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Where is Transmeta Heading?

CowboyNeal posted about 9 years ago | from the change-of-plans dept.

Transmeta 192

Autoversicherung writes "Transmeta, once the darling of Silicon Valley, employer of Linus Torvalds and heralded as the new Intel is facing bleak times. Having $53.7 million in cash and short-term investments in its coffers, enough for just under two quarter's worth of operations and a reported net loss of $28.1 million and revenues of $11.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2004 the company's future is everything but certain. Will the planned restructuring to a pure IP company help?"

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No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120191)

"Will the planned restructuring to a pure IP company help?"



No.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 9 years ago | (#12120266)

The problem is the chips are just too damn slow. Intel's chips in notebooks run hot and suck power fast, but they don't run hot enough or suck power fast enough to make people want to significantly decrease the performance of their notebooks for less heat and longer battery life.

Intel has put billions into R & D over the years to make their chips small and fast, and they are now starting to put money into making them more power efficient. Transmeta can't compete with that sort of hardware engineering with software alone. In addition, the idea of running multiple instruction sets on the same chip is not that big of a deal in an x86-dominated world. Transmeta had a good idea from a software engineering standpoint, but there's no market for that idea.

TERRI SCHIAVO'S CLITORIS TASTED GREAT WITH BBQ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120197)

YUM!

Help .... who? (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | about 9 years ago | (#12120204)

Isn't this how many technologies make it to the consumer? Company A invents it, goes broke trying to sell it, then the big players buy it cheap and finally the rest of us get to use it?

Oh, except for that famed 50+ mpg engine....

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (0, Offtopic)

Carthag (643047) | about 9 years ago | (#12120288)

New European cars often go above 50 mpg.

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12120308)

MY car gets 50 rods to the hogs head and thats the ways i likes it ...
Or on the other hand , If my calculations are correct in translating litres to gallons and miles to KM then my current car does about 55MPG

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120338)

If my calculations are correct in translating litres to gallons and miles to KM then my current car does about 55MPG

Google makes that kind of conversion very easy [google.com]. While rods are supported Google doesn't handle hogsheads.

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (1)

Murphy Murph (833008) | about 9 years ago | (#12120363)

...my current car does about 55MPG

Gasoline or Diesel?
Diesel contains ~11,000 Wh/l, while gasoline only has ~9,700 Wh/l. So a 55 mpg diesel engine is only as energy efficient as a 49 mpg gasoline one.

Still, that's nothing to laugh at, but we need to compare apples to apples.

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120370)

petrol
--Fidelcatsro

Re:Help .... who? (OT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120378)

fast reply :)

It's heading (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120205)

Up my first post.

It sounds a little late to go pure IP... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120206)

...with IPv6 right around the corner.

Second (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120207)

Second!

A purely IP company, huh? (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 years ago | (#12120208)

<MODE=cynical>

That would mean that it would be in their best interests to support stupid laws like copyright-until-the-heat-death-of-the-universe laws and software patents.

Kind of a delicious irony there... employing Linus and striving to hamstring Linux...

Re:A purely IP company, huh? (4, Interesting)

aldoman (670791) | about 9 years ago | (#12120340)

I think they mean more selling chip layouts to other companies for manufacture.

This is going to be a huge industry. If they could produce, say, a 800MHz CPU which ran on 1W or 0.5W of power and had sensible float performance, it could easily sell exceedingly well.

There must be millions upon millions of devices that require more than just PIC-level performance but low power consumption. Things like digital TV decoders -- the video itself can be decoded with a seperate chip but the amount of interactivity that will be delivered in the future is going to be immense.

Re:A purely IP company, huh? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 9 years ago | (#12120447)

It's not really that ironic. If they would be employing RMS, then that would be Ironic, but Mr. Torvalds is not really against proprietary software, he actually uses propritetary software, and gives a shit about users freedom. He just used the Free Software comunity to get his project done. He really doesn't care about our philosofy.

Re:A purely IP company, huh? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 9 years ago | (#12120499)

but Mr. Torvalds is not really against proprietary software, he actually uses propritetary software, and gives a shit about users freedom. He just used the Free Software comunity to get his project done. He really doesn't care about our philosofy.

And you obviously are quoting him from...?

It's amazing how people manages to twist things. Linus has repeatdly explained why he uses propietary software, and I don't remember him saying "it was because I hate open source". Sight...

