe-based product to be even announced as becoming available. And waiting.

    Then there's this post on Slashdot which is truly disappointing: it's a rehash of Transmeta's site that is funded by the silly "find the ball under the cup" ads. Maybe it also has the "punch the &*^@%# monkey" ads, but I didn't wait around for them. No products, just bare chips. (Prototypes and mockup machines don't count since they're not for sale.)

    *Sigh*

    I'm starting to believe Transmeta didn't wait too long to announce its intentions (as some said initially) but rather announced way too soon.

    • Mobile Linux isn't ready
    • No products on the way to market

    It's not that I wasn't impressed by the technology but it's that I want to buy a product.

    } // end of function whine()

    :-only kona in my cup-:

    :-robert taylor-:
  • They are actually balls o' solder. Unlike the intel or AMD chips which have gold connects punched into them at the front end (you've seen the robot do it on PBS or whateva). IBM developed, and patented, the balls technique that the two transmeta chips are using.

    They have a little grid that lines up with the Copper (maybe, but more likely aluminum) connects on the chip, and kind of floats on a pool of solder. Then they stick the chip onto the grid, and through the natural adhesion of the solder, the little balls come up with the chip when they remove it.

    Rather ingenious, and one step ahead of the other big chip makers. They can now use dialectrics with lower strength, because they don't have to stand up to being punched.

    I know this, cause I was up at IBMs T.J. Watson research facility yesterday for a class. Crusoe will obviously have balls to spare, and they won't be schweaty.

  • The Win 2000 release is and was much more important to the average slashdotter than anything that Transmeta's done. Think about it. Dispite all the posturing, most slashdot readers use Windows. Most of the sysadmins here probably have to use WinNT and WILL be upgrading to Win2000 now that it's arrived.

    It's entirely relevant to this discussion. If slashdot's going to report on every twist and turn of the anti-trust case, every bump in Red Hat stock, and anything to do with Transmeta, I personally think that they should have reported on the Win 2K release.

    Like it or not, Windows 2000 serves as the new measuring stick that people will use when comparing Linux to other OSes.
  • Am I the only hardware nerd on slashdot?? once these puppies are soldered on to the PCB they are one tough deal to remove. So has anyone developed an inexpensive technique (i.g. metcal) for removing them (even if there are solder bridges underneath) without damaging the board or chip? Without putting them through an SMT oven again and removing there?
  • rats - too many layers of metal to see what's really on there :-) but that's life for modern chips - Now days with 4-5 layers of metal we put the power on the top thicker layers which occludes the core that we're used to seeing in pretty die photos. This also makes microprobing during debug a royal pain :-(
  • I hate it when people do not write proper scripts... http://www.transmetazone.com/search .cfm?foo=bar
    Hmm... did you notify the system admins there?
    Look at all that info... geez... use a *real* server dammit, instead of that ColdFusion/NT crap.
    You have something against ColdFusion? I agree that PHP and mod_perl are better (IMHO), but in those languages you can write bad scripts too...

  • Aha! I'd thought it was something similar to this. That makes for some very interesting technology. So if the solder-balls come up with the chip, does this mean you can't switch processors easily? Or am I misunderstanding. I'd imagine it would be just as easy as doing so on a PIII, for instance.

    That is, could you just take out the whole processor and swap it for another? I'd assume the solder-balls wouldn't be connected to the chip casing? Or would they? I can't find anything about this on the site, but it wouldn't make much sense otherwise...

    Eruantalon
  • I half expected on a page reload to see an animated GIF of some pr0n star's head bobbing up and down on a fat chubby... Click HERE for the hotest LINUX IPO Pr0n!

    *sigh*
  • IMHO, one of the more interesting thing about Linux, Transmeta, AMD, etc. is how they are competing against the the Wintel duopoly when so many others have failed.

    Linux--open source development=better infrastructure software=alternative to Win32. Turns out everyone who tried to SELL something to compete against MS took the wrong approach.

    Transmeta/AMD--use the IA-32 instruction set, but change the rules of the game slightly so that Intel (for the first time in a long time) finds itself responding to the initiatives of its competitors.

