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Transmeta

Transmeta Astro -- More Details 142

chill writes "We've recently seen announcements, product launches and reviews from AMD and Intel on their new low power chipsets. Not to be left out, Transmeta has more details on their forthcoming Astro processor. Slashdot covered the Astro back at Comdex in November."
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Transmeta Astro -- More Details

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  • One of these days... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:16PM (#5540362) Homepage Journal
    it will be feasable to build a home system with a transmeta chip without it being a pain in the ass to find or get ahold of one. My next system will be either an Athlon XP or a Crusoe/Astro. Which it will be will depend on a lot of things, but if its a pain in the ass to get, I'll just end up with the AMD.
    • to preempt the inevitable flames, I realize that the Transmeta chips are designed for laptops and tablets and their ilk. Is it such a crime to desire a chip which places heat and power consumption above highest clock in ones desktop system?
      • by kfg ( 145172 )
        No, it isn't. Particularly for systems intended for basic use, such as, say, running vi and mutt, with the odd Nethack session thrown in, or even Win98 with basic productivity software.

        VIA chips are also a viable solution for these systems, and my next desktop system, literally, I'm going to be building it directly into the desktop itself, will probably rely on one of these low heat, low power consumption, chips.

        First figure out how much "power" you need, then get the chip that requires the least power fo
      • In which case, why do you state that you would use either an Athlon XP or a Transmeta chip? these are the exact opposites in the speed per power curve!

        It sounds to me much more like an 'anything but intel' approach - fine, but at least admit it.

        If you want a low power consumption (and quiet) desktop solution now, look into the VIA C3 series, not fast but very low power.

        If you want a high power but fast solution, look at Intel or AMD, they rule the desktop one way or another.

        I personally would like to se
        • Basically, I am not pleased with the P4 series' performance per cycle, and I have had good luck thus far on my wife's Athlon XP. I may also consider the VIA C3, now that you mention it. I have had good experiences with their motherboards (at least the ones made by reputable manfacturers. Damn you, FIC!). Basically, I plan to go hunting for a new machine in November since I cycle motherboard+cpu at a rate of once every two years or so. The Duron 900 i have is stable, but it doesnt have the best efficien
          • Performance boost (Score:2, Insightful)

            by mmol_6453 ( 231450 )
            If you have a lot of ram, one way to improve compile time is to move all the code off the (slow) harddrive and onto the (fast) ramdisk. (Debian defines /tmp as a ramfs drive...dunno about other distributions.)

            Works for me. :) (But then, I just placed my second order for 768MB of PC133 SDRAM...So I'm a bit behind the times.)
        • OK, you're all taking the piss out of the guy who said his desktop choice was between Transmeta and AMD. Well, so is mine. It's partly about elegance, it's partly about supporting the smaller guy, but it's mainly about price/performance.

          My present desktop is a dual Athlon, and it is most pleasingly quick. My work is largely building big server-side stuff in Java, and this machine just zips through big Java compiles. I like it very much. But it is noisy. When I was building it I did think about a quad proc

    • Have you considered the C3 chip from VIA?
    • by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:53PM (#5540596) Journal
      My next system will be either an Athlon XP or a Crusoe/Astro.

      My next car will either be an RX8 or a Prius.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      1) Create cool (literally) CPU.

      Most of the time I just use a browser, email client and xmms. I also ssh into school to run Mathematica. I don't need a CPU capable of frying eggs thank you very much. An Astro desktop system would be perfect for me.

      2) Refuse to sell to someone wanting to build their own desktop system based on your CPU.

      I just wan't a CPU and mobo damn it. Why is this so hard to understand. I already have all the other components. I'd be willing to pay $400 for the privilege of having no fa
      • its a shame that was anonymous, you'd be straight to the friends list. Preach on, brother, preach on.
      • My feelings exactly.

        I wwant just a mobo for a desktop TRANSMETA.

        Just for fun.

        Cheers,
      • How much would you pay to get rid of the noise your computer makes?

        Not much, fortunately. VIA's C3 processors consume roughly the same amount of power that the Transmeta chips consume, they sell for a fraction of the price, they are reasonably easy to find, they work on TONS of motherboards (most modern P3 boards), and to top it off, they beat the pants off anything Transmeta's put out when it comes to performance (which isn't saying much).

      • Try the Via C3 ITX CPU/motherboard combos. You can build a machine that runs without a fan and has something like 11"x10"x2" footprint. There's a few sites out there that build complete systems with slimline CD-ROMS (or DVDs) for around $400.