Re:A purely IP company, huh? (0)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 9 years ago | (#12120594)

I Said he gives a shit about FREE SOFTWARE. Free Software IS NOT THE SAME as Open Source. Free Software is a movement started by RMS More than 20 years ago, that deffends the FREEDOM of the users of Computers. Open Source is a movement started allmost a decade later than Free Software, by Linus Torvalds & Co. in order to STEAL the efforts of the Free Software movement, forgeting the ethical reasons that created GNU, leaving ONLY the practical advantages of the development model created by Free Software. Go read some history.

Re:A purely IP company, huh? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#12120554)

employing Linus and striving to hamstring Linux...

They don't employ Linus anymore. He's moved to OSDL.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120209)

f-troll-p

Willies (3, Interesting)

shirai (42309) | about 9 years ago | (#12120210)

Quote: Will the planned restructuring to a pure IP company help?

Does anybody else get the willies (shades of SCO) just hearing this? Okay, I admit it's a little knee-jerk but how many successful, in the contributes to society domain, strictly IP companies are there?

Re:Willies (5, Informative)

Will Fisher (731585) | about 9 years ago | (#12120264)

ARM is a strictly IP company and is very successful. Its processors are used in many, many embedded applications. Eg, most cellphones, the gameboy DS, the iPod, hard disk microcontrollers, microcontrollers in cars, PDAs, etc etc. They recieved royalties for over 1 billion units last year. ARM cores are everywhere.

The difference is that ARM has always been an IP only company, ever since it was spun out of Acorn computers.

Re:Willies (2, Informative)

T-Ranger (10520) | about 9 years ago | (#12120641)

As is Dolby Labs. I think that MIPS still makes some chips, but they are mainly IP too.

Re:Willies (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 9 years ago | (#12120303)

Not at all the same thing. Transmeta creates IP. SCO just buys up old unwanted IP, and tries to make it pay by claiming that successful products are based on that IP.

Re:Willies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120312)

Pretty much all software companies are; while they might have detractors here on Slashdot, Microsoft could be called one if it were not for those snazzy mice that they make.

Re:Willies (1)

afd8856 (700296) | about 9 years ago | (#12120361)

Wouldn't it be cool if SCO buys (with MSFT money) Transmeta, and then they claim that Linus wrote, while at Transmeta, the linux kernel, so it's rightfully theirs? :-))

Re:Willies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120548)

Okay, I admit it's a little knee-jerk but how many successful, in the contributes to society domain, strictly IP companies are there?

Thousands. What are you talking about?

Here's one: Coca-Cola. They don't make it or bottle it or distribute Coke (bottlers do that). They license it, research it, and market it.

So what's your point? Other than you need to read something besides Slashdot before you want to shoot your mouth off about business?

Transmeta, once the darling of Silicon Valley... (-1, Flamebait)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 9 years ago | (#12120213)

...bocomes a patent whore. But Slashdot still loves 'em because they are not Intel!

Untill they sell off the IP (3, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#12120214)

then bye-bye

Re:Untill they sell off the IP (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 9 years ago | (#12120284)

No IP company can exist off of a single idea for very long. IP companies have to innovate continuously in order to survive. Any given piece of IP they own will eventually be copied or sold, or the market for it will simply dry up for any number of reasons. The fact that Transmeta has not come up with anything significant since their initial "big thing" leads me to believe they're going to have a very hard time surviving as an IP company for very long.

OPEN LETTER TO SLASHDOT POSTERS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120215)

Why oh Why did everyone bitch because the admins posted a bunch of arguably lame april fools day articles? Can't you people lightin up for one day? Who cares if they post 100 stupid lame fake articles in a row, it's not going to affect the integrity of slashdot. Is this your only legitimate place for finding technology news? I hope not ! Does your hole life revolve around getting accurate technology news on one specific day of the year that happens to be a day where people play practical jokes? I hope not ! Slashdot does not publish their own content, they give links to other places. So don't take a few april fools jokes too seriously. If you really care that much goto a different website. Lightin up, have fun, stop complaining so much, and if you think someones taking a joke too far, let em! Just don't associate with them anymore, simple as that.