    I make no predictions as to who is going to win, but I certainly enjoy watching it all.
  • Actually, to continue the off-topicness, I was thinking about microbeowulf rigs not too long ago. Consider Advantech's PCM-5820 [advantech.com]. I know, it's a Cyrix chip, but you can get a whole board with everything on it, including video (not that you need video) and Ethernet, and it's teensy. "(145 x 102 mm) fits in the space of a 3 1/2" HDD"

    So you take a generic rackmount box, and then you rig up a cabling solution to put these suckers on a cardedge with the ground pin a little longer (Hotswap, baby) and isolate noisy signals with grounds in between them and everything else. Ground those grounds on ONE END. Voila! You should be able to fit at least twelve of these in a 4U rackmount case, along with a power supply. You can netboot them, or use 2.5" or 3.5" IDE disks.

    Just don't forget to put a BIG-ASS-FAN in there. These babies probably cost $500/each before ram (I know the Socket 7 version of this thing is $400 with no chip) and it would be a shame to crispy fry them.

  • ...but it appears that we all know about this Windows 2000 thing already. So why bother?
  • That is, could you just take out the whole processor and swap it for another? I'd assume the solder-balls wouldn't be connected to the chip casing? Or would they? I can't find anything about this on the site, but it wouldn't make much sense otherwise...

    Well... uh, no, I guess. The solder-balls are essentially the conduits by which the cute little chip gets its power from the pins that come out of the bottom of the chip. One would probably want to change the outer casing (the "package") if one was to change the chip inside. But who knows...

  • (for the CB4 lovers)

    Actually there's two sets of balls in question. (btw -many chips are that well equipped)

    The first is the solder bumps (~200um diameter) that connect the chip to the carrier. As was previously mentioned, this technique was developed at IBM probably in the 60's/70's but wirebonding (~30um gold wire stiched a la sewing machine) sufficed until signal requirement growth outpaced the density that could be packed on the edge of the chip. This "flip chip" or C4 (Controlled-Collapse-Chip-Connect -trademark etc IBM) spreads the I/O + power connections out over the entire surface of the chip.
    FYI- there are two primary methods of applying these solder bumps, neither of which involve liquid solder. One is to place the whole wafer in a liquid bath and plate solder onto the conductive spots on the chip. The second is to put the wafer in a vacuum chamber with a mask on it leaving holes where solder is to be applied. Then the metals to be deposited are evaporated, filling the holes in the mask, which is eventually removed.

    The second set of balls are the ~1mm dia. solder balls that attach the carrier to the circuit board. These are actually pre-formed (like BB's) and are sifted into the correct spots in a tray before being melted to the carrier.

    naturally you might ask- why not just mount the chip straight to the board? Well, there's many reasons, but the main two are: 1-board building is cheapest at ~1mm dimensions, and 2-the thermal expansion of the chip/board are quite mismatched, which eventually causes something to flex and break. (the carrier mitigates this somewhat)

  • by Legerdemain ( 15898 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:32AM (#1251896)
    I know that money isn't a big topic around here, but everyone wants to know when Transmeta is going to IPO.. I was looking at the names of the top people in Transmeta and the Chief Financial Officer would be the most likely to have the details and plans for an IPO. So I decided to research the dude...

    "Dan E. Steimle"

    Went to google and the first thing that came up was a lawsuit against the guy buy stock holders of a company called "Hybrid Networks". They are charging him and others with Securities fraud. The defendents demanded a trial by jury.

    This makes me nervous about Transmeta. Why would Dave Ditzel hire someone like this (with a grey background, and possibly pending litigation for SEC fraud)????

    Scarry... Anyone have any thoughts?
  • you'd have trouble putting that label on Intel, the mother of the Linux community's cheap, powerful commodity hardware.

    True to a very very small extent. Can't find type that small. Picture this: way back at about the time that Windows 9x first appeared, what if Intel had basically said, "we won't sell CPU's to PC manufacturers unless they agree to give users the opportunity to choose which OS will be installed (Options would have included WinNT, Dos, BSD's, Linux, Solaris, SCO-Unix, and Beos). How long do you think Microsoft's monopoly would have lasted if Dell, Gateway, Micron, Compaq, Toshiba, and IBM et. al were contractually obligated to require purchasers a choice?

    It was only after M$ started trying to twist the screws on Intel that Intel basically told them to f--- off, and started supporting other platforms in a big way.

  • Hold on a second... here's a serious question:

    How long did it take between Palm having the Color enabled OS, all the off-the-shelf components selected, and the emulator written before they finally actually released the Palm IIIc?