        Here's a link:

        http://www.mini-itx.com/store/ [mini-itx.com]

    • wow, who modded that shit up?
    • One of these days was a month ago for me ... I got a VIA Eden ME6000 single board computer from Frys for 100 bucks and some change. No fans, even on the CPU! And, it eats very little power. It's got all the peripherals you'll need for a web server or a dinky home computer.

      I bought a regular mid tower case (that takes the Mini-ATX form factor) two 120GB drives, and with Redhat Linux, I setup a software RAID mirror!

      Looking inside this big case is laughable, there's nothing but a teensy little board in th
  • but I have little faith in any third party entries in the CPU market at this point. Much like vid-cards, I the market only has enough room for a two horse race.

    Remember Cyrix? (shudder)
    • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:22PM (#5540407)
      That's interesting; I rather like my transmeta-powered laptop. Especially the way it uses a whole 7 watts of power for the entire thing (that's a mostly idle state... editors and web browsers open, but not doing ahuge amount). It's lightweight and fast enough, but more speed is always welcome. As is lower power, which I think the new chip is...

      Seems to me the Transmeta chips work fine.

      For reference, I'm using a Toshiba Libretto L1, purchased from Dynamism.com.

      • I didn't mean to impy that the Transmeta chips were of poor quality.. that Cyrix remark was a wee bit out of place. The topic of third party chips always brings me right back to my horrid experiences with them. Sorry for those I offended. ;)
        • Oh, no offense taken... just meant to say that Transmeta produces good chips. Not for every purpose, but for some. And I'm always in favor of a bit more competition, especially when the competitor has some really interesting innovations.
    • Ever heard about Matrox?
      • Well obviously Matrox didn't have the either the capability, whether it be technologically or intellectually, nor the resources to keep up with others. Does this mean they couldn't make a "solid product?" I dunno, but they tried, and now video card prices are sky-high ridiculous. MS can charge $500+ for a Office Suite, and that's fair? I call it price gouging.
      • As far as I know, Matrox primarily deals in business cards designed for enhancing 2D display (text, image editing, etc). I was referring to gaming cards.
        • > As far as I know, Matrox primarily deals in >business cards designed for enhancing 2D display (text, image editing, etc). I was referring to >gaming cards.

          Were I Matrox, I'd be scared. The 'everyday' cards are now getting good enough that the monitor is the limit on the image quality. I use an el-cheapo $249 19" special.

          I had a G400. I had a Radeon 7000. I had a Voodoo III. I couldn't tell the difference. Why would I pay more than the $40 the Radeon cost?

          But returning to topic, what Tran
    • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:35PM (#5540488)
      but I have little faith in any third party entries in the CPU market at this point. Much like vid-cards, I the market only has enough room for a two horse race.

      (That's insightful? C'mon now.)

      Transmeta is going off in a different direction. Intel and AMD have gotten to be about trading massive power consumption for incremental performance increases. Now Intel is backpedalling because you just can't stick a high end P4 in a laptop (hence the Centrino). Transmeta is putting power consumption first, which is a different angle.
      • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:49PM (#5540578) Homepage Journal

        Transmeta is putting power consumption first, which is a different angle.

        People often speak of CPU power consumption in the same breath as laptops and it's certainly important.

        Despite the troubles of RLX and related companies (probably due to the general market downturn more than their specific product), the server market for low power chips will come back.

        At some point we'll probably see benchmarks on TPC/kW or Webstones/rack where Transmeta could make a dent.

        • Despite the troubles of RLX and related companies (probably due to the general market downturn more than their specific product), the server market for low power chips will come back. At some point we'll probably see benchmarks on TPC/kW or Webstones/rack where Transmeta could make a dent.

          An intriguing question. What I wonder is, if server power becomes such a significant aspect of design due to the price of electricity, what does that mean for the clients of these systems? I wonder if it implies tha
        • At some point we'll probably see benchmarks on TPC/kW or Webstones/rack where Transmeta could make a dent.

          The only place Transmeta's going to make a dent is in its investors' portfolios. I expect your TPC/kW prediction to come to pass within 5-10 years, but the only thing left of Transmeta by then will be an entry in fuckedcompany.com's archives.

          Transmeta's processors are technologically fascinating and far ahead of their time. However, the company overhyped itself with all that Skunk Works shit (*c

        • That'sa reasonably good point, though I don't anticipate Transmeta making too much of a dent here any time soon. The higher bandwidth memory and Hypertransport bus on the new Astro migh help, but they really need to get the performance of the chip up to half-way respectable levels first.

          However, the Pentium-M looks like a KICK-ASS blade server processor to me! Beyond the low power consumption, it has 1MB of L2 cache! What's more, it's got a 400MHz bus, which should help for some decent I/O performance.
      • Hey, no one ever said that he with the most ingenuity wins. We're dealing with what already is a cut-throat market. There's currently two competitors, one survives because half of the market doesn't trust the other. The other survives only by reducing costs by sacrificing stability and quality.

        Where does Transmeta fit in? That tiny demographic that's willing to pay the extra cash for lower voltage and longer battery life? How long do you think they'll honestly survive serving a nich market..? Unless they
        • Serving a rich market has worked fine for Apple for years. A good way to boost your profit margins is to simply sell a superior, more expensive product.

          My Compaq Presario 12XL423 is a piece of garbage. Not a day goes by that I don't kick myself for not spending a few hundred more on a better laptop.
    • Disclaimer: I do have one of the systems I'm about to mention, but I would like to build one ;)

      VIA bought Cyrix a while ago; though maybe there's not *that* much difference between getting bought and going out of business (from the point of view of the company that got bought, outside of the folks who ended up getting bonuses because of it;)), and though this article (http://accelenation.com/?ac.id.141.1) says that VIA pretty much put the Cyrix part "to sleep," the market niche that Cyrix had with the Medi
      • FWIW Cyrix is dead in all but the name, and even that is pretty much gone. Cyrix as a seperate entity disapeared some time ago when they were bought by National Semi. NS then proceeded to mismange, bungle and thwart all attampts to do anything useful for the next two+ years, before finally giving up and selling the Cyrix MII processor, the Cyrix name and most Cyrix employees to VIA. NS kept the MediaGX chip to themselves, and still sell it, albeit it in virtually non-existant quantities.

        As for VIA, they
    • Remember Cyrix?

      Remember 3dfx?

  • by yozzle ( 628834 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:16PM (#5540366)
    The more processors we have competing, the more Intel and AMD will push ahead in their research to make even faster (and hopefully cooler) processors. Transmeta's upcoming release of the Astro processor will provide this competition for them. I hope we can see improvement in the field of PC processors.
    • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:04PM (#5540659) Homepage
      make even faster (and hopefully cooler) processors

      Decide. You can only have one at a time.

      They either give you faster CPUs or cooler CPUs.

      First, they go for faster for the price of creating way more heat. Those were the last few years.

      Right now, the market has decided that it doesn't need any more speed and that it is more concerned about heat and energy consumption. Alas, not for enviromental reasons, since then we'd see low voltage CPUs and chipsets in desktops, but because it affects laptop battery life and it's potentially unpleasant [wired.com].

      I hope that low voltage CPUs will be seen more often in desktops. I hate my computer's cooling fans.
      • They either give you faster CPUs or cooler CPUs.

        They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Look at the chart here: Heat Down! Intel, AMD And VIA In Detail [tomshardware.com]
        A P4-2.53GHz generates less heat than a 1.7GHz Celeron.
      • The major reason CPUs keep getting hotter as they
        go faster is because as feature size shrinks, the
        leakage currents go up. However there is a lot of
        research on controlling leakage. It's just that
        up to a point so long as people don't complain
        too much CPU makers can ignore leakage and require
        ever bigger heatsinks. But now at around 90 nm,
        leakage is becoming the bottleneck not only for
        heat production but even for signal propagation,
        so I expect to see tons of research turn into
        tons of practical solutions, like d
  • It slices it dices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigmase521 ( 612670 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:19PM (#5540391) Homepage
    but I wonder if it'll run Linux. If the performance is as good as thought to be, and the low-power consumption is really up to snuff, this chip could be in my new laptop. If Linus has any input, it's already Linux-ready. Let's just hope the rest of the freakin' hardware the OEM's use will be the same.
    • The details article mentions that a lot of the load the hardware normally does is being shunted back on the software. According to ArsTechnia, that's where it should be. (1 [arstechnica.com], 2 [arstechnica.com])

      My question is, will compilers be able to bypass the code morphing software, and directly work with the Transmeta's underlying instruction set?
      • The first two TM chips had incompatible instruction sets. They want to be able to change everything around underneath without breaking anything. Think of the code morphing engine as an optimizing microcode engine that's too big to fit into hardware. You aren't allowed to compile things to P4 microcode in your userspace binaries and you won't be allowed to compile things to Astro native instructions for userspace binaries. It's a black box and that's the way TM wants it. If you did compile to native Ast
        • The hardware and code morphing software were designed for eachother, and the x86 ISA doesn't enforce bounds checking or an object model, so the overhead shoould be much lower than a JVM. I'm not so sure you get much of a performace increase by using Astro native code.

          This is how I understand it as well. I posted a question about just this sometime ago somewhere, and I was told that it was stupid/impossible to run "native" Crusoe code because there really is no such thing.

          There was a lot of conjecture goi

        • Ah...

          On another note, it should be possible for them to implement hyperthreading in their code morphing engine. That'd be interesting. I wonder if Intel has a patent on it.
    • Re:Silent is good (Score:2, Interesting)

      by torndorff ( 566594 )
      Actually I have a Transmeta Crusoe chip in my Sony Picturebook running FreeBSD 4.7-STABLE and it performs amazingly well (neglecting the very slow hdd's used by Sony). I installed using only a USB floppy drive (thanks my Mac friends) and everything else has been done via 16-bit PCMCIA network adapters.

      I believe everything compiles as regular ole x86 and the code-morphing is done at a very low software layer. If you'll read more about the Transmeta chips you'll see that several megabytes of memory are con
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...the name of the Astro was "Tralfaz." OK, OK, it's a really obscure reference.
  • by HomerJ ( 11142 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:23PM (#5540411)
    I remember way back before they released anything, their major claim to fame so to speak was their code morphing tech where it would just emulate whatever cpu you needed. Making it maybe possible to do things like dualboot MacOSX and WindowsXP. They just decided to say the heck with all of that, and use it all to make low power x86 cpus(that don't look like they are selling too well based on the number of products using them)

    So where's my triple boot OSX/XP/Linux box running on a transmeta chip?
    • My understanding was the code morphing technology would convert IA code to the native transmeta chip's code, a bit like microinstructions. So it doesn't necessarily support any other architecture. But I could be wrong... nss
      • by dhovis ( 303725 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:56PM (#5540612)
        You are wrong.

        The idea of the code morphing is that any ISA could emulated. x86 is the only emulation that they focus on, but it should be able to emulate PPC, Alpha, MIPS, Z-80, you name it.

        • I'm tempted to repeat you, stating "No you're wrong", but instead I've danced aroudn it!

          Certainly the code morphing technology should theoretically allow them to execute an arbitrary binary instruction set, but in reality they targetted this system at x86. The goal of the project was to build a more efficient processor. All the tomfoolery about alternate instruction sets was so much speculation on the part of slashdot editors, others.
    • They're probably having a real bitch of a time with Apple. I can't imagine Apple will make it easy for OSX to run on hardware not normally found in Macs.

      Transmeta probably already has the PPC emulation down pat...It's just that it would be unwise to release it if OSX (Its most prominent potential use) won't run on it. Bad publicity.
      • They're probably having a real bitch of a time with Apple. I can't imagine Apple will make it easy for OSX to run on hardware not normally found in Macs.

        Keep in mind that Linus works for Transmeta, and OS X is BSD. I mean seriously, who would have the most experience in the entire world at doing this?

        Transmeta probably already has the PPC emulation down pat...It's just that it would be unwise to release it if OSX (Its most prominent potential use) won't run on it. Bad publicity.

        I am not convinced that t
    • I remember way back before they released anything, their major claim to fame so to speak was their code morphing tech where it would just emulate whatever cpu you needed.

      No, their claim to fame was that their code morphing allowed them to run x86 instructions on a VLIW chip, which may turn out to be more scalable/efficient than either RISC or CISC architectures. The R&D on the code morphing was just as expensive as the R&D for the rest of the chip, so I can't imagine they'd go repeating that for some less popular architecture.

      They never said they were about to release code morphing packages for other platforms. Idiotic journalists (and slashdot readers) were the ones that pointed out that the code morphing could work for other platforms.
    • The code morphing is still there. Read the article. This chip is not a "low power x86" but a RISC-style chip that runs x86 instructions through efficient emulation. This is what makes Transmeta interesting. The processor itself is 256-bit! So can it address 2^256 bits of memory? That really should be enough for anyone. It's kind of funny, with Intel in the background saying that 32bit is good enough for any desktop application...
      • Dude, get your facts straight. (a) transmeta chips are VLIW, not RISC. (b) the processor uses a 256-bit instruction path, but uses a mixture of 32 bit and 64 bit internal registers. This revision may include some 128 bit internal registers. Regardless, it can access 2^35 bits of memory, not even the 2^39 that intel chips can address...

      • by vlad_petric ( 94134 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:29PM (#5540790) Homepage
        NO.

        The processor is not RISC, it's VLIW. A meta-instruction is made of 8 smaller, 32-bit ones. The key characteristic of VLIW is that these 8 instructions are explicitly parallel; the processor knows, when processing this instruction, that it can execute all these 8 subinstructions in parallel (now a sub-instruction is RISC-like, I grant you that). The difficulty is finding this level of parallelism in existing x86 programs (this is the job of the software code morpher)

        Furthermore, only the meta-instruction is 256 bits, not the registers, etc (which are only 32 bits). That'd be way too wasteful. Most apps don't need more than 32 bits, anyway. Only big servers need more than 4 Gigs; this processor is targeted to mobile applications, therefore I'm pretty sure it can only address 4 G of RAM.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, my understanding was that the Transmeta was forced to do a bit of hardcoding for the x86 instruction conversion. It was readers, and notably the slashdot editors, who really pushed the idea of cross-platform support. CowboyNeil actually asked in a broadcast, and they gave him spin. It was *possible* perhaps, but not going to happen.

      The point of code morphing was to reduce the extra hardware and make a more efficent chip. Intel did that with IA-64, reducing much of the logic by putting it into the sof
    • Kinda. The whole point was to get 'conventional' instructions running on a VLIW chip which, because it was l33t, would run as fast as hell. Unfortunately it didn't really end up like that and the overall execution speed was nothing to write home about. It was, however, very power efficient and hence we get this whole about face and the emphasis on laptops and heat critical applications like blades.

      Bit of a disaster really.

      Why not emulate PPC? Well, for one there's less wrong with PPC than with x86 in the
      • PPC vs x86 IA has nothing to do with VLIW.

        VLIW improves performance when the instruction stream can be split up over multiple processing units.

        Exhibit A:

        LOAD A
        LOAD B
        LOAD C
        LOAD D
        ADD A, B
        MOD A, C
        ADD A, D
        STORE A

        LOAD E
        LOAD F
        LOAD G
        LOAD H
        ADD E, F
        MOD E, G
        ADD E, H
        STORE E

        Exhibit B:

        LOAD A
        LOAD B
        LOAD C
        LOAD D
        LOAD E
        LOAD F
        LOAD G
        LOAD H
        ADD A, B
        ADD E, F
        MOD A, C
        MOD E, G
        ADD A, D
        ADD E, H
        STORE A
        STORE E

        Exhibit A is more difficult to make parallel than exhibit B, since the potentially parallelable code is separated, and, fr
  • Separately, Sharp is announcing it will use the exisiting TM5800 in one of the thinnest notebooks on the market.

    hmmm, i wonder if i could get the boss to srping for one of these just so i could test it. [yup, after two month's intense scrutiny, i can tell you it runs games very well.]
    • by chill ( 34294 )
      I saw this but considered the following...

      It is so thin and light because it doesn't have any drives -- no CD/DVD and no floppy. Fine, but if I want to do that, I'll get that Lindows laptop that has about the same specs (Via C3 processor @ 933 MHz) for 1/2 the price ($799 vs $1,499)

  • Transmeta vs. ARM (Score:3, Informative)

    by yawnmoth ( 534382 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:39PM (#5540514)
    for those of ya'll who are currious how transmeta's line of processors compares to ARM based processors, here's an interesting page which sorta demonstrates that:

    http://www.duke.edu/~kaf3/lowpower/slide28.html

    • the 5400 is only used in the fujitsu p1000--my main reason for not purchasing it. i really do love arm processors, and i do hope that the astro is successful performance wise, but this comparison is not helpful or thorough. the only available reviews of the astro are still from comdex, and these were qualitative. i do think that transmeta can create a market and be somewhat profitable. when was the last time that the most exciting stuff was not intel? now we have ppc 970's, amd 64's, transmeta astro's, mobi
    • sort of (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      XScale technically isn't ARM. It is an old ARM implementation that was frozen in time when they sold it to Intel. ARM marches on in MIPS/watt in design wins. XScale only improves through process wins since Intel only owns an old implementation.
  • Why is it you can buy an Intel or AMD chip at a thousand different sites, but hardly anyone sells these Transmeta chips. Seems like low power consumption leads to less noise, and I for one would love anything to make my system quieter.
    • what???? i can't hear you...
    • You can't buy the CPU, cause you can't buy a board, where it fits. No standard socket, no bios support, ...

      Try to find a board, that supports AMD Mobile Athlon. This is much easier for the board manufacturer, it has the same socket and it only has to set core voltage, multiplier and FSB correctly.

      You can see the results of my experiments in the forums on www.silentpcreview.com [silentpcreview.com]. Search for Mobile Athlon.

      Bye egghat.
    • Why is it you can buy an Intel or AMD chip at a thousand different sites, but hardly anyone sells these Transmeta chips. Seems like low power consumption leads to less noise, and I for one would love anything to make my system quieter.

      Because most geeks still want Ultimate Performance At Any Cost. The standard pattern is that you can pay a $1000 premium for a new Intel chip that gives you a 9% clock speed boost in exchange for a 15% increase in power consumption. But people are tiring of this.
  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:55PM (#5540608) Homepage
    I'm a bit puzzled about the good and bad things of the various low power x86 CPU series. So far, I have identified at least five different:

    - Transmeta Crusoe
    - Via C3
    - Intel ULV (old, now outdated by the new Centrino)
    - Intel Pentium-M (aka Centrino, which appears to be a chipset strategy as well)
    - AMD XP-M (aka Low Voltage Thoroughbred)

    So, please tell me, why should I choose over the other? Where are the conceptual differences?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:09PM (#5540689)
      Fastest to slowest:
      AMD XP-M
      Intel Pentium-M
      Intel ULV Pentium III
      Via C3
      Transmeta Crusoe

      Least power to most power:
      Transmeta Crusoe
      Intel Pentium-M
      Via C3
      Intel ULV Pentium III
      AMD XP-M

      Cheapest to most expensive:
      Via C3
      Transmeta Crusoe
      Intel ULV Pentium III
      AMD XP-M
      Pentium-M

      It depends on your need; if you are going for embedded systems try a non-x86 processor, which is better in all two categories and in the middle in performance. For a laptop, the XP-M or Pentium-M offers desktop replacement performance; if battery life is your thing, the Pentium-M, Via C3 or Transmeta processors ought to do ok. If cheap is the most important thing then go Via.
  • Transmeta also has another low-power processor in the works code named "Elroy". More details as they become available...
  • reviews? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by simpl3x ( 238301 )
    i would love to see some real reviews which actually describe the performance specifically. i am looking forward to the chip, but right now it's next to vaporware. are chips out for review with nda's yet? i've googled--er used google--and have found only reviews from comdex.
  • It can be done, if you don't like fans in your computer, find a motherboard with a wide range of voltages. And do the oppisite of an overclock. Drop multipliers if your CPU is unlocked and drop the voltage. Less performace, but less heat. Perhaps even enough to get rid of all but a good heatsink.

    Go google for more info. Sounds like a good idea tho. Personally this P4 with a 80mm fan is plenty quiet, not silet, but quiet.
    • Check out the www.silentpcreview.com [silentpcreview.com] and especially their undervolting page and the forums. There are guys running Athlon at 800 MHz and 1,1 volt completely fanless. And an 800 MHz Athlon is faster than everything from VIA or Transmeta.

      Bye egghat.
  • Transmeta has licensed x86-64 from AMD. I don't think that it would be that big a deal to make the chip X86-64. It doesn't take that much transistors, and the performance-boost (thanks to those extra GP-registers) would be substantial when running 64bit-software. Also, X86-64 would get a nice boost by having more companies behind it.
  • ... in my desktop PC.

    Transmeta is impossible, cause there are no boards available. VIA is too slow.

    One way ist too underclock und undervolt your CPU. Some guys at www.silentpcreview.com [silentpcreview.com] have their Athlons running fanless(!) at 850 MHz and 1,1 Volt core voltage. The CPU doesn't consume more than 15 watts then.

    I've done some experiments with Mobile Athlon in normal desktop boards. But not with that great results. Check out the forums of silentpcreview [silentpcreview.com].

    Bye egghat.
  • I know, I know... I should google it, but... what kind of motherboard does the crusoe need? They offer you a reference design (Crusoe TM5800 System Development Kit), but I don't know of any other motherboard to run this proccessor.

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