Re:OPEN LETTER TO SLASHDOT POSTERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120254)

Sorry, this is the lamest attempt at getting me to post ever (The Tr**l word fucks me off)

L.T. (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 9 years ago | (#12120217)

employer of Linus Torvalds - so? Maybe Linus is a superstar but he is not a hardware engineer. How many other people, including hardware engineers does the company employ?

Re:L.T. (2, Interesting)

jmb-d (322230) | about 9 years ago | (#12120337)

IIRC, the "interesting" thing about the Transmeta chips was that they did a lot of things differently than other chips out there.

Things such as very low power consumption (important for mobile/embedded computing), cooler operation (same application), and some very nifty things in software (within the chip, not at the OS level), allowing them to run x86 instructions while being a very different architecture underneath.

It is my understanding that Linus was there because of that last point -- the software.

Re:L.T. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120416)

Don't worry. Linus is going to google.

Re:L.T. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120573)

x86 processors have been translating x86 instructions into different internal formats--with limited reprogrammability in the form of microcode--since the Pentium Pro.

It wasn't the promise of translating complex x86 instructions into simpler instructions that could be executed quickly and with low power consumption that was the big deal, it was the never-materialized promise that Transmeta chips would be able to run programs for multiple platforms at the same time with high performance. Specifically the hype of the day was that one would be able to run Windows and MacOS software concurrently without dealing with the performance penalty of software emulators.

The only thing Transmeta actually delivered on was lower power consumption then other x86 processors. Their processors were slow, they never translated anything except x86 instructions, and their cost was unreasonable. Intel and AMD merely revamped their mobile processor lines, and now the Pentium M is king of the hill. They never offered any competition to ARM for the embedded market.

Where is transmeta heading? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120219)

To the drain?

seriously (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120224)

frist psot? eat some shit? I rulzz! OMGHAX

I hope this doesn't mean... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120225)

...they're radioactive. In other words, the game is to make sure their patent trove doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

*checks date of post again*

April 2, dammit!

As a pure IP company... (3, Funny)

linux_haxor (865561) | about 9 years ago | (#12120228)

Transmeta must follow the example of another IP only company SCO and begin claiming ownership of everything and sueing everying in site before they run out of cash

x x x heloo wolrd (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120229)

heloo wolrd

not another one (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12120234)

"Will the planned restructuring to a pure IP company help?"
We do not need another Patent acruing company trying to screw with the tech econmy , Fair enough they jmay have good intentions now with this action but how long before "just this one" mentality takes over and they start sueing left right and center.
If they would like to become a research company working for others to develop tech , then fair enough but not an IP company .
I admire the transmeta chips and would think it a great shame if the company goes under , but i don't want to see another patent group .
I Hope they get bought out by a firm in the industry

Re:not another one (3, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | about 9 years ago | (#12120298)

I think it refers to pulling out [nwfusion.com] an ARM [arm.com]: designing processor cores and licencing them to be manufactured by third parties (or licencing parts of the technology used).

It could work if they do it right: Transmeta has a bunch of CPUs with very interesting technology and low consumption, which are in high demand these days - for embeeded systems mainly.

Re:not another one (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12120320)

Indeed , a bussiness model in the ilk of ARM would be great , the tech i have been reading up is extremly intresting , but i would hate for them to become a leach company living off pure licenses and lawsuits

Re:not another one (1)

crucini (98210) | about 9 years ago | (#12120302)

If they would like to become a research company working for others to develop tech , then fair enough but not an IP company

So it's OK with you if they develop new technology; they just can't own it? In which case, how will they make money? Or are you saying they must sell off their IP as fast as they generate it?

Re:not another one (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12120335)

If they want to take on a bussiness model such as ARM and continue research and development then license the tech fair enough , however if they want to become a leach and live on past glories with license fees and law suits then yes i would love to see them sell it off to a competitor and die .
We dont need more companys in the ilk of SCO .
when i said working for others i ment in the hippy sense ;)

Re:not another one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120385)

In which case, how will they make money?

You're asking FidelCastro a question about a market based economy?

Re:not another one (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 years ago | (#12120394)

Almost all companies are IP companies to some extent. Even RMS does not have a problem with physical patents. Sure software patents are dumb but patents on devices has worked for years. Just to get the facts out there even the FSF is an IP company. They defend their IP from people that try to rip them off. What they are talking about is becoming more like ARM than SCO.

