Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Transmeta And AMD To Hook Up? 52

Vawlk writes "Just before planning to go public, Transmeta and AMD might swap spit (patents) as explained in this Yahoo article. " AMD has done this in the past, most notably with Motorola.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Transmeta And AMD To Hook Up?

Comments Filter:
  • I think he was referring to AMD's stock, not transmetas
  • As I've already pointed out in a response [] to another comment, Transmeta aren't the ones who are saying they're going to announce a relationship, it's AMD. If you'd simply read the article before posting, you'd be less likely to make such silly, groundless remarks.
  • Word has it that just after the "quiet period" Linus is leaving TM. It's not such a secret that "The Management" and Linus have very dirrerent views of the direction TM should take. Too bad, they seemed to make a good team. Who knows, maybe Steve Jobs would pick him up.

    I would hire him to work on Linux... seriously. Linus, come knocking, I've got a job for you whenever you want it.

    ---- ----
  • by QuMa ( 19440 )
    Anywhere he wants to.
  • IMO, this story is very close to a hoax. Sort of similar to the crap the candidates pull shortly before election time. Fact is AMD will want nothing to do with Transmeta, except for maybe to bury them. This seems awful of base to me, looks like a Transmeta PR campaign to raise some badly needed cash.

    Those Transmeta PR guys are pretty damn slick! Not only do they get ZDNet to write a completely false article about a possible partnership with AMD, but also manage to con AMD's CEO talking about the non-existant deal. If you'd actually read the article, you might have seen this quote:

    Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD - news) and Transmeta Corp. are about to announce a relationship.

    The chip makers are expected to soon announce the scope of cooperation, according to AMD chairman and CEO Jerry Sanders. However, Sanders remained mum on the details.

  • The laptop market looks just like the desktop market did before the arrival of the Athlon: high end performance meant "Intel Inside", while AMD would barely compete at the lower end. Currently, a 750 MHz laptop costs 3 to 4 time more than a comparably equiped desktop (yes, the flat screen and HD also drive up the price). Hopefully the arrival of the Corvette/Mustang from AMD and the Transmeta Crusoe will spark a performance and price war similar to the race we just saw between the PIII and the Athlon. And just like in that race, the consumer will be the ultimate winner.
  • With the current PC king of high power usage meeting the PC king of low power usage, maybe AMD's Athlon can get it's current budget over to Jenny Craig.
  • by martyb ( 196687 ) on Friday August 18, 2000 @06:18PM (#843979)

    The yahoo article has numerous references to information that was divulged in Transmeta's S-1 filing. If you want to look for yourself, you can find it here [].

  • Yes. Actually, it's a little-known fact that Intel's marketshare has actually increased since the beginning of the year (from 81% to 82%), and that Athlon's share has actually decreased from when it was first released (from a peak of about 5% late last year to now about 3%). Neither AMD or Transmeta are going to cut into Intel's share soon, and as the PC cycle starts to slow, Intel is at least somewhat diversified with networking, embedded, home products, and, most of all, capital investment. When that tide turns, AMD will be extremely hard hit, since they have nothing besides PC processors and flash. AMD will have a hard time cutting into Intel's server market, and to my knowledge, no OEM is planning a server based system, or even has business systems based on Athlon. I do believe that AMD is an excellent buy, though, and quite undervalued compared to Intel. They arguably have more growth potential but they will gain the market more as the industry grows, than at the expense of Intel (which, contrary to popular belief, is not happening).
  • Hmm... I doubt this is true. Transmeta simply doesn't have the market share that AMD would luck for in a partner, and anyway, it's transmeta's independance that gets it it's following anyway (absolutely no ill meaning towards transmeta).
  • yes, i think janet reno should send in some troopers to shoot up amd. no really. this is a troll right? its pretty good. i hope lots of people buy it and write dissertations about why doj shouldnt go after them.
  • Yes, but its at 700MHz (on AC power) and thats the same as the high-end Curusoe (sp?) IIRC. Also, the MPIII is shipping, whereas I have yet to see an actual on-the-market product with a Curusoe (sp?).

    Mark Duell
  • Sys makes business systems with athlon chips and their is another OEM that uses athlons with a few other companies planning to sometime soon. As for servers Iknow their are a couple companies that use single cpu athlon server desgns, but I'm not sure who they are off the top of my head...
  • Well I think AMD wants transmeta to get into the Sledgehammer ISA and thus make 64-bit viable from notebooks to servers which would be prety cool.
    Besides TM does not have any fabs and if they can get together wth AMD they might get a coper process without paying the IBM premum (of course only if AMD is not to busy crankin out their own stuff)
  • Just because two companies decide not to compete with each other, that is not anti-competative. In this case, neither of the companies is even in the lead in their area, so it will not hurt competition at all if they choose not to compete directly with _each_other_.

    Cooperation is not always in opposition to competition.

  • by RayChuang ( 10181 ) on Saturday August 19, 2000 @05:31AM (#843987)
    I think what may be happening is that the deal between Transmeta and AMD means that Transmeta is looking for the possibility of using AMD's Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany to produce the Crusoe CPU.

    AMD in turn will get the Crusoe technology to produce next-generation Athlon/"Hammer" CPU's that will use a very small fraction of the power of today's AMD CPU's, which makes them very viable for notebook computers.

    Personally, I think AMD ought to get a deal with IBM Microelectronics to have IBM fabs manufacture the Athlon/"Hammer" CPU. People often forget that IBM Microelectronics have wafer fabs that are just as advanced as anything Intel has; it will give AMD the necessary production capacity to take on Intel easily.
  • I thought AMD was already using Motorola's fab facilities for the Athlons. AFAIK, Motorola's digs are no slouches either (although it's possible they're a step behind IBM's)...


  • This will happen automatically, with the second generation of code morphing: For marketing reasons, Transmeta will sell x86 compatible processors.

    But then, because x86 is evil, and linux is good, if cruesoe is running linux for some time, it starts morphing itself to some better architecture, and, of course, morphs linux at the same time.

    You may call this processor morphing. The next step to be taken is user morphing, but as transmeta didn't file the patents yet, the details are still secret.

  • Yes, I can already imagine it, MP3 Players running clients.

  • "it's probably IPO Bait.. Weird that Transmeta "are about to announce" a relationship with AMD just before they plan to IPO on Thursday"

    Ummm, I believe the article says "The chip makers are expected to soon announce the scope of cooperation, according to AMD chairman and CEO Jerry Sanders. However, Sanders remained mum on the details." (emphasis on 'AMD chairman and CEO Jerry Sanders')

  • This patent-swapping shouldn't be too much of a problem for intel's high end chips - a Athsoe or Cruthlon (name fusion BAD) wouldn't pose a serious threat to Intel's chips because the technology still has limits. Now, if Intel's entire market was low-power chips, they might be screwed.

    However, they are diversified and have other products that they can fall back on, such as crappy HomePNA networks (&lt100BaseT BAD), eyeball USB cameras, the Intel@play microscope Hasbro sold for a while a year or so ago, network cards, on-board video cards, and other things I don't care to enumerate. Don't forget that Intel still has loyalty from enough OEMs that AMD would have a hard time breaking into Intel's entire market share for chips.

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • Am I wrong, or have they even IPO'd yet? Still the same, I do agree.. It seems like rumors in this manner can do nothing but push the IPO harder..

    Strongly disagree. Here's why.

    First off, in the article, there was nothing fully substanciated. "Sources say" etc. Secondly they stated something along the lines of that they will be speaking soon of the status of their "cooperation". yadda yadda yadda.

    In my view, it's false, and I agree with the hoax theory, staged or not. I think this will hurt transmeta for thier IPO later this week. This, if "leaked" without the full blessing of AMD will make TM look very foolish and not very trustworthy. Would you put money into a company that played games like this in such a shallow manner? I would'nt.

    Who knows, maybe Intel is behind the whole thing to make 'em both look like amatures in the big leagues. Before the flames come, the Intel though was just sarcasm.

  • Well, to be fair transmeta has had their share of fiascos as well. I wish them well, but even after they go public I think they're going to have a tough year.
  • I wonder where Linus would work if Transmeta went under...

    ---- ----
  • If the nature of the patent-swap is "You take the low-end & mobiles, I'll take the desktop & servers" then doesn't this amount to an alliance that threatens competition?

    On second thought, if they didn't go after Intel, then it's not likely...


  • by mmp ( 121767 ) on Friday August 18, 2000 @05:47PM (#843998) Homepage
    There are actually pretty strict rules about what companys can publicly announce in the time period shortly before their IPOs. So this is very much likely not something fishy like that. But I forgot, Transmeta is evil and anything they do is motivated by that. Just like Rambus. And NVIDIA. Righto.
  • All of your arguements suggest it would be in transmeta's best interest to make a deal with AMD.

    What facts?

    1. It hasn't ipo'd yet, so you're still retarded.
    2. Name a partner they've betrayed you didn't leave any examples, and I haven't heard of any.
    3. You can't expect a company to have any profits until it sells a product.
    4. Sure AMD doesn't need them, but i'm sure they're very interested in the code-morphing technology.
    5. Once again, why wouldn't Transmeta do this?

    IMO, you're a retarded reactionary. Your arguements aren't even valid. You're the same breed that argued that Apple was dead, and that AMD would never make a profit.

  • I can see it now: A transition phase where x86 architecture is replaced by RISC. And leading the way? Linux of course! because you have the source and can recompile your OWN damn O/S, programs and games! Want to run win-blows software for that cool game you have? no prob - you just set up a portion of the multi-CPU transmeta to emulate the x86 dynamicly.

    Hmm... I wonder if Intel would sue Transmeta/AMD for reverse enginering the x86 microcode and chipsets.


  • I agree with most of your points. The question that I seem to see is:

    What is AMD getting out of this? The Yahoo article mentions a very specific patent that AMD is currently holding that is of great interest to Transmeta, but not the reverse.

    Granted, maybe Transmeta's holding patents to low-power designs that may somehow be applicable for the mobile Athlon? That chip sucks more wattage than my desk lamp ...

    IMHO the swap is certainly imaginable, and by no means a mere hoax or PR gambit, seeing as how AMD owns so little of the portable market (K6's in portables? not for any serious user) that they really don't have all that much to lose, and possible a good deal to gain from swapping patents with Transmeta.

    My $0.02

  • by goten ( 36521 )
    He dosen't really have to considering the amount of stock he has in random linux based companies. Part of the friends and family package he gets for just being so damn good at what he does.

  • by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Friday August 18, 2000 @06:32PM (#844003) Homepage

    1) Analysts predict 11% growth per quarter for AMD. That's 51% annualized. I'd like to hear your definition of a bad projection. Stock in the toilet? 1 year the stock was $18, now its $70. Almost 4x. Nice work if you can get it...

    2) AMD has a history of getting screwed by their partners. (Via, for example). Why would Nokia, Volkswagen and Nortel give them "supplier of the year awards" if they regularly screwed people?

    3) no comment

    4) This is mainly a cross-patent deal! In this patent lawsuit world everybody needs as many patents as they can get their hand on. Both AMD & Transmeta have filed for lots of "fundamental" patents. It's insurance against Intel, who have been known to file lawsuits against AMD in the past...

    Secondly, they are cooperating on infrastructure. Both AMD and Transmeta have abandoned Intel architectures such as Socket 7 and Slot 1 that clone makers have traditionally used in the past. Nobody considered AMD big enough to get chipset support without using an Intel architecture -- they got around this by using the Compaq Alpha system bus, which had little market share but lots of mind share. I see this deal as continuing this philosophy.

    5) AMD has a short ratio over 10%. Wall street HATES this stock. AMD's performance before the last 12 months has been DISMAL, so wall street figures AMD will screw up again. This time it's Intel thats been screwing up. (ever try to buy a 1GHz P3? Rambus, that was a smart move, not to mention having to recall all of those i820 motherboards....)

    This deal makes lots of sense to both parties.. It may fall through, but it is far from a hoax.

  • Im free thursdays.

    Are we to take this to mean that you intend to be the handpuppet? ngzogfrod almost sounds Lovecraftian. I can just picture this giant toothy frog hand puppet...

  • Binary translation is a black art, Transmeta's know-how plus their patents on hardware assisted x86 emulation might be the ticket AMD wants to finally put the whole ugly mess x86 has become behind them without giving up backwards compatibility.
  • A Sledgehammer that draws ~1W, hell no make that 8 of them, mmmm faaaaaaast.


    .sig = .plan = NULL;
  • :) Maybe what AMD is after is the code morphing tech. A 1.5Ghz chip, as expected to ship early next year, would be even cooler if it could run MacOS.

    Hmm... Now I'm curious how well the TM Very Long Instruction Word approach would handle a RISC based system.. Maybe Solaris on AMD Sledgehammers, with a morph layer instead of a port? If this is a less expensive, or faster way to do it, why not? Pure speculation of course, but interesting none the less.
  • Heh... Am I the only one scrolling through everything else just to read the poems? :)


  • Transmeta simply doesn't have the market share that AMD would luck for in a partner

    If you're trading patents, then the others having little to no market share is not a problem. The issue for AMD is, will Transmeta's patents help AMD compete with Intel?

    it's transmeta's independance that gets it it's following anyway (absolutely no ill meaning towards transmeta)

    That's an interesting idea, but

    • Transmeta has no market share yet, so any "following" isn't buying their chips yet, and so isn't very meaningful
    • Who says they're independent? Independent of what, exactly? They have IBM doing their fab, after all. And, the company consists of many of the top names in CPU archetecture from the last few decades. Just because they are the new kid, doesn't mean they are not already Connected.
    • AMD doesn't have much market share, either, it is natural for them to team up to fight the Evil Empire(TM).
  • What the subject says...


  • There are some things tying them together too:

    1. Transmeta's Badass Technology makes them worthwhile for a company like AMD even without market share.

    2. Transmeta's Badass Talented People Who Will Probably Make Even Cooler Technology Down The Road are an even bigger draw. (And I'm not just referring to Linus, there are a lot of badasses at Transmeta).

    3. AMD's constant struggle with Intel. Both companies are in the business of trying to take a chunk from the market dominator. That factor has been known to unite companies in almost any industry.

  • After the fiascos that I don't need to mention, this would seem to be another "problem" for them...

  • Key word being "mobile".
  • Could this mean that we could finally get athlon laptops that have decent battery life? Insanely fast Crusoes? Lord only knows what a low-power-consumption chip with a 200mHz backside cache could do for your Game Boy or MP3 player.

    Tell me what makes you so afraid
    Of all those people you say you hate

  • by zip the pinhead ( 222107 ) on Friday August 18, 2000 @05:11PM (#844015)
    IPO Bait.. it's probably IPO Bait.. Weird that Transmeta "are about to announce" a relationship with AMD just before they plan to IPO on Thursday. Price of their IPO should go up because of this.. then.. after the IPO.. watch them announce that the deal never went through.. but by that time, the large brokerage firms that back the IPO will already have gotten rid of their share of Transmeta stock....
  • Are you sure? They have released the 1000, and 1133 PIII chips, but not their mobile versions. Transmeta (from what I understand) is not specifically targetting the Desktop with any of it's processors. They are in the laptop market as their highest end processors. The Mobile PIII is not out as 1 GHz yet.

  • A few months ago, Ars speculated on where Transmeta might go. They said that, for the time being, they have their morphing logic in software, to conserve battery life, but could conceivably slide it into hardware to get intense performance numbers in desktop systems - where power and heat are not as big an issue.

    Looks like someone at Transmeta was paying attention. Good for them. So long Intel!
  • 1) Their stock is in the toilet and the 4Q00 and 1Q01 projections are not very good.

    Am I wrong, or have they even IPO'd yet? Still the same, I do agree.. It seems like rumors in this manner can do nothing but push the IPO harder..

    It sounds amazing though that they have put all this together. Reaching GHz speeds? I used to think that was something only Intel and AMD were into. heheh :)
  • with all the wonderful and dashing code words for chips around at the moment such as thunderbird, crusoe and coppermine you'd think that the makers could at least adopt a zany hand puppet as a mascot.

    Any takers?

    Im free thursdays.

  • This article provides an example of a shortcoming in SlashCode. This article should be coded as both an AMD and a Transmeta related article, but instead we only see the AMD icon. (I much prefer the swirly Transmeta Crusoe icon.)

    Okay, so this isn't a particulary relevant or earth-shattering post, but at least it's not a troll.
  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Friday August 18, 2000 @05:31PM (#844021) Homepage
    1. Whose stock? AMD is selling like hot-cakes, and TM has no stock to speak of until the IPO.
    2. Maybe. The TM people are not stupid - I'm sure it's going to be either an equitable deal, or they're just cutting up the playing field.
    3. "Hurting for cash" is a very relative term. They're not yet selling a product. If they had stuff on shelves, and were bleeding money, that's one thing. They've not sold chip One yet. Of course they have no income. You believe in Angels?
    4. AMD doesn't need them on the desk-top. I'm sure AMD would LOVE to go portable, but they tend to blister fingers with their current designs.
    5. Irrelevant.

    IMO you're trollin. AMD and TM are shooting at different markets - the One they'd both like to bury is Intel. They'd like to hurt Motorola, but that's like gnats ramming into a rhino..
  • *cough* Insider Trading *cough*
  • That article never mentioned exactly what Transmeta had to offer AMD. It just said what Transmeta was interested in. How in the world could Transmeta rate anything well enough to aquire a patent from AMD?

    Do they plan to offer them Bloated IPO Stock? heheheh :)

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer