Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Possible Crusoe and Recall? 117

vadim writes "Crusoe may have a bug as reported on yahoo." Not much there except that NEC is considering a recall because of a "Chip Failure-Paper" (huh?). It doesn't say what the problem is, but it mentions that Sony has also started looking into it.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Possible Crusoe and Recall?

Comments Filter:
  • by jmatlock ( 232136 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:19PM (#593541)
    It's not a "failure-paper". It's just Yahoo's ubercrappy headline system cutting off the byline.

    Try reading it like this:

    "NEC mulls PC recall, citing chip failure - paper reports."

  • It *is* a big deal when a company hypes itself as the second-coming and investors actually believe it.

    This is just one of many cluex4's investors will probably be getting in the near future as they slowly realize that you don't rush into the market with something as complex as a CPU and save the world from [Evil Empire] without a few stumbles along the way.
  • by dmuth ( 14143 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .todhsals+htum.guod.> on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:30PM (#593543) Homepage Journal
    I know you guys are trying to compete with Intel and all, but you don't have to compete with them on the number of bugs per chip, really.

    Think of this like golf, a higher number is not your friend. :-)

  • alas, since he has not Alan Cox et all back him up...mistakes may happen.

  • I DIDN'T Say THEWESTCOAST of What Country!
  • 486 is not enough if you want to do word processing in your usual environment, be it M$ Office or StarOffice or whatever. Ditto e-mail.
  • It always amazed me that these wonderful new technologies would be developed and the first thing they try and do is run windows on it .. makes you realize how much more of a dominance MSFT has and how the monopoly relationship btwn MSFT and INTL affects everyone .. TMTA will never take off until we really get the O/S's off the INTEL chips and their bastardized clones (AMD, etc ..)
  • Consider a few things - Transmeta's Crusoe chip is a new product, rushed to market in an amazingly small time frame

    Yeah.. that must be because they have that technology that would take competitors YEARS to create... while neglecting to mention that transmeta hasn't even been around that long ;).
  • OUCH....that is a painful graph!
  • The Apple IIGS patched their firmware on the ROM 03 systems while booting into the OS.
  • by graniteMonkey ( 87619 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @01:00PM (#593551)
    Wednesday November 29, 4:50 pm Eastern Time

    Slashdot Hive-mind rejects legitimate satire

    SLASHDOT LAND, Nov 29(Heuters) Moderators on the popular internet news site Slashdot [], owned by VALinux and heavily invested in all things Linux, were shocked by an earlier Heuters Wire Release [] implying that something Linus Torvalds did was anything other than "divine perfection", as one slashdot reader commented.

    Various heads of nations and multinational corporations found news of Slashdot Drones turning insane with rage at the slightest hint of anti-Linus humor somewhat un-newsworthy.

    Heuters stock plunged 5.062 points in after-hours trading, losing nearly 20% of its value and becoming nearly worthless.
  • you forgot to illustrate all the poop on the floor.
  • CNET is reporting NEC is recalling the chips []. No news on what Sony will do yet.
  • While your argument about no cash cow is valid, the other one is not.
    1) Transmeta operates the same way as Sun does, i.e. it designs its chips but does not build them itself. They are built by the company with a bit of relevant experience (called IBM ;-)
    2) Who cares about 15 years of x86 crap^H^H^H^Hlegacy; a processor core lives about 4 to 5 years, so it clearly shows how much time is necessary to develop, test and bring to market any new (processor) architecture.
  • I find your lack of faith...unsettling.
  • But AMD DID inspire the 1.13 GHz PIII bug. Without such hot competition, Intel would never have rushed the 1.13 PIII out. . .
  • Does anyone have any specific iBook battery info regarding the claim of 5 hours?
  • Assuming most laptops can manage two hours battery time, do we really need that much more?


    In my household the laptops are *off* the ac power most of the time. We are a fully enabled 802.11 (Aiport / wireless ethernet) house. We surf/email from everywhere, including the bathroom, the back porch, and the neighbors lawn. Our aging Fujitsu, with under 2 hrs of battery, seems like a piece of crap next to the 4 hr+ battery time we get from the Powerbook.