Re:not another one (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12120430)

That is something i have no problem with , i would prefer to call ARM a research company as IP is such a blanket term that it causes confusion like this .
I see the same problem with Blogging also , we are dumping far to many diffrent things in the same basket .

frist prout (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120239)

prout frist

They will change the name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120242)

...to TranSCOmeta.

Linus left (5, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | about 9 years ago | (#12120243)

Linus left Transmeta in mid-2003 [theregister.co.uk] and now works at the Open Source Development Labs. [osdl.org] Here is ESR's unofficial Linux FAQ [catb.org]

Re:Linus left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120344)

The article/slashtickle was just stupidly worded.

Re:Linus left (1)

cbreaker (561297) | about 9 years ago | (#12120611)

It was only stupidly worded for some Slashdot people that don't know how to read or read too fast so they can hurry up and bitch about it.

Transitioning won't help (3, Insightful)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | about 9 years ago | (#12120259)

The transition to an IP selling to others sounds like a bad idea for the company. I know several people who are chip designers and it seems there is a lot of competition in this area now. And the people I talk to do the design in house. Unless there is some great achievement no one is going to pay for IP to someone else when they can do it for themselves right now and have the staff and resources to do it.

Failed Expectations (4, Insightful)

Proc6 (518858) | about 9 years ago | (#12120272)

Only marketing points that ever stuck in my mind about their CPUs were,

- Could run other OS's through emulation.
- Would give your notebook insane long battery life.

The first point never mattered in a Windows / Linux world that ran on i386 anyway. The second point never really came to be. I remember looking at Sony Picturebooks with dinky screens and Transmeta CPUs and seeing them last like 2 hours. Big deal. If they didn't double battery life, the public wouldn't notice enough to buy Transmeta on purpose. Then Centrino came out and, well, yeah, thanks for playing.

Re:Failed Expectations (3, Informative)

teknomage1 (854522) | about 9 years ago | (#12120421)

It wasn't a problem with the chip but with the device manufacturers. Batteries are expensive, so they grabbed the transmeta chip, then cut costs on the batteries. The result is no real difference tot he end user except maybe weight or form factor.

Patent hoarding... (2, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#12120274)

I wonder if it is time to re-write the patent laws, so the original inventor gets credit, but everyone else is not screwed. What is the law now, that a person with a patent gets to enjoy the benifits of that patent for life? Maybe the way to go would be to have patents be protected for 4 years, then fall in the public domain. It would certainly solve the problem of patents being sold, and a company hoarding them. Patents will encourage monopolies, when the essance of the paw is to break them up. If only company "A" can use process "X" to make product "Z", then unless someone else can think of a new process, only one company can make that product. This gets very dangerous when we think of medical products. Do we really want only one company making medicines for a specific disease because they patented a gene sequence?

Re:Patent hoarding... (5, Informative)

nagora (177841) | about 9 years ago | (#12120299)

What is the law now, that a person with a patent gets to enjoy the benifits of that patent for life?

No, that's copyright. Patents vary slightly around the world but 20 years seems to be the norm.

Do we really want only one company making medicines for a specific disease because they patented a gene sequence?

No, which is indeed one of many reasons the USPO should be shot for allowing things it was never meant to allow, including discoveries instead of inventions.

TWW

Re:Patent hoarding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120455)

Wow! Never let it be said that /. nerds are smart or industrious enough to click on over to Google to research key points of a post. It would be against /. nature to actually do some research, or even the slightest bit of thinking about the patent process. Just because the founders of the U.S. deemed intellectual property important enough to discuss patents in the Constitution, giving U.S. patent law over 2 centuries of history and precedent, is no reason to spend more than half a minute thinking about it.

YES. We really want to grant exclusive rights to an inventor to license his/her invention for a limited (currently 20 years) period of time. Most people don't manage to have one good idea in their entire lives. Those that do have good ideas often sacrifice a significant amount of time and money to pursue them. It is only fair that that expenditure of capital and effort be rewarded, otherwise, an inventor would better spend his/her time fishing.

Stupid people to blame (2, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | about 9 years ago | (#12120295)

Tranmeta processors: the best thing there WAS in notebooks, power-consumption wise.

But since consumers want a "Pentium 4" to play solitaire at the airport and look important doing fancy Powerpoint presentatons, that's all they bought...

Re:Stupid people to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120390)

Tranmeta processors: the best thing there WAS in notebooks, power-consumption wise.

What mass produced laptops had transmeta chips?

