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New Power-Sipping Chips From Intel 115

bradlauster writes: "As Reported on Intel will be announcing new mobile processors on Monday. One is claimed to run at 500 MHz and consume less than two watts! How's that compare to Transmeta's Crusoe ... and has anyone used one?" yomahz points to additional coverage at Isn't it nice what price/performance battles can do?
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New Power-Sipping Intel Chips From Intel

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  • Lad, you assume that everyone does mundane things with their computers. We do leave our computers online 24/7 (most of the time), but they are doing staunch processing. If we switched over to "low power consumption" chips, it'd take 10 times as long to process the information. Which would be pretty useless, don't you think? Yes, the Alphas we use for our extensive analysis could cook an egg, but putting a low power chip in them to replace them wouldn't work. It'd take ages to get comparable results.

    Lan parties and officework I can't really argue with, but looking at Windows 2000's resource swallowing, perhaps it'd be wiser not to skimp on powerful hardware for the sake of lower power consumption, unless you'd like to wait 20 minutes for Office 2002 or Quake XI to load up.

  • I think the term you're looking for is CAT-5 (RJ45 is the connector, not the cable), but anyway... Who said anything about using cables? I'm planning on hooking my laptop up with 802.11b wireless (11Mbps).
  • That's interesting. And you haven't had any stability problems?

    I haven't had any problems. The case has a piece of plastic inside that directs some of the case's air flow over the heat sink.

    By the way, does anyone know if there is any point in putting silicon paste between the chip and heat sink?

    Yes, to fill any gaps between the heat sink and the chip. Air is a terrible conductor of heat. The ideal situation is to use just enough heat sink compound to displace the air from the gaps. Any more than that and you decrease the efficiency of the heat transfer.

  • > it's 22% faster, not 22x faster.

    He probably said that to cool down the excitement in within the Amiga community. Other communities won`t take the real figures seriously and ignore it as vaporware.

    It is maybe better for them to wait untill the real speed tests and official announcements start bombing the news. As this would make a bigger impact.
  • Sure, it'll wear down the battery, but I'm not talkin' about watching freakin' Shoah on your plane trip here. ;-) We're just on a flight of a few hours, and you can just plug your laptop in and recharge the battery later on the ground.

    As for the other thing, I've got a lot of stuff installed, so I'm reluctant using up even more space just to store things I don't need at the moment (I always travel with a 24-CD carrying case, and it's a little overstuffed right now, including one enormous DVD with software and docs on it), plus when I do pick and choose stuff to store from a CD, the inevitable always happens, where I end up wanting something that I didn't bring. :) Oh well, I don't think we're gonna come to agreement on this (not that that's any big deal), so I'll prolly just bid you adieu and leave it at that, 'cause I should be heading out soon anyway.


  • by Mr Z ( 6791 )
    ...and the wireless has a "low power" mode that seems to lower the total speed & latency of the connection.

    Just to clarify here, I think you meant increase the latency. Alot of people would kill for lower latency even if it meant lower speed. Quake anyone?

  • Or the orginal 22x faster is yet another's SNAFUs. I really doubt that Gary Peake would give out incorrect information just to calm down the Amiga community. That's not Gary's style and I personally trust Gary not spread such disinformation for any reason.
  • err.. make that "the 500MHz Celerons are fixed speed, whereas the 600MHz and faster Celerons and Pentium III's are variable speed."

  • by cvincent ( 99204 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @05:43AM (#996650) Homepage
    Yes, heat is one thing in overclocking but ever wonder why some guy can crank is 500E to 750 with the OEM heat sink/fan combo and the guy next to him has to use a peltier? You have to have good quality silicon to get to higher speeds and thats why dedicated overclockers will look for a certain week manufactured intel chip like...week 28 from ireland or something. Its because they have finer silicon. If intel makes these things operate on low power...they also have to have the quality silicon it takes to get higher speeds. If they use a .18 die process then might look good but to keep the price down to compete it will probably be a .25 or .22 micron. Less power doesnt also mean less heat...sure there is a direct link between more wattage and more heat but this thing may run so hot its not even funny even tho its only at 2 watts! We will see I guess....
  • Personally I like having the fans on, because I don't have to buy a white-noise generator. :)

  • <I>In a larger company where people leave their computers running all day, and all night</I>

    what about a poor college student that leaves his computers running all day doing RC5 (or that SETI stuff ;))? This would save us mucho money :)
  • It won't be the first time upper management has FUBARed a number. Hell, look at Petro's gaffs over the years.
  • A computer generates over 2000 times as much heat as a human being? Rubbish!

    I think you're confusing your units; there's more than one kind of calorie. Check your numbers for common sense, before making such an absurd statement.
  • Well, it "seems" pretty straight-forward.

    The 500 MHz is a single-speed chip; therefore it cannot drop it's speed to conserve power.

    The 600 MHz has the SpeedStep technology, letting it drop its power consumption for an "average" of 1 Watt.
  • tweakfiles [] has a lot of utilities for messing with your computer. My friend runs a dual Celeron BP6 system and CPUidle does wonders for lowering the temperature of the chips. Check under Processor for things like Rain and Cpuidle to get that extra oomph of performance.
  • This is not the issue. Best Buy/CompUSA/etc account for little volume in computer sales. As well, they are low margin because consumers want a cdrom drive and a 56k modem and they want it cheap.

    Businesses comprise the bulk of sales. How many businesses have AMD chips in their computers? Very few.

    Business buyers don't follow Tom's Hardware and Anandtech to see how compatible and how fast AMD is vs. Intel. They don't care. They'd be even less inclined to get an AMD chip if they did read the reviews. Some unheard of chipset that has compatibility problems with various cards.

    In the business world, AMD is doing as well against Intel as Linux is against Windows. AMD was smart to target gamers and enthusiasts. Transmeta may as well be BeOS. Yeah, I'll buy a webpad, but my company won't buy one for everyone.
  • Obviously, the less-than-1-watt figure [] was quoted while running the "Blank" screen saver or something. :-)

    Average power [] represents the power consumed by the processor while running typical office applications by an average user. Average power is measured by running industry standard benchmarks, such as Ziff-Davis* BatteryMark* 3.0 or BAPCo * SYSmark* 98 for Battery Life.
  • I dunno for sure but when I originaly read about the transmeta's cruso I got the picture that it was 75% software. Now I haven't heard anyting about the new intel version of this but so far I haven't heard anything like that. also I when cruso was anounced they were taling about how much power was being used while they were playing Q3(I think it was Q3) and running a dvd player. Well it still wasn't using much over 1 watt as far as I could see. Anouther thing is that this new intel chip is suppose to be 500 Mhz aposed to transmeta's cruso being 700-750 Mhz (not sure wich) but unless there clocked at alot slower speed I think I would perfer the Transmeta's Crueso. On the other hand what takes the pentium 1 clock cycle could take the crusoe 5 clock cycles due to the code morphing. so I guess I'll just have to see
  • Fuck that. You don't have anything to gain. Without competition you've got jack and shit. You wanting one monopoly over another is just showing your lack of understanding of economics. How Palm and WinCE got on your little list confounds me, Palm had a veritable monopoly on the handheld market due to the penetration of the Palm series organizers. WinCE has had a marginal share at best. Do you really think your end products are going to be cheaper because one company dominates the market rather than another? Corporations exist for the sole purpose of making a handful of people alot of money. If Intel ceased to exist AMD would pull the same strong arm tactics that Intel does right now. Most systems are comparable in price and performance anyways only gaining marginally over competitors for short times. Your whole argument is merely brand loyalty.
  • I don't work for Intel. I do however think people are fucking idiots for believing marketing department hype. If you're going to make statements about Brand X being better than Brand Y then you really ought to have some sort of viable litmus test to really prove that. Otherwise you're just another statistic believing the shit released from marketoids.
  • Does anyone know what the typical power budget is for a laptop computer? How much power is used by the CPU, hard drive, DRAM and display?