    As computing go wireless, battery life is the most important spec.

  • I think he means that other countries are like Elbonia.
  • by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:20PM (#593560)
    Consider a few things - Transmeta's Crusoe chip is a new product, rushed to market in an amazingly small time frame. The engineering staff of rival chipmakers, eg Intel and AMD, must dwarf Transmeta's talent pool. But then again, size isn't everything. Remember IBM's blunders in the CPU market? Like those space heaters they used to make - Also referred to as the IBM manufactured Cyrix 5x86 and 6x86 processors? Ooh - Oooh, my favorite, the IBM "Blue Lightning" chip they had out during the 486 days - That little 386 processor they had running a 486 instruction set, that got so hot they failed 10% of the time WITH the CPU fan and heatsink.

    Intel, AMD and Motorola have been making microprocessors for a very, very long time... Why anyone should be surprised that a Johnny-come-lately has skinned their knee the first time down the block is beyond me.

    One other thing - One of the first things people look at when choosing a laptop, at least the die-hard geeks, is the relative power the unit has compared to their desktop. It's not uncommon to purchase laptops with 128+ megs of RAM, P3600 or faster processors, DVD players, 15" displays that are sharp as a CRT, 8 gig hard drives or larger - Point being, MOST people are off the AC juice just a few minutes at a time; they are writing notes in an airport lobby. Assuming most laptops can manage two hours battery time, do we really need that much more? All you NEED to do word processing and check email is a 486, if we put an 18 micron 486 in a laptop with today's technology, you'd get what, five hours? ;P

  • Wednesday November 29, 2:30 pm Eastern Time

    Transmeta "Shifts Focus" to fashion accessories

    NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Heuters) Upstart chipmaker Transmeta Corp. (NasdaqNM:TMTA - news []) have just announced a shocking "Shifting of Focus" in their business in the near future. Says market analyst Skip Finkleman of International Investment Associates (NasdaqNM: IIAZ - news []), "The unique approach of using recalled chips as fashionable jewelry has caught both the high tech and fashion worlds by storm. Expect to see Crusoe necklaces. earrings, bracelets, and even transdermal implants by Q2 2001."

    Linus Torvalds, involved with the Transmeta venture from early on, urges Linux supporters to purchase Transmeta jewelry as soon as it becomes available. "We hope that the Open Source Community(tm) will support our move into wearable computers as whole heartedly as ever, even if it didn't come in the form we expected."
  • Those corporate PIGFUCKERS!! They don't know how to build up, or support communities -- no, they thrive on pain, torment, and destruction !

    Jealous of the success of Linus Torvalds and our tribe they are trying to reinstitute the Cathedral through the only means at their disposal -- main force.

    Well, I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Sony and NEC have had their chance to join the cluetrain. But they have ignored it, and us, for far too long.

    I hearby call ONE AND ALL for a BOYCOTT of all Sony products!

    It will be hard, but we must resist the corporate powers of Intellectual Property and Darkness!!

    (Exceptions may be made for certain Sony products, such as Aibo, anime DVDs, Vaio laptops, movies with neat-o special effects, and so on.)

    You may ask, why no boycott of Yahoo!? Well, unfortunately they have no products, and hence are untouchable by anyone save the Government itself.
  • I've always wondered what word process people have in mind when they make that claim.

    DOS EDIT runs fine on an 8086. I'm sure vi would work just as well. Markup like the old WordPerfect? 286 is just dandy. Antialiased-WYSIWYG, with multiple fonts, spelling and grammar checker, plus integrated graphics? I don't think a 486 will cut it. Add speech-to-text (Dragon NS) and suddenly the motto "a 486 is good enough for word processing" is obviously uninformed.

