[The Crusoe Processor]  
[Crusoe(TM)]


[FAQs]

Here are answers to frequently asked questions regarding Transmeta, its products, and its technologies.

1. What does Transmeta do?
2. What are the details behind the smart microprocessor architecture?
3. How is the Crusoe processor different from today's mobile processors from Intel and AMD?
4. How is the Crusoe processor different from today's StrongARM and MIPs processors used in Handheld PCs?
5. What is "Crusoe"?
6. How many Crusoe processor solutions are there?
7. Is Transmeta a public company?
8. How many versions of the Crusoe processor are planned?
9. Why did Transmeta choose to focus on ultra-light mobile PCs and mobile Internet devices?
10. Are Crusoe processors available now?
11. What will the Crusoe processor mean for mobility?
12. What is included in the Crusoe processor solution?
13. How does the Crusoe processor interface with other components in a mobile computer?
14. What is the power consumption of a Crusoe processor?
15. How does Crusoe processor's LongRun power management compare to Intel's SpeedStep (Geyserville) technology found on the Mobile Pentium III processor?
16. What are the benefits to companies that use the Crusoe processor in their mobile computers?
17. Can users expect a full day's operation with a mobile PC based on a Crusoe Processor?
18. Will the Crusoe processor be found in handhelds or web slate computers?
19. What is Midori Linux?
20. Is Transmeta getting into the Linux distribution business like RedHat?
21. Does Transmeta intend to release Midori Linux to the open source community?
22. Who builds Transmeta's Crusoe processor solution?
23. When was Transmeta founded?
24. What is Linus Torvalds's role at Transmeta?
25. How are the two versions of the Crusoe processor designated?

1. What does Transmeta do?
Transmeta creates, markets and sells the Crusoe processor, a family of software based, smart microprocessor solutions. Crusoe processors are specifically designed to combine PC software compatibility with high performance and extremely long battery life.

The Crusoe processor solutions are the only ones designed to span the complete range of ultra-light (less than four pounds) mobile PCs and Internet devices.

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2. What are the details behind the smart microprocessor architecture?
The smart microprocessor architecture, as used in the Crusoe Processor, relies on software to perform a carefully selected set of functions that are performed in today's hardware-based processors. This repartitioning of functionality allows for a great deal of flexibility in offering solutions that are more tailored to specific market segments

The Crusoe processor takes advantage of a key benefit in this repartitioning: the significant reduction in the number of transistors needed to perform a task. This reduction results in a power consumption as low as 10 to 20 milliwatts while users run everyday PC applications like email and Internet browsing. For heavy-duty multimedia applications like DVD, the processor typically consumes just 1 - 2 watts. It also leads to a very small die size that is economical to build.

The smart microprocessor consists of a hardware VLIW core as its engine and a software layer called Code Morphing
TM software. The Code Morphing software acts as a "shell" that surrounds the VLIW core but resides beneath the operating system "morphing" or translating x86 instructions to native Crusoe instructions. In addition, the Code Morphing software contains a dynamic compiler and code optimizer to search out blocks of software that make up the repetitive sequences commonly found in applications and reduces them to a smaller set of executable instructions. The result is increased performance at the least amount of power.

The final benefit offered by the smart microprocessor architecture is that it allows Transmeta to evolve the VLIW hardware and Code Morphing software separately without affecting the huge base of software applications. Upgrades to the software portion of a microprocessor can be rolled out independently from chip revisions. Likewise, decoupling the hardware design from the system and application software frees hardware designers to evolve (or eventually replace) their designs without perturbing the legacy software base.

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3. How is the Crusoe processor different from today's mobile processors from Intel and AMD?
Today's Intel and AMD mobile processors are really desktop processors that have been derated for the mobile market and as such, they represent the culmination of several generations of increasingly burdensome hardware complexity. While these processors have been the driving force behind desktop computing since the 1970s, they have shown their limitations in mobile computers as they become smaller and smaller and have had to make tradeoffs between performance, excessive heat, and battery life.