    I would love to have a laptop computer that could run for days on a battery charge, even if the CPU was slow by desktop standards.

  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @03:15AM (#996663) Homepage
    I think there was a very important statement in the story. Something along the lines of 'Intel just has to get close. If I'm most MIS guys, I'll choose Intel over Transmeta.'

    That's very true. Even products coming from the likes of IBM and Gateway, most corporations (read: where the bulk of sales are) will choose a product with an Intel chip. Unlike Linux vs Windows, it is harder for an IT guy to see the merits of a Transmeta chip over an Intel chip. This will be a hard battle for Transmeta to fight.
  • Actually that quote was from and not from the newsgroups, it is either a typo Or maybe he is ill informed, which seems unlikely as an important Amiga employee.

    Trust me!!!! I have seen it!
  • Actually, that's less than 2 watts, and it doesn't use Intel's SpeedStepping tech. The one that uses SpeedStepping reportedly consumes an average of less than one watt. It should also be a better performer than the Crusoe, no matter how inelegant some people think it is -- personally, I just prefer something that gets the job done better. Not trying to start a flame war or anything, but it sounds like you were sipping a bit too heavily from the Transmeta/Linus kool-aid when you made your post -- c'mon now, preserving CPU lifetime?? ;-)


  • I remember my old cyrix 166 CPU had a cool feature, by adding a small patch to the kernel, you could enable "low power on HLT" since linux's kernel actualy properly uses multi-tasking features of the i386, my "wow that's hot" single voltage cyrix could run at room temperature.. but if i were to do something like play quake, or run rc5.. the CPU would ramp up to full temp.

  • Funny, every business-class flight I've been on has had personal video screens showing at least three movie channels (there's usually at least one that you can stand to watch), and it doesn't require me to drag along a 3-kilo laptop with all those DVDs that I've already watched at least once.
  • You're not kidding -- 600 employees x 250 watts x 8 hours ~= $78 per day or $20,000 per work year. That doesn't count printer RIPs.

    I'm feeling this at home. I leave my workstation and my DSL border machine on all the time and it comes to $15 per month. I have an old server from work with 20 GB of internal storage that I can't bring myself to use because it draws about *400* watts on its own or about $18 per month for electricity.

    I missed out on some good freebies from work when I lived in an apartment but now that I own a house the damn electrical costs of a computer habit are almost more than I can stand. Maybe its time to investigate a UPS / solar cell combination to at least minimize my grid usage.
  • tml

    crusoe consumes 1watt at full usage and 8mw when idle. Intel's will consume 2 watts ALWAYS which is MORE than twice crusoe.

  • Mobile computers have one feature in common with iMac's : they haven't any fan

    Heh. The Sony Z505JS (portable) has a fairly loud fan. Unless I go to the power profile thingie and ask for low fan noise (which seems to also get variable CPU speed) it is louder then my home machine. Of corse my home machine uses the all important PC Power and Cooling Silencer fan (I think it is a scroll cage fan). The CPU fan makes modestly more noise (with the case closed) then the real fan. Of corse disk chatter is louder then both I have to make sure the MP3 player never stops :-)

    Still it goes to show you can make quietish desktop machines with fans, and loud notebooks too.

    It would be nice if there were enough demand for quiet fans on other parts of the machine too, if the CPU fan had a scroll cage I would be even happyer. Regretably scroll cage fans appear to be expensave. I don't know if that's because they are harder to make, or just in way less demand, so less compatation, so higer price, so less demand....

    If you want a quiet machine, I urge you to check out the PC Power & Cooling [] fans (the silencer ones, not the turbo cool), and if anyone knows where to get quiet stuff cheaper, drop me a line.

  • BJH wrote:
    WHY does anyone need a CD-ROM (or DVD, for that matter) in a laptop? My ideal laptop has a 1024x768 LCD of around 12 inches, a keyboard, a low-consumption HD of 10GB or so, 128MB of RAM, two PCMCIA slots and that's about it. Anything else I can get over the network, thanks (or attach externally - e.g. the floppy).

    If a LAN will accessable, why worry about power? How often do you encounter a LAN jack that is more than the length of a small extension cord away from an outlet? And why bother with a hard drive, if you can get everything over the network? (At least, you wouldn't need a 10GB one -- just enough to boot from ... )

    The description of your ideal laptop sounds fine for certain people -- especially if it were wireless, for roaming office access -- but there's an awful lot of information you'd be cutting yourself out of in exchange for the gain / loss of a few ounces. As to whether a DVD player is worth it vs. a possible 1/3 acceptibility rate for airplane movies, well ... if you're *already* carrying a notebook, the one with a DVD player will let you decide when to pause for a restroom break, when to sleep to pre-empt jetlag, and whether you want to see it subitled in Cantonese. It will also let you listen to CDs (if you want) or play movies at your destination, or while trapped in the airport because it snowed, rained or was sunny. ;)

    If you give a lot of complex presentations at remote offices (for instance), you might keep them on removeable media so a) you have a backup that won't be ruined if your hard drive gets dropped b) you have that space on your hard drive c) you can duplicate it easily if that makes sense.

    If the CD (or DVD) drive is bootable, as most are these days, it also means you can take a recovery disk along. Seems smart.

    Everyone has different motives, preferences and priorities. No accounting for taste, etc, but ... why rule out what other people want to do? :)

  • Actually, that's less than 2 watts

    I don't know the detailed specs of Intel's chip, but I do know market spin when I see it:

    Intel's new chips for the ultraportable market will include a fixed-speed 500-MHz Celeron, whose 1.2-volt operating voltage will reduce power under 2 watts

    It doesn't say power consumption will *stay* under 2 watts.
  • kinda makes you wonder what assumptions did they make to restrict power input?

    ...Kinda makes me wonder what assumptions you're making about Intel's new chips...