  • by worth ( 132011 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:20PM (#593564)
    I am a lawyer myself, and I can tell you that the "-paper" bit is shorthand meaning that the information is not original and is LIKELY to contain bad information© worth

  • Big, established chip makers with a diverse product range can weather
    this. Small IPOs with all their eggs in one basket can find
  • And for those who don't read Japanese(I can speak it, but my kanji sucks), here's the article run thru Excite Japan's rather amusing translator:

    To something wrong it, and the recall NEC

    The possibility that something wrong is caused in the product partially of CPU (central operation processor)"Crusoe" made by the US transformer meta company installed by the notebook-sized personal computer turned out, NEC clarified a part of the notebook-sized personal computer of the type equipped with Crusoe on the 29th, and it was clarified that the examination had started in the direction where it was a recall (collection and gratuitous repair). Sony which sold the notebook-sized personal computer which handled same Crusoe also started the investigation of the realities.

    It was confirmed not to be able to reinstall basic software (OS) partially of the notebook-sized personal computer for the individual who had put it on the market in October because of Crusoe's defective operation according to NEC. It is said as foresight by which [it] stays in several thousand parts which have already been sold to seem to become the object of the collection.

    For Crusoe, [it] is developed in rivalry with CPU of Intel Corp. which boasts of an overwhelming share, and low power consumption is a sales thing.

    (November 30th 01:47)
  • chack you're grammer

    Young citizen, this is humorous!

  • by JatTDB ( 29747 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:22PM (#593568)
    A more likely scenario is that it's a symptom of our economy's drive to keep making things faster and cheaper. Products get rushed out the door without enough time for a truly thorough QA process. Little things that the design engineers may miss, or discard as "nah, that'll hold fine!", can very easily come back and bite you in the ass later.

    I do think your statement is right in a sense. We see more recalls, and a public recall is often preferable to the cost and bad pr of a lawsuit. At the same time, I think there's a lot more really shoddy products out there than ever before. The statement "They don't make em like they used to" has a lot of truth in it.

  • hmmm... maybe they could
    since so much of the chip is in software, maybe they could correct it by modifying the chip's firmware...
  • I wish there was more info on this, as I have a Sony C1VN and it seems to be doing fine (with the exception that X doesn't work yet, but that's being worked on...)


  • it would be nice if the yahoo article said what the error was...
    and from what i've heard transmeta is supposed to be issuing new micro code patches that can be flash upgraded to the first series right?
  • The worrying thing is that a news site can't get its grammar correct.
    Do not use 'neither' with three or more things.

    (F*cking Pedant)
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:34PM (#593573) Homepage Journal
    This is not a bug, this is a:

    • Feature
    • Test of the morphing code
    • Test of the addressing fix code
    • Linux kernel patch
    • GlibC patch
    • Banana
    • Slashdot Poll
    • Cmdr Taco
  • Too bad it's Wednesday and your alliteration no longer works.

  • Bad thing about hardware is that you can't just issue a bugfix patch

    Actually, this is exactly what the Microprocessor Update feature of the current Pentium's is all about. Intel releases firmware updates as binary files that can be loaded into the processors firmware memory and can fix processor errata. Sorry, Intel won't tell you what the firmware instruction format is and they also encrypt the update files that they release so you can't change the instruction set willy nilly but this is a nifty way of correcting processor mistakes.

    Don Dugger
    VA Linux Systems

  • by Gavin Scott ( 15916 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:47PM (#593576)
    Even if this is a real problem, a "recall" might amount to nothing more than it does with most automotive problems. When you hear that Toyota is realliing 1.5 million cars, it doesn't mean that they have to be replaced, more likely that one has to bring the car into a dealer where some small part will be adjusted in five minutes.

    Virtually all of the Crusoe functionality seems to be driven by software in flash rom (IIRC), so almost any problem should be fixable by simply flashing or replacing the rom chip.

    If this were an old Intel CPU (FDIV bug, etc.) then you *would* be looking at replacing hardware.