Transmeta believes, as do a number of industry experts, that a new architectural approach is needed in order for the mobile computing market to reach its full potential. One such expert, John Hennessey, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, confirmed this trend when he said, "Microprocessor designers need to adopt fresh techniques and new kinds of metrics to align their work with the coming "post-desktop era." He continued, "Requirements for compact, low-power, highly reliable embedded devices and techniques... will drive the next generation of processor designs."

The Crusoe smart microprocessor architecture implements a carefully selected set of functions in software, as opposed to hardware. By choosing this method, Transmeta is able to create a much more streamlined VLIW hardware core which, when combined with Code Morphing software and LongRun power management, results in both the high performance and low power required for today's demanding mobile computing environment.

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4. How is the Crusoe processor different from today's StrongARM and MIPs processors used in Handheld PCs?
The StrongARM and MIPs processors are part of a class of architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing). The RISC processors have been used in a wide range of first-generation handheld computers, because their average power of one watt or less leads to devices with very long battery life. However, success in the marketplace has been limited, since RISC processors are not compatible with many of today's PC and Internet software applications.

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5. What is "Crusoe"?
"Crusoe" is the brand name for what will become a family of smart microprocessors for a wide range of fully compatible mobile Internet computers.

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6. How many Crusoe processor solutions are there?
Three processor solutions are currently available. The first version of the Crusoe processor (TM3200) is targeted at mobile Internet devices operating with the Mobile Linux O/S.

The other versions (TM5400/TM5600) are targeted at performance-oriented, ultra-light PCs.  With up to 700MHz in performance and its new LongRun power management feature, the TM5400/TM5600 will deliver the highest performance and lowest power solution for mobile computing.

LongRun power management is the key to bringing full functionality with the longest battery life to the ultra-light mobile PC, because it analyzes the application workload dynamically and continuously adjusts the processor's voltage and speed (MHz) to provide the required performance at the lowest power. In essence, LongRun power management is about maximizing battery life while optimizing performance.

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7. Is Transmeta a public company?
Transmeta Corporation is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: TMTA).

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8. How many versions of the Crusoe processor are planned?
The number of Crusoe processor solutions will grow over time to become a family of products that are differentiated by both hardware and software features. The resulting product breadth has the potential to address virtually every need in the span of mobile computing.

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9. Why did Transmeta choose to focus on ultra-light mobile PCs and mobile Internet devices?
Prior to Crusoe, mobile processors were simply desktop processors that were de-rated for the mobile market. Transmeta viewed this as a significant opportunity and specifically designed the smart microprocessor for this underserved market. The Crusoe processor solves a number of problems (excessive heat, low battery life, and underperformance) that have frustrated end users.

The Crusoe Processor, along with the emergence of affordable, high-speed, wireless communications will accentuate the shift by users to mobile PCs as they begin to understand that a high-performance, fully compatible solution for all day computing now exists.

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10. Are Crusoe processors available now?
The first Crusoe processors, the TM3200, TM5400, and TM5600 are available and shipping now.

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11. What will the Crusoe processor mean for mobility?
The Crusoe processor will enable a whole class of Mobile Internet Computers that until now have suffered from tradeoffs in performance, compatibility, and low battery life. In addition, the Crusoe brand itself will serve as the guidepost for users trying to make the correct mobile computer buying decisions.

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12. What is included in the Crusoe processor solution?
The Crusoe processor consists of two components. The first is a VLIW processor packaged in a 474 BGA. The second is a layer of software called Code Morphing Software, which resides in the mobile system's Flash ROM. Both components work together as a complete x86 instruction-set-compatible solution.

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13. How does the Crusoe processor interface with other components in a mobile computer?
The Crusoe processor contains an on-chip SDRAM memory controller and a PCI controller to interface with industry standard memory and I/O devices (for example, graphics and communications solutions).

The model TM5400 has an additional memory controller that interfaces with the DRAM industry's newest low power, high performance memory called DDR-SDRAM (Double Data Rate).

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14. What is the power consumption of a Crusoe processor?
The Crusoe processor can operate on as low as 10 to 20 milliwatts when running everyday applications like email or Internet browsing. On heavy-duty multimedia applications, like DVD movie playback the processor will consume fewer than two watts.