    In all seriousness, in the -heat- dissipation race, I think AMD wins... The Athlon dissipates what, nearly TWICE the heat as a Coppermine P3? But even farther ahead than that, the Voodoo3-3000 in my box is what you can feel from the next room over...
  • Just read Tao`s own PDF stuff!! Gary is a good guy but made a mistake somehow.
  • This is where marketing comes in. Create an image of high quality and top notch support so the suits feel like their job won't be at risk if they buy 1000 Transmeta powered laptops rather than Intel powered. Make the price and speed comparable and beat them good with power consumption. This gives them a hook. Then create a bonus program for sales agents (often called spiffs) at various big suppliers so that they make more for pushing Transmeta powered products. AMD has used this to great success as have almost every other computer product that lives past it's first year or two. It doesn't matter which is better, it matters which the customer wants to buy and that depends on which the sales person pitches as being the best. Competition is great for consumers, it brings new choices and better quality and price. It is good for sales people because it lines their pockets. :)

    As someone who has done a lot of sales jobs to fund my own programming/engineering projects. :)
  • I doubt anyone thinks that the machines you are refering to are normal desktop machines--the above referenced processor would be for the more average person, needing web and wordprocessing applications--it is a bit silly of you to think that everyone in the world is doing high power work on their little desktop machines
  • Transmeta is forcing Intel to work on the power consumption issues they would have otherwise ignored. AMD is forcing them to keep making their CPU's faster. A few years ago I would have said Intel was a monopoly but in these recent years they are having to work to stay king of the mountain and this is good. We get better products at a better price. Ten years ago the concept of a 1Ghz CPU that ran at 2 watts of power would have seemed impossible but now it's becoming a reality. Now if we could just find a CPU-maker who would figure out a way to make the darned things much cheaper we could really start a performance/price war. :)
  • I've removed the powersupply fan and CPU fan from my case. This normally would be a disaster, but that I also moved the powersupply outside the case, leaving a gaping hole where it used to be.

    So far, things are happy. It's only a K6-2 OC'd by 50MHz, mind you, with no big 3D cards.

  • The CPU fan makes modestly more noise (with the case closed) then the real fan. Of corse disk chatter is louder then both I have to make sure the MP3 player never stops :-)

    So, what you need is a noise-cancelling MP-3 player which, in a preliminary setup steo, records the fan noise your computer makes, then subtracts that noise from whatever music it plays, thus cancelling the noise of your machine. In addition, it could also check disk activity and subtract the disk chatter...

    For that matter, why don't MP-3 players come with an automatic heuristic equalizer, in which the MP-3 player sends a variable-frequency signal through the speakers, and with a microphone, measures the speaker's frequency response, then adjust the equalizer controls accordingly? I recall, some 20 years ago seeing an ANALOG graphic equalizer that did just that...

    Here's my mirror []

  • Will Intel learn? Probably not, but the indications are that Intel leaders have seen the threat posed by Transmeta, and diarrhea is the result. Competition benefits the consumer, and consumer benefit has been a secondary consideration at Intel for a long time. Their attitude seems similar to some fellow that packages and sells licenses with software in Redmond, WA.

  • Don't be disingenuous. You know perfectly well that I was referring to the total weight of the laptop as being three kilos, not the weight of the DVD drive.
    As for the DVD stuff, maybe you have different priorities than I do - on a business trip, I just want to cut down the stuff I have to lug around to the bare minimum.
  • MP3? just hadda gecha buzzword quotient, eh?

    "variable-frequency signal through the speakers, and with a microphone, measures the speaker's frequency response,"

    Got a audio catalog here, let's just look... Here's a Shure SM7A that claims 40Hz to 16KHz response, only $500+; of course if you want 20 to 20K that's gonna cost a bit more... Here's a Neumann M147 unit, only about $2,000.

    The point is, just because it was done 20 years ago doesn't mean it's not still a stupid idea today.

    ...I feel better now.

  • by BJH ( 11355 )

    The articles don't touch on it, but I'm just wondering if the power consumption they're quoting is when the chip is running at full speed, or if it's what it pulls running at a lower clock speed (most of Intel's portable chips these days switch to lower MHz when they have to save power).
  • Hate to ask, but... does being expensive make it stupid?

    And just because the dedicated hardware is expensive, does that necessarily rule out putting together something with similar characteristics out of general-purpose [computer] equipment?
  • by mrbinary ( 175585 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @01:33AM (#996685)
    Actually (to respond to my own post - does that lower your karma or get you some bad slash mojo of some sort?) the article on CNET is better, they indicate that the AVERAGE consumption is less than X watts of power. My question is: why does the 600Mhz PIII consume less than one watt (on average) yet the Celeron 500Mhz consumes less than two watts? Is this part of Intel's plans to push consumers towards buying the more expensive PIII (or am I just being paranoid at the end of a long night shift?)?
  • Funny you should say that... My company just bought a boatload of AMD-based machines. And it's not as if they were bargain-hunting -- I've got a beautiful ViewSonic G810 21" monitor in front of me and 20GB of personal HD space (forgetting the NFS-mounted stuff) to demonstrate as much.

    For that matter, my last company used AMD stuff too. But then, they sold AMD-based computers (among others), so they're a special case.

    The place I was consulting for before then bought whatever the person responsible for the machine wanted; there was a pretty good percentage of AMDs there, too.

    I realize that this is, as anecdotal evidence, quite weak; nonetheless, in my experience AMD has penetrated into business a fair bit better than many may think.
  • I was wondering the same thing, I'm betting that the lower consumption is at lower clock speeds, this being an Intel press release. They're not the worst company for vague press releases, but they sure ain't the best either. I'm no Electrical Engineer but from what I understand TransMeta's solution seems to have an edge. Anybody know if it's possible to combine both methods of reducing power consumption? Still as someone else noted, with decent competition it's the consumer that ends up with a better product in the end.
  • by ZanshinWedge ( 193324 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @01:37AM (#996688)
    ugh, it's distressing how often I am reminded of the usefullness of setting my threshold at 2.

    Anywho, the reported 2 watts of power is most likely the minimum amount of power the cpu can consume (following the long tradition of hardware and software manufacturers reporting numbers that are theoretically important but have little bearing on average performance/usage and are often misleading). The Intel (and as far as I know, just about every other CPU manufacturer other than Transmeta) power conservation design is very very clunky (bordering on bletcherous) which is vaguely analagous to running a car for a short period and then coasting in order to decrease gas usage. Transmeta's design, on the other hand, is much more elegant and thoughtfull. More important is the ability of the Transmeta chips to fine tune power usage for any particular application (running at the lowest speed appropriate). Relating to the example above, this would be like running at 25 mph instead of alternating between coasting and 80 mph.

    Transmeta's design is not only superior and on average more likely to use less electrical power (and consequently generate less heat), but is also easier on the processor (preserving lifetime, not that that matters anymore), and in general provides for a "nicer" interface between the CPU and other components (for example, a processor that is running slower, but is nevertheless always on, responds to external interrupts better and more reliably).

    On a side note, I'm really waiting for RSFQ technology (Rapid Single Flux Quantum logic / memory, which (BTW) requires superconductors so I'll probably not see it anytime soon) which uses so little power that you should be able to operate in the 1 teraflops range using less than a tenth of a watt.