    Sounds like it might be a good time to pick up some TMTA :-)

  • also see It is said to be limited to 300 chips from one specific batch. The problem only happens if there is a reinstall of the O/S. I would assume this is a limited production bug (as opposed to design bug). Since Transmeta stock droped 17%, this is roughly $1.5 million for each bad chip.
  • A just spotted one of the most offtopic comments I've seen in a while, had to reply! :)

    Umm they pay you a few cents and hour, if that and you have to be activly surfing. Lets break down the math.
    Alladvantage, one of the most popular pays 20 cents an hour.
    Max 720 hours in a month. A horribly addicted surfer may surf 12 hours a day = 360 hours
    lets say you get paid 20 cents an hour that is 72 dollars a month for being on the web all of your waking hours for an entire month. BTW you can earn that amount of money giving plasma three times, which is much less painful than halving to deal with a supid ad bar on your screen constantly.
    Average surfer is generally on the web activly surfing maay 5 hours a day = 30.00 seems like good money but I repeat having to have a stupid ad bar blocking a large amount of your screen all the time simply isn't worth it.

    Summiting at +1,, hey I got karma to burn!
  • Could this be FUD? Or is it a bug?

    FUD or bug
    FUD or bug
    it matters not at all

    for if be FUD,
    the fear will kill
    and if be bug,
    the code "be broke"

    and either way
    the stock shall fall and fall

  • There is a real advantage to a laptop that can run on batteries during a transcontinental flight (and not just for watching DVDs). And although I agree that a 486 should be just fine for word-processing, the folks in Redmond (and Santa Clara) have had different ideas; I'd hate to use Office 2000 on such a unit.

    Long battery life doesn't have much geek value, but for many of the folks who buy new laptops it may be the most important thing.

  • But with procesors they arent suposed to make um like they used to
  • What do you think? L.T. had a hand in the creation of this "chip".

    It makes me puke.

    L*n*s, get out of the f*cking kitchen, asshole!
  • And another fact is that the stocks dropped suddenly by 20% shortly after 2pm:

    They haven't recovered significantly, as usually is the case if it's only a rumour.
  • Transmetta is really having problems and their marketing department has made many promises that they cannot keep as a company. Here are all the difficulties/errors that Transmetta has had to deal with

    • Low Power P3 will be much faster
    • IBM Cancelled Crusoe
    • COMPAQ is considering Cancelling the Crusoe
    • The Transmetta lasts half as long as was promised (3 hours vs a whole work day)

    Could this company be under any more fire. Frankly I dont think that the code emulation is all that great and I am not sure on just how well the low the low power Crusoe will be. Why haven't they released a bunch of specs and benchmarks if their product is so good.

    Everyone say bye bye to Transmetta

  • Has anyone else noticed that a lot of companies are issuing recalls lately? Does anyone else think they are just afraid of lawsuits after the bad rep big name companies have gotten regarding avoiding recalls because of the firestone fiasco?

    just a thoguht.

  • ... but Transmeta is about 5 years old. And its founder used to be a chief processor architect at Sun. and the technology they claim as their own was initially developed in Russia before 1990 because 1990-91 was the time when Elbrus team had designed the UltraSparc I (or at least helped Sun to start with the design).

    It means that it is not THAT new.
  • by qsi ( 131140 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:04PM (#593587)
    The "-paper" bit in the headline is Reuters shorthand, meaning that the story is based on a newspaper article.
  • Bad thing about hardware is that you can't just issue a bugfix patch =P
  • This was a funny, well-written joke. The "wearable computer" thing was a gas!
  • Anyone know how much chip recalls cost approx.? I mean... they go and make hundereds of chips and then they just destroy or analyze them after recall I assume?
  • It's a Reuters report. It just happens to be posted on yahoo.
  • by ejbst25 ( 130707 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:03PM (#593592) Homepage
    No conspiracy theories here. But isn't it funny how negative things pop-up at conveniant times? Whether it be drunk driving shortly before an election or a bug when a company goes IPO. ;-)
  • b00m b00m shake shake the r00m! your post is offtopic now leave the room!
  • by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @01:12PM (#593594)
    If your recall Transmeta's initial product anouncement for the Crusoe, you'll remember that the ROM where the code-morphing software resides is flashable. If the "bug" is in the software, problem solved (don't you just love software upgradeable CPUs?). If it's in the hardware, things get a little trickier. For some very specific hardware errors (like the FDIV bug in the original pentium), this shouldn't be too difficult, as they impact one assembly instruction fed a small set of error-inducing data. If the error is more broad, say that there is a major flaw in one or more of the VLIW core's internal instructions, new hardware may be necessary.