The extremely low power consumption delivered on multimedia applications can be directly attributed to a new feature called LongRun power management. LongRun has the distinct ability to analyze the application workload dynamically and to adjust continuously the processor's speed (MHz) and voltage to provide the necessary performance. This new feature promises to extend the battery life of all applications, most specifically those requiring the constant attention of the processor. This is a dramatic departure from today's ultra-light PCs, which are incapable of delivering over one and a half or two hours of runtime for DVD movies.

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15. How does Crusoe processor's LongRun power management compare to Intel's SpeedStep (Geyserville) technology found on the Mobile Pentium III processor?
Intel's SpeedStep technology was designed to bring additional desktop-like performance to mobile computers when they are residing in a docking station. The docking station is specially designed to provide additional cooling to the thermally hotter processor. When the mobile computer is taken on the road, performance is reduced, since the processor has to run at a lower speed to avoid overheating.

The LongRun power management feature within the Code Morphing Software allows the processor to run at peak performance independent of its power source (AC outlet or DC batteries). In addition, LongRun power management analyzes the application workload dynamically and continuously adjusts the processor's speed (MHz) and voltage accordingly. This procedure is performed without any user intervention and is the most efficient method of operating a processor.

LongRun power management will make its biggest impact in ultra-light (less than four pound) portables that up to now have had difficulty in running multimedia applications for longer than an hour or two.

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16. What are the benefits to companies that use the Crusoe processor in their mobile computers?
Companies will benefit from using the entire family of Crusoe processors across a whole range of mobile Internet computers. Whether it's a web slate or a four-pound ultra-light PC with a 13-inch LCD display and a DVD drive, the Crusoe Processor ensures the highest performance with the lowest power consumption.

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17. Can users expect a full day's operation with a mobile PC based on a Crusoe Processor?
The Crusoe Processor with its very low operating power creates an opportunity for PC OEMs to create all-day computers that deliver the full PC and Internet experience.

Transmeta has not only delivered on a low power processor, but it is also developing reference designs for customers to use in developing mobile systems that consume just four watts when active. At four watts of power consumption, a light-weight mobile system with a 32 watt-hour Lithium battery can deliver eight hours of use.

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18. Will the Crusoe processor be found in handhelds or web slate computers?
The Crusoe processor with the Midori Linux operating system makes for a very favorable solution in a web slate or handheld Internet device. It delivers the performance and compatibility necessary to provide users with the full Internet experience while consuming very little power.

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19. What is Midori Linux?
Transmeta has created a Linux distribution to support its OEM customers called Midori Linux. Midori Linux is designed for systems without hard disks, such as Mobile Internet devices (for example, Web slates, clients). The principal enhancements for Midori Linux are in power management and in the reduction of the memory footprint.

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20. Is Transmeta getting into the Linux distribution business like RedHat?
No. Transmeta does not intend to support end users.

The purpose for creating Midori Linux for OEM customers is to provide a total solution including the Crusoe processor, the Code Morphing software, all the required driver support for our motherboard platform and the Midori Linux operating system. This will provide our OEM customers with the best combination of features and time to market for the emerging Internet device marketplace.

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21. Does Transmeta intend to release Midori Linux to the open source community?
Yes.  This was done on March 13, 2001.  It is available for download at http://midori.transmeta.com/.

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22. Who builds Transmeta's Crusoe processor solution?
The hardware piece of the Crusoe Processor solution, the VLIW chip, is fabricated and packaged by IBM's Microelectronic Division. The Code Morphing software is developed and distributed along with the processor by Transmeta as a complete solution.

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23. When was Transmeta founded?
Dave Ditzel, along with seven colleagues founded Transmeta in 1995. Transmeta is based in Santa Clara, California.

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24. What is Linus Torvalds's role at Transmeta?
Linus Torvalds is a member of the very talented software team that created Transmeta's patented Code Morphing Software.

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25. How are the two versions of the Crusoe processor designated?
The two versions of the Crusoe Processor will be known by the common Crusoe brand, since they share the same attributes required for truly mobile computing.

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