  • YEah a while back a friend and mine were discussing about clock speeds for CPUs, and all the hard work the engineers must be doing to keep the clock speed rising. Like wow today we made a break through and can make get an extra 50-100 mhz out of this chip this month.
  • On my laptop, I'd happily have it run at half the
    speed (or less) it does now if I got double the
    battery life.
  • I wonder whether these new Intel's chips follow the examples of its current notebook CPUs with only two possible clock speeds, whereas Transmeta's chips have a somewhat more analogue clock variation scheme.
  • And have to save and exit?

    If I've got a debug session running when I leave, I want it still there when I come back. If I've got a compile buffer open and am working through it, I don't want to lose it or have to save it to a file. Windows people may be used to having very few apps open and saving often, but in a lot of places the whole shutdown/startup thing just doesn't fly. Or I may have that $@#% DHCP daemon serving to the embedded box I'm hooked up to (and have an active serial connection to) and have to shut down several other services and whatnot to get it back up.

    The conveniance factor of leaving the machine on all the time is quite strong.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think intel at this point in time is like the hare and transmeta is like the turtoise, and we know who won that race. If heat dissapation was any indication of bad design, intel would win that award. But its funny how Wintel (Windows and intel) are the most popular, even though their products aren't superior to others. Anyway, I could go on and on comparing Intel chips to other chips (Transmeta, or Motorola) Anyway, Transmeta at idle uses only 8mV, and I believe depending on the workload transmeta usually run between less than 1V to less than 2V. Intel is boasting 1V flat, kinda makes you wonder what assumptions did they make to restrict power input?
  • How about using these low-power CPU's in desktop computers ? Without going in the matter, it could be seen as an useless idea : why put a less powerfull computer ("only" 500 Mhz) in a desktop PC ?

    Mobile computers have one feature in common with iMac's : they haven't any fan. The current trends in computer is the more fans in the box, the better computer (see this recent Slashdot Poll [], too). It's usual to find one big fan for the power supply, one or two of them on the CPU and on the video card, and even on the HD, the CD/DVD player, and on the CDR.

    It makes very noisy computers ! Now, I've noticed that the evening, just after turning off my computer and calming down in a quiet room, my ears continue to burden, just as they continue to buzz after a hard rock concert (just a slight exaggeration, here). This can't be good. Really, that noise annoys me.

    That's why I'd like to see low-power CPU's in fanless desktop PC's, just like in iMacs. I, for one, just don't care about speed on my desktop PC : my old P-II 266 Mhz is enough for my daily needs.

    (And I'm not even talking about how inelegant is the principle of fans itself.)


    Have you checked out Badtech [] The daily online cartoon?
    Have you checked out Badtech [] The daily online cartoon?
  • CPU's certainly chew up their fair share of battery life, but I would look toward that large lush active matrix backlit LCD for the reason your battery life is so low. Also, don't forget about those hard drives, they suck power like nobody's business.
  • Amiga/Tao`s JVM technology is according to ARM [] "Because of the patented techniques, the intent JTE runs Java applications extremely quickly, more than 30 times faster than competitor's products"!

    President of Amiga said at an Amiga show in Germany that it was around 22x faster with multimedia than ANY other JVM including Sun`s efforts. He also said Sun was introducing this new technology to its clients and it will become the new JVM standard []. He also demonstrated the new SDK [] with blazing Java speeds.

    An Amiga assembler coder founded a company in 1992 which is today known as the Tao Group [].Read this interesting article []. Its platform independence goes much further than solely application, but kernel, device drivers etc as well!
  • Well, some of us like to travel instead of being tied down near our LANs. How fast do you think that network connection of yours is going to be when you're thousands of miles in the air? It's also usually a lot quicker to put in a CD or DVD than it is to download it remotely, not to mention the space waste of storing everything you might need on your laptop or server just to avoid a CD/DVD drive. Add in the nicities of being able to pass the time on your flight by watching the latest video release on DVD, and I wonder how you could possibly think that the drives wouldn't be great for some people. Sure, you might not want one, but c'mon...


  • If it uses less power and can attain 500Mhz, then I would assume there would be less heat generated which would be great for overclocking! Hey maybe Intel would use this technology to do >2GHz for their future CPUs.
  • the CPU has a large heat sink instead of a fan

    That's interesting. And you haven't had any stability problems?

    I've wanted to reduce the noise made by my two computers for a long time and have been wondering if I could run the P-IIIs (2x500 MHz Katmai and 2x650 MHz Coppermine) with passive cooling only. I really would like to get those four fans out, but don't know if that would be safe. The Katmais are running hot-to-touch even with fans in place but, surprisingly, the two Coppermines are running only at a mild 40 C (as reported by BIOS).

    By the way, does anyone know if there is any point in putting silicon paste between the chip and heat sink?

  • OK, some people might WANT one, but what would they NEED one for? Anything that spins a 12cm disk at several thousand rpm is going to be a burden on your battery - if you want battery power, you need to make tradeoffs (at least until someone figures out how to put fuel cells in a B5 package...).
    As for "wasting space" on your HD, a standard CD holds at most 640MB (and how much of any particular CD do you really need?), so the HDs included in laptops these days could easily fit the contents of ten full CDs and you'd barely notice the difference.

  • I'm not sure I understand your analogy. To me, it seems like it's a good thing to be able to run at 80mph when you need to (the cops are chasing you?) but then coast when you're not doing much. Since cpu use tends to be intermittent, running at 25mph doesn't seem useful.

    But then, I don't think that "running at 25mph" is what Transmeta does at all. In fact, you say that Transmeta chips can fine tune power usage for any particular application....


  • Maybe you're shopping in the wrong places if it's your experience that a DVD drive adds three kilos to the weight of a laptop. I've never seen anything close to that. Along with the advent of not-at-all-heavy DVD drives, technology has also given us the video rental outlet. It's not too hard to find a good movie that you've never seen before. Maybe I'm just too picky and not frugal enough, but I'd much rather pick up something that I actually want to see for less than three bucks, rather than be subjected to a free movie that I "can stand to watch" -- I "can stand to watch" a chick movie when I'm coerced into it, but I want to pick out the movie myself for those other times when the threat of sexual denial isn't hanging over my head. ;-)


  • by stripes ( 3681 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @05:12AM (#996703) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know what the typical power budget is for a laptop computer? How much power is used by the CPU, hard drive, DRAM and display?

    Depends strongly on the portable, and even how you use it. If you use the disk (or CD ROM, or anything it has to spin, esp. spin fast) that sucks a whole lot of your power. If it has to use active cooling, then the fan will suck power too. The backlight (if in use) sucks a lot of power also. The CPU can be pretty low on that list. Or fairly high (the 650/500Mhz SpeedStep things can suck a fair amount of power, maybe more then the backlight!). The CPU also makes heat (as does the drive) which can make the fan spin....

    If you look at a really simple portable like a Palm Pilot the backlight sucks most of the power, the CPU a distant second, and the DRAM a more distant third. AA rechargables last me over a month with no backlight use, about three weeks with a fair amount of backlight, or about 10 hours of dinking with "Pocket Life" with the backlight on (est from looking at the batt meter before and after 2 hours of said dinking). I've heard that it'll keep it's DRAM running for 2 or 3 months on "dead" battries.

    I would love to have a laptop computer that could run for days on a battery charge, even if the CPU was slow by desktop standards.

    The only thing that comes close is the Palm, and in part because you tend to turn it on, use it for three minutes, and turn it off for a while (what's that phone number? Gotta remember to get the car serviced this week. What time is it anyway? When is sunset today? [dee-DEE-dee-DEE-dee-DEE] Oh! Gotta run if I want to catch buffy tonight...). Still, it is a computer :-)

  • At href=" html you can find a small part of what his employer said:

    Further he introduced Dean Brown (DKB) as Director of Hardware once more. Mr. Brown would be responsible for creating referenz hardware for interessted third-party developers to look about. A game handheld device would allready be finished, which was in use by Amiga internally to impress interessted parties with the features of the new operating environment. Based on a StrongARM with 250 Mips, a port for a Sony Memory Stick, and a coloured display this device might figure well - and it was finished after one week of development!

    About the new Vice President of Engineering McEwen showed himself mysteryous. This man might not get introduced bevore the 10th of Juli, cause he still is employed by another company - "one that is large, and is in trouble, you know...", and with this words a gesture of tearing something apart....

    Further on information about the performance characteristics of the Java[TM] Virtual Machine - which is, acording to Mr. McEwen 22 times faster in handling multimedia content than any other JVM does (!)

    McEwen set clear too, that he wouldn't ask the Amiga Community for patience. The fact, that this show is happening, that the audience is pressing into this (admittedly too small) room would argument enough that Amiga users are patient - over 5 years, allready. But he continues to set clear, that he and his associates are working for the same number of month to fulfill those high expectations.

    As a first evidence of success Mr. McEwen took Amiga's SDK to the show, which - as he stated emphatic - still would be very incomplete, and would target experienced developers in main. The end-users will still have to wait for a seizable product for some time. E.g. there still is no sound support, streaming support or 3D graphics support included with the SDK, which will follow later (e.g. 3D support after about 3 month).

    In the case of the critical theme of marketing McEwen admited, he still didn't employe a VP of Marketing - he thinks first to develope a product that would worth a respective marketing would be more important, than making generous announcements which can't get fulfilled with the best Amiga tradition.

    Next he talked about the original plans to provide a deverloper's box by combining hard and software together. Because of the Amiga user's negative replies to this, they made up their minds - which required a lot of changes an additional programs (e.g. installer scripts). Now the software of the SDK was released; the HW/SW developer's box would follow after about 2 weeks.

    Amiga would target ""Ubiquity in Computing": mobile phones, PDAs, multimedia processor servers, a new desktop, a new game console, all of that with the same operating environment - something like that would never have been there.

    Applications with this would be fully scalable. After a developer has decided were to put his applications, this one application could climb up the ",Food Chain" as high as it was wanted to. So, a game coded for a handheld would even run on a multiprocessor server. But on the other hand an application writen for a server wouldn't run on a mobile phone - or better to say - only very, very slow....

    Processors allready supported by the operating environment would be PPC, M.core, X68, StrongARM, ARM, Sh/3,4,5, MIPS and a number of other CPUs, which they can't name (at this time), cause they are under NDAs with the manufacturers.

    At the end Bill was talking about the JavaOne, a show that happend in San Francisco last week, and at which the Tao Group had a booth. The same demonstration shown here at the Amiga show there was running on a Sega DreamCast, on set-top-boxes, a StrongARM notebook, and a X86 computer. Only this was enough to magnetise the audience, and then they would have taken out a mobile phone on which a Pole Position clone could run, in spite of the low performance of 3,5 Mips. This would have been the same mobile phone which Scott McNeilly (Sun) had with him when he entered the stage at the CES in January, &qout;I've tolled you that once we will have Java[TM] running on such a device, once a day" - just, that it wasn't Sun's Java[TM] Virtual Machine running on that mobile phone....

    And Linux wouldn't be the only operating system that would come into question as a host for the new Amiga. Other hosts would be Windows, WindowsNT, Linux, WindowsCE, QNX, and OS/9 (a market leading OS from Microware for set-top boxes). Host support for iTron, Epoc, VxWorks, and PalmOS would be in development, and close to be finished.

    The cooperation between the Tao Group and Amiga Mr. McEwen illuminated in quite another way. It wasn't necessary that they would use only Tao's products. In fact they would have access to 50 developers at the Tao Group to create things needed by Amga.

    Furthermore the BOOPSI libraries were portetd. This porting would be allready finished. They would now do testings and optimizations. The new scripting language (SHEEP) would also be finished during the next month - the rights for ARexx belong to a third-party manufacturer, and because of that they would develope another language. The catchword renderware was spoken, too. The new operating environment would be prepared even for this. .

    And then Bill McEwen had a very special goody to offer: Once the single parts of the operating environment will be put together there will be the AmigaOne - a new multimedia desktop, developed and designed by Amiga, even if manufactured by thir-party manufacturers. McEwen didn't want to say more about that at that early stage, the way to go would still be very long.

    Since it is a few minutes after midnight, and tomorrow there will be another day of the show waiting I'll finish for now. This was only the first half of the presentation. I'll report about the other half tomorrow....

    ...part two

    McEwen continued on OEMs and ISVs - the latter being companies willing to support Amiga, but unable to "take their eyes off" what they are doing for a living right now. Eleven such ISVs had given their source code to Amiga - free of charge, free to port.

    Of course, the well-known partners of the Tao-Group were mentioned: Sun, Sony, Motorola, JVC and others. McEwen recommended reading the press release from the Tao site (about the certification of their Java machine) - Amiga is in dealings with all those companies mentioned.

    Then, McEwen showed pictures of his former office, and of the new "Amiga World Headquarter". Five other companies were located there, building high-end electronics for other companies for demonstratiuon purposes - with Amiga being able to use their equipment for free.

    Then, Bill McEwen started demonstrating the new OS, hosted under Red Hat Linux on a notebook. He stressed that there was no hardware acceleration involved (which, as said before, will follow in August). It is difficult to put into words, but we saw lightning-fast Java demos, some 2D games, the well-known Boing demo, some free moving Boing balls you could grab and shoot inot the air with the mouse, a unicode browser, 2D filters, the transparent "Clock" window (where you could grab a ball through the clock - everything running on top of Linux, without any flicker or slow-down. Well, not true, I saw it flickering: when McEwen was starting the OS a second time, in a different window, the first one froze for a split-second, to continue as fast and fluently as before, while McEwen started the same number of demos again in the second window.

    The demo was very impressive given the early stage of development, the pictures only grab a small portion of it.

    McEwen was unable to elaborate on further plans, but recommended an article in Byte magazine from 1994, linked from the Amiga homepage; some of these things would redefine Distributed Computing completely.

    Towards the end, McEwen answered some questions. I recorded the whole presentation on tape, but some questions couldnt be heard over the background noise, and some answers made no sense without the questions. I transscribed what I could make sense of, and left out one or two sentences I could not make sense of. As soon as I get my hands on the right adapter cable, I will make a MP3 recording of the tape (which was recorded with permission from Mr. McEwen).

    F: What about the classic OS?
    McEwen: We are using the pieces whereever it makes sense.

    F: Will there be an emulation for it?<
    McEwen: We already have an emulator working. Testing is already done, we are now optimizing it so it runs very very fast. You guys know Brian King? You know where he works? He is a good man, Brian. Hes helping us. So were working to speed it up right now, its a little slow. So we are in the process of optimizing it.

    McEwen: Before somebody asks, youre asking if Im gonna porting it to PPC. No. Ill tell you why. No matter who Ive spoken with, R.J. Mical, Carl Sassenrath, Alan Havemose, everyone of them has looked at this in the past. Its an 18-month to 24-month process, and all of them agree it will only be 80% complete. Because Id had to re-engineer the AGA chipset, Id have to re-engineer Agnus, Denise, all those things are tied directly to the OS. In fact the hardest thing for Havemose in building the 3.1 were all those bugs that were in those chips they have to account for. So right now it would be too costly for us to make the moves necessary to capitalize on the market, we need to move forward. It doesnt help me to be everywhere. It doesnt help me to build a scaleable operating system, which is what we need to be to win. Making just another system on a chip is not enough. We need to be able to go to Sony, go to Panasonic, go to all those guys and say "pick your chip".

    F: (Schlecht zu verstehen, Frage über die Hardware-Anforderungen des SDK, ob es ein spezieller Prozessor sein muß.)
    McEwen: The SDK, if you are able to run Red Hat Linux you should be fine. We tested it on Red Hat and Corel. So you should be absolutely fine on that.

    F: Will it also run on the Amiga?
    McEwen: Not right now, no. We dont have anything on the 68000. We are hoping to work with our other friends so when you got PPC, which we know Linux can run on there, we can run on top of that. And we will be able to run native, on those, on the PPC cards. Thats one of our biggest problems right now, youve got commitments from people delivering, and nothing is happening.

    F: Do you plan to change the design of the interface?
    McEwen: It is designed with the flexibility similar to today so you can make it the way you want. There will be defaults, so an Amiga users might want to have Workbench as their default, but for other consumers, they might to want it different. You will have defaults with the flexibility to change it the way you want.

    F: (nicht zu verstehen) McEwen: If you are running Linux on a PPC card within an Amiga, alright? We have not tested it yet, however the two manufacturers have tested it and said it can run.

    F: (nicht zu verstehen)
    McEwen: Not with the first build, no. Part of it is a tools issue, the tools needed to utilize it. We have two companies right now in the process of making an IDE specifically for us, so that wont be required in the future. Everything is not in here (SDK), we know that, and there are certaily things to change; however, we felt it important enough to get people to understand writing for VP and some changes. Chris Hinsley, who created this, as you know, is an Amiga gaming guy; and I think you will find, as most have found as they began to play with this, its extremly similar, in many ways as we write today. So it will be a very wuick curve, but there will be a curve. So we want it to get into peoples hands first, so they can begin working with it, utilize it, begin writing some applications, you know. Get familiar, so when we add the other components to it, you will be able to get moving much quicker.

    F: (schlecht zu verstehen, eine weitere Frage zur Kompatibilität mit alten Anwendungen)
    McEwen: In fact we already have an emulator that is working. Its not in this build, since we are in optimization, yes. In fact were also looking into a hardware solution to do it.

    F: Everything on the SDK is usable on an Amiga PPC?
    McEwen: Nonono. Whats on here is designed right now to work with Red Hat on an x86 platform or on Corel, ok? When its completed, and you have an executive OS running, everything is fine, it can run. Again, we havent tested it yet, according to third parties it can run on a PowerPC accelerator within an Amiga, as long as Linux is there. We havent tested it yet, so Im not telling you yes it can. We want to test it first. Weve got two machines in the house we are doing it on.

    F: (schlecht zu verstehen, eine Frage über die zu erwartende Verfügbarkeit von Software für das neue System)
    McEwen: We have 131 applications already dedicated.
    F: Also games?
    McEwen: Most of them are games. There is a very large Indian company who does a lot of interactive games [...] they already commited to us and will be moving all their games over to Amiga. They have 63 games themselves, all of them for multiuser interactive gaming over the net.

    F: (nicht zu verstehen) McEwen: Oh, oh, the multiple screens? Yeah, thats fine. What you see today from a visual perspective you still can get, ok? All the multiple layers, etcetera, thats still here, thats ok. Thats what you were asking, right?

  • Sure, it'll wear down the battery, but I'm not talkin' about watching freakin' Shoah on your plane trip here. ;-) We're just on a flight of a few hours, and you can just plug your laptop in and recharge the battery later on the ground

    Some (most? a few?) airlines have power for portables in bissness class now. It requires a sort-of-cig-adaptor thing. Hopefully this trikkles down to coach which is what I have to fly...

  • They mention that the Celerons are fixed speed, whereas the Pentium III's have SpeedStep technolo....errr... are variable speed CPUs.

    Obviously, the less-than-1-watt figure was quoted while running the "Blank" screen saver or something. :-)

  • Amen, brother.

    PC Power and Cooling [] sells quiet fans, power supplies, etc. QuietPC [] is another place to look. Elan Vital [] specializes in quiet cases, also.

    In my case (pun) "fan noise" is really turbulence caused by the fan trying to blow or suck air through inadequate openings. My stupid case had very small perforations where the case fans were attached that were quite noisy. Imagine blowing through a window screen. The solution I used was to cut those perforations away, which left 3" holes for the fans to blow through. I coved them with standard wire grills. This worked quite well, though it's a lot of work.

  • Look at it from this angle: 600 employees x $1000 for a new computer = $600,000 / $20,000 per work year = 30 years for it to be cost effective.

    Besides, in a company with 600 employees, $20k is not a whole heck of a lot. One clerk's salary.

  • Does anyone know where I can find info on the heat dissipation of Intel CPUs? I'm looking for a chart with something like "PII-350: 33W, PIII-600E: 28W", etc. I've looked on their web site but can't find anything like that.


  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @05:27AM (#996710)

    Here's a chart I put together from Intel's Mobile Power Guidelines Rev. 1.00 [], which lists target power consumption values for notebooks. I've included Intel's numbers for the Maximum, Minimum, and Average (when running Winbench 3D) power consumptions, in watts.

    Please excuse the formatting, Slashdot seems to strip out extra spaces, so I put in underscores. Plus, I'm also having trouble with the lameness filter.

    _____________________ Mini Notebook_______ Full Size
    _____________________ Max__Min___Ave___ Max___Min___Ave

    CPU & L2 Cache ______ 6____0.36__5_____ 12____0.36__9.5
    Memory Controller ___ 2.1__0.05__1.4____ 2.4__0.3___1.6
    System Memory _______ 1.3__0.35__0.7____ 2.5__0.35__1.3
    Graphics Subsystem __ 1.4__0.2___1.0____ 3.0__0.8___2.4
    IO Subsystem ________ 2.0__0.04__0.5____ 2.68_0.4___0.6
    Audio _______________ --___0.7___--_____ --___1.6___--
    Modem _______________ --___0.3___--_____ --___0.4___--
    Hard Drive __________ 6____0.1___1.4____ 6____0.1___1.3
    DVD Drive/CD ________ --___--____--_____ 6____0.2___1.4
    1394 Controller _____ --___--____--_____ 1.2__0.003_--
    CardBus _____________ 2.5__0.67__--_____ 5.0__0.67__--
    USB _________________ 2.5__0.0125--_____ 2.5__0.0125--
    LAN _________________ 0.6__0.4___--_____ 0.6__0.4___--
    Power Supply ________ --___1.5___--_____ --___2.6___--
    Cooling _____________ --___--____--_____ --___0.5___--
    Other _______________ --___0.8___--_____ --___1.0___--
    LCD _________________ 3.05_--____2.8____ 4.75_--____4.3

    SYSTEM Average____________16.7_______________29.1

    The high maximum value for the hard drive comes from the power required for the initial spin-up. I didn't see a listing for separate L2 and CPU power consumptions, but as you can see, together they take up about 1/3 of the average power consumption in a full-sized notebook, with the graphics system (chip plus screen) being one of the components that takes up another big chunk.

  • In fact, iMac is a generic name for several different translucent Macintoshes with a built-in screen. The first iMac generation had a fan, newer ones haven't any.

    Apple has always had a policy of designing silent machines. IIRC, it's partly due to Steve Job's aversion for those noisy machines.

    The new iMacs, with other improvements, introduced a new sound system, known as the Harman/Kardon Odyssey audio system [], which gives them an unprecedented sound quality : Apple didn't want to ruin this effort with white noise.


    Have you checked out Badtech [] The daily online cartoon?
    Have you checked out Badtech [] The daily online cartoon?
  • My Microcomputers I instructor told us that Motorola was a better chip than Intel. Of course, back then Motorola's chip was the 6802 and Intel's chip was the 8085...
  • I bought a vaccum tube White Noise generator from a guy on a few years ago. It has a rotary switch on the front marked 'AF' and 'RF'. I have wondered for a time if I could hook a powerful linear amplifier to the output, put it in RF mode and blank out the neighborhood.
  • Putting the Intel VS Transmeta thing aside. Look at what is really being accomplished here. More processors on the market that use less power will help the portable PC market grow. Right now the processors in Palm Pilots and other handhelds aren't so good. New processors like this will soon change all that. (I know what most ppl are thinking: 'What do I need with 500Mhz on my palm pilot?' But eventually, one day, notebooks will be as small as the palm pilot, but as interactive and useful as your home PC. This is making it one step closer).
    I think alot of the negative comments that seem to be posted here are because of all the AMD vs Intel junk that has been going on for awhile and now they seem to think Transmeta is going to recieve the same type of match.
    But look at what it did to AMD? They were very much a struggling company until the K7's hit the market. Transmeta is the same way, maybe Intel coming into the light will force newer and better chips from both sides.

    And on a personal note, I would love to see Intel crash and burn and AMD take over in the processor market. But Intel has been around for such along time I doubt it is going to happen.
  • Since most companies replace thier computers on a regular basis it's not as costly as you put it out to be. No company likes to throw away money they don't need to.
  • Unprecedented? ROFL! Have you actually heard a pair of these speakers? Just because H&K slaps their name on a pair of computer speakers doesn't make them anything more than the pieces of crap they are. I am a firm believer in component systems as opposed to specifically designed computer speakers.
  • Transmeta's design is not only superior and on average more likely to use less electrical power (and consequently generate
    less heat), but is also easier on the processor (preserving lifetime, not that that matters anymore), and in general provides
    for a "nicer" interface between the CPU and other components (for example, a processor that is running slower, but is
    nevertheless always on, responds to external interrupts better and more reliably).

    Of course this is why Intel will win and Transmeta won't. People like to struggle. Either with a kludgy GUI or Hardware hot enough to burn your skin. If it's easy and elegant, it isn't a real computer.
  • Air is a terrible conductor of heat.

    Actually that's not the problem, it's that air between two other things creates insulation. It keeps the heat in the processor. Bad. (same with vasoline, I think). Use the silicone cream because it transports heat to the heat sink _really_ fast. Thus cooling the chip.

  • You moron. The kernel has to be changed for any processor in runs on. You can'y simply compile the Pentium kernel for a MIPS or PPC machine. Most if not all of the hardware controls and addressing need to be rewritten for each specific processor.
  • Where the fuck does this corporate hate come from? It's like people side with the underdog and are just itching to see the bigger company die. I don't want Intel to crash and burn, I own Intel stock, their success is my success. Not only my success but the success of many people's future. Being such a large company with a great deal of growth ability they end up in the portfolios of mutual funds, these funds pay for kids' college education or some guy's returement. Intel is also a multibillion dollar company, wherever they have one of their large factories they're providing someone with a job. Intel is just being a corporation that is out to make money. Asshole.
  • Wow really? You've got a Crusoe and used it extensivly in the lab to prove this to me? Oh...wait. Your link is to Transmeta's website. Shucks I almost got excited.
  • cool...

    get a 1ghz crusoe in your palm MLC and you could play DivXs or listen to MP3's all day long off two AA batteries. sweet. all we need now are REAL options for solid state memory. (I rather not pay $20k for an 8gig solid state hard drive...)

    I'm tired.

  • Is it just me, or is it kind of strange that Transmeta isn't on the PC EXPO 2000 [] list of exhibitors?
  • Well i wouldn't trust a quote from the Marketing Suit of a rival company, even if it is a Transmeta suit.
  • Its not about 20,000 being equal to an employee's salary, but if the money saved from a low power processor will pay itself back, and then some.

    My office has several servers that run 24/7. Aside from nightly backups, they do nothing but idle. If the money that we could save from lower energy bills could be funneled back into newer equipment, I think we could afford to upgrade a our servers yearly to up-to-date systems.

    Besides, our computers rarely ever use 100% of the processor at any one time (unless its EXTREMELY loaded or backing up).

    I think these new processors could benefit in more then one market. In some places it could be detramental, but in others, I think it could provide noticeable savings (exactly what management wants!).
  • After reading a lot about Transmedia and recently Intel's chips, and its variable frequency, I can't help but imagine that this chip would be rather cost effective not only for portable computers, but in companies.

    In a larger company where people leave their computers running all day, and all night, these newer variable CPU's could show a good amount of return in their low energy consumption. All I've seen though is that people have been touting the portablability of these chips (which I'm not denying their worth), but on an even larger scale, would there be a market for low power, high performance, chips in large companies?

    Not even just for companies even though. For those people that weekly run LAN parties, the power consumption of a dozen computers on a weekly basis can be rather high. I'm curious as to if there'd be much cost difference in an environment such as this as well.
  • Stephen, I don't think you're right about this. A lot of people (myself included) require very big processors to get daily work done. We installed 3 new Solaris boxes last week, and it was a major toss up between more e250s/450s and the cheaper Intel boxen. We settled for one e450 and 2 Intel boxen, 2-way Xeon PIII 700s. (Running Intel/Solaris). Sure, we could install on smaller machinery, but we really do need the power for our Bioinformatics Analysis Planning. (Actual Analysis happens on Compaq Alpha hardware).

  • Slip up.. my apologies..
  • > Does it have a solid FORTRAN compiler , though?

    The SDK v1.0 comes standard with a C/C++ Compiler, Java Compiler, VP Assembler, some GNU standard utilites, many demos and sources, etc. New languages are being worked on, that is very much a work in progress.

    > The platform independence sounds interesting, but it's been beaten to death with Java already.

    This efficient, superfast and low-bloat technology will allow Java to prosper.

    > What about openness?

    A Gary Peake quote: "We intend to open source a lot of things for open source programmers who wish to participate in our Dream. There is a tremendous amount of talent in the open source community who wants to work with us. We want their help as well. We intend to let them shine and show what they can do with as few restraints as possible, where we can. Open Source developers will pay no license fees, no certification fees, and will be treated with all the support we can give them for free. Any open source software, drivers, tools will be so designated when certified by us."
  • Although I have no idea what Amiga/Tao JVM has to do with ultra low CPU power article,'s Gary Peake stated in Comp.Sys.Amiga.Misc it's 22% faster, not 22x faster.

    The main article I'm waiting to see on /. that deals with Amiga/Tao is possible GPL violations article supposedly submit by J.F. Waite (as well as supposedly submited to FSF) after his request for source code was more or less snubbed directly by's Rudi. Pity that a software/IP company feels it can weave and dodge the GPL bullet.
  • Which then begs a question on's commitment to releasing open source with their playing fast and loose with GPL license terminology. It will be an interesting time for Amiga/Tao if JF Waite did indeed submit a complaint against Amiga/Tao for GPL violation to FSF and of course, our beloved /. community.
  • I believe current Linux kernels do this by default. During the recent ungodly heat in the Bay Area I had lots of problems keeping my Celeron 300 running at 450 under Win98, the processor was extremely hot to the touch. Under Linux the thing oc'ed fine and was at room temp (this is with the basic heat sink & fan).

    There are utils for windows systems like Waterfall and CPU Idle that do the same thing.

  • Some reporter did the typical "news from retyping Intel press release" deal. The new Intel processor will *not* average 1 watt power use. It will use as little as 1 watt when running at the slowest SpeedStep notch (the new version has more stages than the old SpeedStep).

    Overall, at 500 MHz, the new PIII will use something like 5 or 6 watts, and more at the 600 MHz "plugged in" range. Not bad for an Intel product, but it's not even matching the PPC G3 for power consumption, much less TransMeta.
  • This is a good site for a listing of processor power dissipation figures: []

    Glenn Garrett []
  • I'd recommend you try new Boeing 777's on British Airways transatlantic flights. Personal videoscreens even on coach and a choice of 15 channels(10 of which are movies). Each channel has two movies during the flight. Business has few more channels and first class seats come with a personal movie library and your own controllable vcr(so you can rewind and fast forward). You also have your personal telephone - but no power outlets, I think. For those you have to go to business.
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Saturday June 17, 2000 @09:01AM (#996738)
    The poster, and the quote cited from the original article are bang-on - if Intel can come close to Transmeta's power consumption goals, Messrs Ditzel and Torvalds will be shown the door shortly after their requisite fifteen minutes of fame.

    Strangely enough, Intel proved that branding can be applied even to something as disconnected form the user as a CPU, the ultimate "black box" that by rights should be brand-neutral from a user/consumer perspective. Nonetheless, the "Intel Inside" branding strategy has been a success, with most PC makers touting the Intel branding on their boxes.

    Don't underestimate the stickiness of a brand and a product that people know to work. Transmeta has none of that cachet - in fact, the Trnasmeta cachet is of ".com media darling" - which is probably exactly opposite to what CPU branding should represent.

    If Intel can get close to the Transmeta power consumption goals, its game over for Transmeta.

  • While its not a major budget item for a large company, it's certainly something they would consider, especially since the cost of power consumption (not just the power itself) is considerably hiogher than you estimated

    Air conditioning has to dispose of the heat once it leaves the machine. It takes more than 1 watt of energy to move 1 watt of waste heat (if you could move 1 watt of heat for less than one watt of input, on a large scale, you could do stuff that verged on 'free energy' -- i.e. use 200W to move 1000W of waste heat into a 50% efficient heat engine to generate 500W, then, if you really want to push it, use the 500W to... well you get the idea) While new HVAC plants are quite efficient, using 1.5W to remove 1W of waste heat is not unreasonable for the national installed base (HVAC updating is very expensive) when you consider all ancillary costs

    An office worker generates only 100 cal (400 joules) per hour of waste body heat. A desktop computer (w/ monitor) can generate up to 225 kcal (250W*3600sec = 900K joules). There's a lot more forced hot air streaming out of your PC than convecting gently from your body. Of course humans and PC's are hardly the only heat sources in a building, but you get the idea:

    Buying big A/C capacity cost $100K's. A maintanence contract cost $10K's/yr. It cost $10K's to power the PCs and 1.5 times as much to powert the AC. An AC failure can cost $10's-100K's per hour as Important CPUs are overheated by waste heat from idle CPUs. And not one dollar of all that directly generates new revenue. CFOs hate that.

    It adds up to a cost that management may want to cut -- especially when a company is expanding, and the choice is "more AC capacity and costs" vs. "making do with existing AC capacity"

    Office leasing makes it worse. Why invest (or co-invest) in infrastructure for a building you don't own?
  • Crusoe's *peak* power consumption is less than half the *idle* power consumption of this new chip. That's a much larger advantage than a factor of two. Setting even that aside, the difference between three hours of battery life and six is pretty visible and important to customers.

    By contrast, AMD seem to barely pip Intel on the price/performance scale, and they get enough market share out of it to fund healthy future development and maintain their role as a David to Intel's Goliath.

    I could be wrong, but I'd be interested to hear why.
  • Desktop boxes do not have to be as noisy as they currently are. I have an IBM 500 MHz Pentium III system in a tower case that is almost silent. The hard drives are shock mounted with rubber washers, the CPU has a large heat sink instead of a fan, and the power supply and case fans are very quiet. The only noticeable noise is the clicking noise made by the hard drive when it does a seek.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.