    But with a chip as simple as the Crusoe, it would be awfully embarrassing to screw up the bare metal that much.
  • by Flounder ( 42112 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:04PM (#593595)
    I thought everything that Linus Torvalds was involved with was divine perfection? Must be a problem with NEC and Sony.

    Awaiting the Narn Bat Squad to mod me down.

  • Neither NEC, Transmeta or Sony could be reached immediately for comment.

  • Either /. posted a false article with no credibility or Transmeta is about to learn what it takes to play with the big-boz.

    Either way this is not a good news.

    -- George
  • Intel's Pentium recall (FDIV bug) cost $450 million. The MTH recall cost $100 million.
  • maybe this theory will hold up when Crusoes start exploding and killing people. QED.
  • 4+ hours is pretty nice compared to some of the PC laptops. Apple has done pretty well in the battery-dept. lately. And the iBook does even better I think.
  • Might I say, truly superb troll. Looks like you covered all your bases. Not only did you reply in a completely off-topic manner, but you got a +1 Informative out of it too!

    And to whatever crack smoking moderators gave him this point (probably in an attempt to get rid of it), lay off the pipe. I'll see you in MetaMod.
  • by craw ( 6958 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:25PM (#593602) Homepage
    Let us analyze this one. Yahoo (Reuters) posts the initial story at 1:30 pm EST. Transmeta stock price [] does a nose dive starting at 2:00 pm. Now that is a difference of 30 critical minutes! 30 minutes!

    Compare that to the lightning quick reflexes of ppl that get First Posts here at /. You snooze, you lose. So cheer up all you FP'ers out there. There is a future for you in the Stock Market.:)

  • "low power consumption" - just a *sales* thang...
  • I just received an email from Commander Taco that the strain of those fifty comments being posted may bring down slashdot for the rest of year...abandon ship...abandon ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aba
  • IT'S NOT Wednesday Here On The West Coast!
  • by Chalst ( 57653 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:40PM (#593607) Homepage Journal
    I think that the dynamic compilation technology that Transmeta have bet
    their shirt on is a winner, and will in the long run render CISC
    procesors obsolete. But I doubt that Transmeta in it's current form
    will reap the benefits. Look at what has gone wrong for them:

    • Their unveiling really gave less than stellar performance: their
      700MHz machine gave performance that is probably in the range
      450MHz-500Mhz (but independent, comprehencsive benchmarks are not to
      be had). By all accounts this has been very disappointing to
      Tramsmeta's engineers.
    • This was at a start of a year that has seen strong increases
      in Intel's and AMD's flagship offerings. Transmeta have not shown off
      anything new in this time, so their already poor performance is
      falling behind.
    • They ran into horrible foundry problems at the beginning of the
      year, which, while settled looks to be settled in a quite expensive
      way for them.
    • OEMs have not exactly been flocking to their product.
    • Now this: this could really hurt consumer confidence in Transmeta

    Most likely outcome: they get bought out by a competitor (Intel?
    IBM? perhaps even AMD or Sony?), at a favourable or not so favourable
    price. To survive on their own they will need to do something

  • Perhaps Linus just needed more content for his new autobiography []

    A tuxedo is nothing without a purple, feathered hat. The Linux Pimp []

  • I Didn'T Say WHAT PLANET!
  • Yeah...we are only supposed to jump the gun and trash things when it is MS or Intel related.