Re:Stupid people to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120473)

Centrino kills Transmeta in terms of battery life.

Plus its got faster processors.

Goes to show (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 years ago | (#12120304)

That a 'good idea' is pretty much worthless against the 1000lb gorilla.

Welcome to bankrupcy, Transmeta.

Re:Goes to show (3, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | about 9 years ago | (#12120341)

Who says Transmeta had a good idea? They never delivered on any of their promises: long battery life, "code morphing", and all that. All they had was a slow, perhaps moderately efficient, processor that didn't offer any significant advantages over its competitors.

So . . . (-1, Offtopic)

uberjoe (726765) | about 9 years ago | (#12120309)

Let me get this straight. Transmeta has their own slashdot icon but gentoo does not. OK.

Re:So . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120332)

oh well, not a big deal.

Too bad Linus doesn't work there anymore (3, Interesting)

crucini (98210) | about 9 years ago | (#12120319)

It would be amusing to see a few heads exploding around here as people see Linus working for a "pure-IP" company. Of course there's no real contradiction - Linus believes in IP.

I think a lot of slashdotters haven't faced up to the fact that IP makes the tech industry possible.

Re:Too bad Linus doesn't work there anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120357)

Prove it.

So long(on your way down to -1) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120360)

and thanks for all the jokes!

It made my day.

Re:Too bad Linus doesn't work there anymore (1)

teknomage1 (854522) | about 9 years ago | (#12120429)

Did everyone forget that Linus no longer works there? He's employed full time by the OSDL now.

Look at MIPS (4, Interesting)

OwenMarshall (779270) | about 9 years ago | (#12120324)

The problem with existing as a pure IP company that used to produce semiconductors... well, does it really work?

One of the first examples I thought of was MIPS Technologies. MIPS processors have seen widespread adoption, and exist everywhere. SGI bought the company in the late 80's/early 90's to keep the processors vital to their systems.

They existed for a while as a purely IP company -- they licensed the core designs to companies like Toshiba and NEC, who actually made the cores.

"Fully half of MIPS' income today comes from licensing their designs, while much of the rest comes from contract design work on cores that will then be produced by 3rd parties." (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org])

Now, MIPS Technologies was able to exist as an IP company for two reasons:
1. SiliconGraphics was pumping in cash to keep them floating and desigining processors for their systems
2. MIPS processors have become entrenched everywhere -- printers, routers, computers... it was (and is)one of the most widely used embedded processors.

Transmeta will exist without a large company backing them up. So that means you have to ask if they are as entrenched as MIPS. If they are, they stand a chance.

why is slashdot still talking about transmeta (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120339)

the *only* reason why slashdot cared about transmeta was because linus was hired by them.. no other reason. the simple fact is that this company is a failure so could we please, please stop talking about it? it's going to go bankrupt like 99% of all startups, so it's really not that big of a deal. their technology really wasn't that great because intel smothered them with additional versions of their centrino chip. too bad so sad.

Re:why is slashdot still talking about transmeta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120446)

you're right. transmeta's pretty much irrelevant, but i see mentions of them on open source news sites all of the time. it's ridiculous.

A better place (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 9 years ago | (#12120346)

And so we say goodbye to our beloved company, Transmetta, that's gone to a place where I, too, hope one day to go: the toilet.

Re:A better place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120577)

You hope to go to the toilet one day?

How long have you been holding it in?

Forgot to mention (4, Informative)

mocm (141920) | about 9 years ago | (#12120365)

that transmeta is reducing its workforce (mostly marketing people) and has a contract with Sony who will pay for the help of 100 of the about 200 people working for transmeta. This will reduce quarterly costs to 5 million and increase transmetas life expectancy. They also stated that they will help Sony to put longrun2 into Cell derivatives and also have Fujitsu and NEC as longrun2 customers. They stop producing Crusoe and 130nm Efficeons, but will continue to supply customers as long as demand and inventory permits. They plan on producing 90nm Efficeons for select customers(?? probably Fujitsu).

Re:Forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120546)

Sharp has forked a nice line of Transmeta based notebooks, so don't forget them. I'm writing from Fujitsu P2120 running linux. 933MHz transmeta crusoe.
I'd upgrade to the 1.6MHz sharp if it had the P2120's wxga display.

Why do you hate IP compannies? (4, Interesting)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | about 9 years ago | (#12120367)

Why is everybody so concerned with Transmeta suing every CPU user or manufacturer in sight? IP companies are not bad by definition. Just the contrary. And SCO is an exception! The first IP company I come up with, Rambus, is not the public enemy you are trying to turn those, who make a living out of intellectual property, into. Maybe not all of their products are as good or as cheap as many would like them to be (including Rambus themselves), but at least the company is not in the business with groundless lawsuits.

So please, stop bitching over insane snowflake_in_hell possibilities of Transmeta's future and ask yourselves what will you benefit if CPU manufacturers (ie Intel, AMD, IBM) adopt the very good technologies, part of Crusoe and Efficeon processors. (stuff like LongRun [transmeta.com] and LongRun2 [transmeta.com], you know)

Re:Why do you hate IP compannies? (4, Informative)

servognome (738846) | about 9 years ago | (#12120485)

The first IP company I come up with, Rambus, is not the public enemy you are trying to turn those,
Rambus is a bad example, they tried to extort other RAM manufacturturers because they steered standards committees towards using technology they were patenting. As others have mentioned ARM is a good example. If you look at companies like nVidia, they are also very heavy on the IP side, as most of the work they do is designing GPU, the manufacturing is done by silicon foundaries.

Guess no one's (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120369)

imagining a Beowulf cluster of those!

transmeta prossesors in compaq tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120381)

i own a compaq tablet 1000 running a transmeata cruso at 1 gig, while it does not run particularly fast, it works fine. if you replaces it with a p4 or even a pentium m, it would probobly melt the plastic. i kid you not.

I keep wondering (4, Interesting)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 9 years ago | (#12120403)

If Transmeta treated java P-code equally as x86 machine code, or even PHP & Perl source code, what will happen?

Can an Oracle database performce very quick query on a Transmeta cPU?

Re:I keep wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120438)

Does it really matter ? Looks like within the year they'll probably be dead anyway.

Power management, not code morphing (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 9 years ago | (#12120412)

Transmeta's story is funny. Their big idea was supposed to be "code morphing", or on-the-fly recompiling for a different CPU. But it turned out that they achieved some success because they were the first to take on-chip power management seriously. That gave them an edge for one development cycle. Then, Intel and AMD noticed that power management mattered, and fixed their parts. End of Transmeta.

"Code morphing" for the x86 instruction set never made too much sense, because making fast x86 machines is well understood, although painful. AMD already did some "code morphing" at cache load time; they inflate all the instructions to a constant length. (Intel does it differently.) For a CISC instruction set with inherent speed problems (the DEC VAX comes to mind) "code morphing" could be a big win. But there's no market for a fast VAX at this late date.

Re:Power management, not code morphing (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120537)

The biggest disappointment came from the rumors that their "code morphing" would permit them to run both x86 and PPC binaries at reasonable speeds.

Developing a core that could be programmed translate x86 instructions into an internal format wasn't very impressive, because that's basically where the x86 has been going since the Pentium Pro. Since the translation code for other processors never materialized and the x86 performance was poor, there was no long-term advantage over Intel and AMD, which left Transmeta selling expensive parts that now can't compete with the Pentium M.

If the promise of being able to run both Windows and Mac software at decent-performance had been realized, then they would have had an interesting market position. Unfortunately I don't think those rumors ever had a basis in reality, and Transmeta simply enjoyed riding them through gobs of financing.

(pLus one Informative) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120437)

gig in front of 8umbers continue get tough. I hope to Lstick something

So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120496)

Transmeta is heading down the tubes. The entire IT industry is in the doldrums and will never see the light again. And we have not hit bottom yet.

Transmeta will go out just as Wang (remember them???) and many, many others did--in a flurry of lawsuits before final implosion.

Corporations with Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120616)

I hate to say it, but Transmeta is about to become the Terry Schiavo of corporate America.

One of the major features of the corporation in America, as well as one of its biggest problems, is that the corporation receives the same rights under the law as a human being, although without the same responsibilities.

An IP company, especially one that no longer functions to research or develop new technologies, is a parasite on the corporate community, receiving what it needs to continue surviving (money) without contributing to the general good (new technologies). IP law becomes its feeding tube.

Pure IP company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12120626)

Pure IP company is tech industry jargon for "all washed up." Intellectual property is what companies do when they don't do anything "real".
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