    In that case, they were done, or working with already in-use components, and they were also up against a competitor that had a "feature"[1] that they lacked, and thus needed go get that advantage.

    Hardware production takes time. You usually have to wait a minimum of six months before you can actually buy the stuff shown off from the assembly lines from the Taiwanese trade shows.

    I use Windows because a multi-head display is a "killer-app" for me. I've been waiting a year for XFree86 4.0. I'm patient... I haven't started loudly proclaiming that they are vaporware: I know that the delays occur, and when it ships, I'll buy it.

    [1] Incidently, is it just me, or do others think that color is *not* worth having battery life go from "2-3 months" to "2 weeks"? Especially when I use my Palm so heavily I run through batteries every 3 weeks anyway?

    --
    Evan

  • I think one of the major aims of the Curuso is embedded devices. Therefor, you have no need to upgrade the processor. Thus, it will be mounted directly to the PCB.

    Later...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That has to be the largest thumbtack/pushpin I have ever seen! This company has something with there processor, but they should manufacture those 7 inch pushpins as novelties.
  • by Skinka ( 15767 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:44AM (#1251901)
    Have you ever broken up an old CPU and discovered the size of the actual chip: typically no much more than 2x2cm.

    Not much more than 2x2cm? A +400mm&#178 die would be nearly impossible to manufacture (suppose it is possible but the yields would be extremely low), typically die sizes are in the range of 100-250mm&#178.

  • BGAs are pretty much permanent installations. I believe that there are clamshell sockets available for this kind of thing though. Bigger and bulkier, but you can just open up the socket and replace the chip if you need to.

    Overall, BGAs aren't all they are cracked up to be. The production processes are very finicky. It's hard to get all the solder balls to form acceptable welds, and the welds aren't particularly durable in any case. Flexing a board with a BGA chip can very easily loosen or break a solder connection, causing intermittent or permanent failure, respectively.

  • Forgot the url... (my bad, sorry)

    http://securities.stanford.edu/complaints/hybr/9 8cv20888/001.html
  • Related to all of this: does anyone have any idea when the source to the new "Mobile Linux" code that Linux developed will be released?

    Because its based on Linux, the GPL says they do need to release it right?


    Hotnutz.com [hotnutz.com] - Funny
  • I use Windows because a multi-head display is a "killer-app" for me. I've been waiting a year for XFree86 4.0.

    Snag yesterday's snapshot. I've been using XF86 snaps since 3.9.15, and this one resolves each and every issue I had with dual-head in the earlier releases. I'm currently running dual Matrox G200SD/16M, but I have used heterogeneous card setups like the S3 ViRGE PCI/AGP anything combo so common under Win98/NT.

    Oh, yeah.. Snag the source if you have enough bandwidth.. You'll only have to 'patch'n'go' when 4.0 rolls out in a month or two.
  • Amen,
    On the other hand, considering how long the batteries on WinCE devices last, if that was the only thing holding you to the platform, the PalmIIIc's battery life should seem like nirvana :)
  • Or Pentiuns are the size of a brick?

    Um, looking under the hood of my desktop, I can see that my Pentium II is just about the size of a brick, give or take a few inches around, when its heatsink is on. Of course it's all casing, but nonetheless, it is a brick.

    Kagenin
  • If the TMS5400 was to be used for laptops and the TMS3120 was to be used for handhelds... why is the TMS3120 smaller than the TMS5400?

    Don't you mean, why is the 3120 larger than the 5400? I was a little suprised there myself.

    -Julius X
  • When do we get to play with these?

    All this does is make me more impatient. *And* I'll have to decide between this and an Athlon. Aww man!

    (If Tom's Hardwre manages to get a multiprocessor Crusoe system up and running, I might be stupid enough to try it too, for better price / performance. Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to build that Beowulf cluster instead, eh, guys? ;)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • On my browser, at least, the image of the test rig was not there. Not that this is truly important or anything, but the image appears to be at:
    http://www.pcstats.com/articleima ges/test_rig.jpg [pcstats.com]

    -herd

    Thank you sir, may I have another?
  • Im not too sure we're on the same wavelength; I thought the Pentium class CPU's were 370smm: Isn't it easier to produce larger dies than smaller?

    I need coffee
  • OK, so the 700MHz version is less than a centimeter squared? Sweet (gargling due to drool here). Think about this, the chip is ultra cheap and ultra small, so why not do a Crusoe-based SMP system? C'mon, you know you want a PDA with quad processors. What about a laptop with 16?

    If you're reading TM, I encourage you to develop SMP-enabled crusoes. There may be a bigger market for them than you think.
  • Slashcash.COM? Did I miss something? For the REAL satirist, slashcash.ORG is still available as I post this...
  • It says those chips are to scale.

    Would that be to scale on my 14 inch monitor at 1024x768 or my full wall projector at 640x480?

  • I know three people called 'Stephen Cope', but when you search for that on Google, the highest results are some guru fella or a genealogy from 1821.

    None of them are gurus and they are all alive now, so are you sure you don't have a duplicate Dan Steimle?

  • > To put the size of the die into a more
    > understandable relationship, consider the
    > potential computing power in the TM5400, with
    > that of a push pin.

    Not necessarily... New pushpin technologies, including a new ergonomic design for the plastic "pusher", as well as a revolutionary Cork Board Insertion Array (CBIA) design, may give pushpins the "edge" in bulletin board applications for many more years. Intel's rumored 2.3 Gigahertz pushpin is slated for manufacture in spring 2001, and AMD is close behind, with a proposed pin that uses less than 2 milliwatts. Both of these are expected to be ready for inclusion in imbedded devices, such as corkboards attached to whiteboards.
  • interesting material, but why do html authors insist on doing stupid stuff like font size=2? I had to bump up the font size 8 times to read the fine print on that page. I'm really getting sick of that kinda bad design.
  • Yeah, and we all knew about the transmeta release, but we got several news articles on it when it happened.

    most people also don't care about a kernel 2.3.14159 release on the same day as windows 2000. which is more important? /. isn't just about notifying people "look here's somethingyou didn't know", it's about discussing about it too.
  • Just don't forget to put a BIG-ASS-FAN in there. These babies probably cost $500/each before ram (I know the Socket 7 version of this thing is $400 with no chip) and it would be a shame to crispy fry them.

    Hmm... that would probably be the main motivation for using Crusoe chips, I think ;)

  • I thought the Pentium class CPU's were 370smm: Isn't it easier to produce larger dies than smaller?

    It's easier to design a chip if you don't have to care about the die size, but larger dies are harder to make. If a 100mm chip has 95% yields (meaning that 5 out of 100 chips is broken), a 400mm chip would have 80% yield (I a perfect world that is, IRL it would be less than 80%). Larger die also means less chips per wafer, which in turn means higher cost.

    I think the first Pentiums (60 & 66MHz) were about 370mm using a 0.8 micron process (Intel soon moved to smaller processes). If I'm not mistaken, 0.18u Athlons have a die size of only 104mm.

  • OIC, who would have that miniturisation would be the easier route? :)

    Thankyou, I will go home tonight wiser than I came here.....
  • I should have been a little clearer. With the small size of the chip (yeah, they showed it without the heatsink), and the small power consumption, it would have many advantages to running multiple Intels.
  • I would hate to get it wrong, but yes... I am fairly confident... You decide...

    Here is the url for where I got the guys name and his involvement with transmeta...

    http://www.transmetazone.com/articleview.cfm?art icleID=135

    On this page it says Dan E. Steimle (The current Transmeta CFO) was the CFO for Hybrid Networks.

    The lawsuit is against Hybrid Networks and the CFO of the company.

    Here is the URL for the lawsuit (again):
    http://securities.stanford.edu/complaints/hybr/9 8cv20888/001.html
  • Looks like the same guy. You are right. Unless there are two people of that exact same name who worked at Hybrid Networks.
  • When a link for "Pix of The Crusoe Chips" showed up in my email I thought it might be the mispelling of chocolate chips--the one that seems to be getting people into trouble [slashdot.org]... and I didn't want to see those pix!
  • IBM has a plant Bromont Quebec(an hour or so from Montreal, I think they make some PPCs there), So it may have been produced there. I remember reading something about IBM being partners with TM, so it would make sense.
  • Hey, for anyone still reading this thread, I have 2 questions: Will Crusoe by SMP capable? and How does the chip react to software cooling programs like RAIN or CpuIDLE?

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