    C'mon people - this is Linus must be non-news.
  • What is the bogomios number for *any* Cursoe chip? Why does Transmeta fear to release it? Is it because it SUCKS? If the number means nothing as so many /.ers say, they why do they PH33R to post it?





    It's the right thing to do.

  • Wow, dude! Check your calendar! It's currently 1:39pm, Wednesday November 29 in Seattle; currently located in the Pacific time zone.
  • <i> All you NEED to do word processing and check email is a 486, if we put an 18 micron 486 in a laptop with today's technology, you'd get what, five hours? ;P </i> (Scot Seese)

    Unless your megacorp requires you to use Outlook. Then you need a PIII 128 JUST to get Email...

  • That is currently my goal. Please join me in the TROLL TUESDAY festivities. For a complete agenda, read the above reply to the FIRST POST.
  • This doesn't make too much sense to me, as we devolve into more mindless speculation than CNN did on TWA Flight 800...

    From usoe.htm

    "...when problems or design issues come up they can be fixed in software instead of hardware. This makes it a lot easier to develop a chip, and work around any flaws that are encountered..."


    "It would seem to me that users need to be able to update their Code Morphing software in some situations, like if a serious bug is found or new
    features are added. "

    Now, NEC is not an idiot, I assume, so they know all this is true. If that is the case then there is a bona fide h/w problem, is there not? If it were anything else, it could be corrected by flashing the EEPROM (or something...). But that's not the case... "NEC is mulling a recall". Help me out here, I could be wrong.
  • I gotta say that this is a pretty crappy slashdot news item...notice the screw-ups in the title and the short abstract. And to think that this is from someone paid to do this? Where do I sign up?
  • They don't screw it in.

  • by Anonymous Coward


    ....Apple's been taking it up the ass from Moto (what, a fast chip? re: 500 MHz) and IBM (what, dsp-like features? re: altivec) so long that it really needs some kind of exit strategy, allowing it to sit down again.

    Seriously: the transmeta patent filings indicate that the initally-target ISA for their technology was PowerPC, not IA32. How hard could it be for them to switch over and deal with PowerPC, especially if apple paid them?

    They are a perfect match in many ways: apple has always used low-power chips, and apple's HW design is increasingly resembling embedded devices (for all intents and purposes, the cube is an embedded device.)

    Plus the rumors (see today) indicate that Apple is pressing IBM + Moto to allow 3rd party people to make PowerPC chips. If Apple goes with transmeta, this wouldn't even be necessary, as IBM is the foundry for transmeta...

  • Excuse Me ...
    by Poligraf ( on
    Wednesday November 29, @08:56PM EST

    .. but Transmeta is about 5 years old.
    And its founder used to be a chief processor
    architect at Sun. and the technology they
    claim as their own was initially developed in
    Russia before 1990 because 1990-91 was the time
    when Elbrus team had designed the
    UltraSparc I (or at least helped Sun to start
    with the design).

    It means that it is not THAT new.


    "Sbaw-w-w-n in the C-I-A", (c) Boss
    "Back in the ewe SS awe" (c) Beatles

    More bazaar than ever?


    Does that mean it's irrelevent that
    Intel didn't go broke because the
    8086 was too slow for Windoze?

    AMD shoulda gone broke businesswise
    but penguins carried AMD on their
    shoulders for years and AMD is
    just coming into their own now.

    There's room for Transmeta. Even
    with their proprietary dark area
    their code-morphing area is an
    enlargement on the space open-
    source minds have been thriving
    in. More bazaar than ever!


    "Spaw-w-wn in the C-I-A", (c) Springsteen
    "Back in the ewe SS awe" (c) Beatles

    Greenspan's Anti-Dot-Commie McCarthyism

    (Mighty Wurlitzer v. Victrola Charlie)

    "Kill the chinky gooks, er, cheeky GEEKS!!!",
    said Alan Greenback

    ...dinosaurs kick back! It's not safe to
    ignore their big ugly feet.

    It takes a crowd of penguins to carry
    AMD, but why should we carry dinosaurs--
    I mean run windoze? How many penguins are
    there anyway?

    Transmeta's stock price went down because of
    SOMEBODY in the know ten dollars a couple
    of days BEFORE the $5 drop a half hour after
    this news...pre-news drop covered up by a dust-cloud
    kicked up by Linus' bio

    "Hoard intro credit card rates, drop til you
    pop",Victrola Charlie advised Transmeta

    "Kill VC[venture capitalists]!!!", shrieked
    Alan Greenbacks, drooling and foaming.

  • Liar, Liar.

    I use outlook 2000 on my 486/100 Laptop with 32 Mb of RAM. It runs *fine*, and trust me, I get my e-mail.

  • Another country? The news is from right here in our own country of Japan. Are you referring to the fact that Yahoo is an American company?

    In other news, -1 Flaimbait gets modded as a 4...
  • Just checked the Vaio support site, and Sony have a statement about this..(in Japanese) in fo19.html

    For the Japanese-impaired, it says something to the effect that:

    "There has been a reported problem with the Crusoe CPU where a system re-installation using the recovery CD doesn't complete..

    For the C1:
    As of 11/29, for the 26,000 units shipped there haven't been any reports of this problem

    For the GT1:
    As of 11/29, for the 2,200 units shipped there have been 7 enquiries regarding recovery CD problems, and these are being investigated."

    Note: this is not a literal translation - just my rough summary. Basic meaning is there though.

  • I remember Transmeta claiming that they wouldn't have such problems since things can always be fixed in software. Maby this is a more fundamental problem. Interesting, though.


  • Yes, That's true Poligraf... But five years development against Intel's x86 architecture, which goes back what.. 15 years or more, and AMD / Motorola's experience making microprocessors for everything under the sun, including cell phones, ethernet cards, printer engines, and a cornucopia of microcontrollers - Would tend to suggest that they have a better handle on the design/manufacturing/quality controll aspects of bringing a new chip to market. There is another factor as well; Established companies that already HAVE product in the channel can afford slight delay to assure 2nd generation product performs properly. With Transmeta sellling their first chip, they have no such cash cow allowing them to poke around in the lab for another six months. If Intel's P4 is a dog, while their stock will get knocked around, they aren't going to go out of business if it takes them two quarters to fix it. Nor is Gateway going to stop using Intel processors.
  • by Sodakar ( 205398 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:13PM (#593625)

    The original, short article on the Yomiuri Times seems to be here [], although it's in Japanese.

    The extra info that wasn't reported on the Yahoo! reads:
    "One of the problems reported was that due to irregularities in the chip, basic software programs (eg, OS) could not be reinstalled"

    Laf. That *could* be a slight problem if you plan on running Windoze...

  • Does anybody have a link to the so called bug paper?

    It seems rather odd, I haven't been able to find anything on any news sites about the actual bug incident yet NEC and Sony are talking about a recall. If the bug is serious enough to demand a recall (I'm thinking Pentium math error type bug) we would hear about it from other sources. So, does anybody have those other sources?

    Also, depending upon the type of bug couldn't the firmware within the chip be upgraded as the core of crusoe is programmable, it seems most bugs would be software centered although the possibility for hardware is definitely there. I hope this isn't Yahoo jumping the gun on a rumor that NEC is investigating. While I dont hold /. to a journalistic standard (It's just Rob's little playground, until people on here start calling themselves journalists) I would expect Yahoo to follow guidelines and not publish rumors. Where's the facts!?

  • ...a "recall" might amount to nothing more than it does with most automotive problems...

    ...except that's a rather narrow look at it.

    Imagine 1.5 million cars requiring replacement of a part. A part costing a manufacturer $10 to make might be $20 retail (more like $40, but assume the lower number for the example). Remember, the part must be manufactured, shipped, handled, et al; someone must eat the cost. Next. Perhaps the part takes 30 minutes to replace, a quick shop job; labor, $30 (nominal dealer service rate). That's $75 million total, and doesn't even attempt to quantify loss of sales from the error. Per car cost might not be terribly high, but someone's ass is likely to be fired for a loss of 75 big ones.


  • My impression of the events at Transmeta HQ, today:

    CEO: Knock, knock, Torvalds.
    Linus: Who's there, Sir?
    CEO: Not you anymore.

    Eat well, exercise regularly - oh, who am I kidding.
  • This type of occurance should be expected. All chip manufacturers have had their own setbacks. Just because Crusoe is putting out chips that are parts of some damn cool gadgets that everyone wants doesn't mean they aren't vulnerable to the occasional flaw.

  • True...that would have been worse for the company...but not the investors/employees with options.
  • I could be wrong (IANAJournalist), but I think the "-Paper" reference refers to the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.


    1) This can't be good during a time when dotcom stocks are being de-valued like nobody's business in the climate of 'make money before Christmas or die' (or is it 'holy shit remember the last time a Bush was in office' I can't be sure).


    2) This is the best time for a high-tech, new economy recently-IPO'd company to have bad news, since they are all going to hell anyway.

    I can't be sure (IANAEconomist, either).

    And to think TMTA was one of the brighter boys of the recent IPO's. Pity.
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @12:28PM (#593632) Homepage
    Hmmmm, my informant at Reuters claims they got it from slashdot.
  • That should read 'chip-failure' -Paper

    The Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper initially reported on the chip-failure

    Looking for tickets [] to the Broncos/Seahawks game on Dec 10th at Mile High?
    Interested in the Colorado Lottery?
  • I emailed Transmeta's PR department... Wait and see if they get back to me ;)
  • Maybe it's being recalled because it works correctly instead of faithfully reproducing the Intel bug. :-)
  • Ok, here is the story:
    I ran through lots of tests including a full debian install on a Crusoe Vaio. It ran very well (twice faster than the older PII model) and had no problems besides X (I could not get this running and sony deserves all the flak it can get for the display in the new Vaio).

    A the same time it could not install RedHat, recent SuSe (old Suse installs fine, upgrade is also fine) and Mandrake. In all cases it hanged on the initializing swap the first time. Which definitely shows a problem. Either in the CPU virtual addressing or in the peripherals.

    It is not just crusoe that is new in the machines. Crusoe is accompanied by a north bridge and new peripheral chips. As most of the machines released so far are subnotebooks these are not standard and IMHO buggy.

    I am not saying that crusoe itself may not have bugs but from what I saw so far bugs in the north bridge (which unfortunately is on the same chip with Crusoe) and/or south bridge/peripherals are more likely.
  • The opportune time would have been just *before* the IPO. It could
    have been a lot worse for Transmeta a month ago...
  • Does this really count as news. Unconfirmed reports from a news agency in another country. The only part of the article that is factual is that Transmeta had their IPO recently.

    This just in:

    Two homeless teenagers were overheard discussing that Microsoft will be filing for bankruptcy next week. For the time being we can only assume that this must be the truth as officials at Microsoft have not responded to requests for comments that have been sent to 10 minutes ago.

    In other news, has buckled under the load of 50 comments being posted at the same time. Officals at /. have refused all requests for answers.

  • The headline is:

    "NEC mulls PC recall, citing chip failure-paper"

    In other words the information 'NEC mulls PC recall, citing chip failure' is attributed to a newspaper. e.g. "The presidential race is over-Bush" has Bush saying he is the president.

  • Ok, so there is a "possible" bug with the chip, and transmeta stock plummets 20%...

    Why is this bug such a big deal? Complex microchips are inherently buggy. It would take years to test all the capabilities of a modern microprocessor for errors. It's never done.

    So, either this bug is big enough to really warrant a recall, in which case it should have at least been described in the article on yahoo, and likely would have been discovered in previous explorations of the chip, or...

    Intel is pissed and wants destroy Transmeta before they become real competition (which is understandable, yay capitalism! :), and needs to take the attention away from how utterly disappointing the P4 is.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors