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The Transmeta Conspiracy Part V

CmdrTaco posted about 15 years ago | from the spill-the-beans-dammit dept.

Technology 236

Floydian Slip sent us a link to Time Digital which has an amusing 20 Questions with Transmeta. It doesn't say much, but it seems to debunk a few theories. I'm hearing 'RSN' rumors now, but nothing concrete yet. I need moles in Transmeta dammit. I know you're reading, why won't you squeal?!

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Foolish Journalists (1)

TheKodiak (79167) | about 15 years ago | (#1680095)

"The company's web site displays no images, no logo-just a plain gray screen with this sentence..."

The Transmeta web page is a plain _avocado_ screen, on my computer. I'd be willing to bet it's a plain black screen on my WYSE term.

Someone should tell Time Digital that they can configure settings for their desktop _and_ their browser.

New poll idea (3)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | about 15 years ago | (#1680096)

Which is greater?
  • Transmeta
  • The hype about Transmeta
  • The hype about the hype about Transmeta

Put Hemos through English 101!
"An armed society is a polite society" -- Robert Heinlein

Re:As time ticks by... (4)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | about 15 years ago | (#1680097)

Technically, when the hypishness is being generated by the background and not by the company itself, it's considered to be "buzz," not hype. That is, Transmeta == buzz, Merced == hype. Dolphin == buzz, PSX2 == hype. Then, of course, you get the artificial buzz, like Blair Witch Project and DIVX, which entails hype disguised as buzz.

Just to clear things up. That is, that there isn't a single piece of Transmeta hype out there right now, though admittedly the buzz is being generated specifically due to a lack of hype.
"'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

Hmmmm.... (3)

Signal 11 (7608) | about 15 years ago | (#1680118)

They already distributed a press release. It was a page of paper that said "This press release is not yet here."


The funding... (2)

Croaker (10633) | about 15 years ago | (#1680119)

Anyone know how much investment there has been in Transmeta? The article only mentioned $20 mil, which has got to be just a small amount of what has been invested. Software startups eat that much in a year or so. God knows how much more overhead there is with a hardware startup, especially one that is 4 years old and located in the high-rent Silicon Valley.

I guess with the #3 $$$ guy on your side, funding is less of an issue. If they had to turn to investment bankers more, they would definitly have to give some details of what they are doing, and that increases the risk of something slipping out somehow.

Even so, after 4 years, it's probably getting towards the put-up-or-shutup (or shutdown) stage there.

Re:Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | about 15 years ago | (#1680120)

Cool. But I don't know anybody at Transmeta who's bald.. so who's gonna pilot the Enterprise? ;^)

I can see it now... "To boldly code where no man has debugged before..."


Re:Another lesser known Transmeta Leak (1)

Chexum (1498) | about 15 years ago | (#1680121)

Don't know if this is a leak...

Oh, but then why did he (attempted to) cancel that article? :) BTW, another "sign" for something may be that another Transmeta employee just contributed support for the picojava architecture to the Cygnus binutils stuff (assembler, linker, you know).

The "can emulate a few processors and more" theory stands on strong base, IMHO :)

I liked their Slashdot article better... (0)

SpiceWare (3438) | about 15 years ago | (#1680122)

Nerds for News [] :-)

No Rumours (3)

Industrial Disease (16177) | about 15 years ago | (#1680123)

Two possibilities why there are no decent rumors about what Transmeta is doing:
  1. The technical press is so used to just regurgitating company press releases that they have never even considered the possibility of investigative reporting.
  2. The company has some special way of preventing its employees from talking. We know Paul Allen has a huge cable/communications empire; does he have any major investments in radio astronomy?

Who needs a marketing department..? (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1680124)

You get your cadre of engineers, programmers, or whatever kind of personnel you need to work on your project, don't say anything about what you're doing, and hire a really famous person or two (a la Linus Torvalds), and the media will create all the hype in the world for you.

Why is that, you may wonder? Because a) every other company in Silicon Valley and wherever else is/has/will make some sort of marketing campaign, more likely than not (so what makes these guys so special that they won't?) and b) there are few things people love more than rumor mills, conspiracy theories, and random speculation. If you don't say anything about your product, it makes it all the easier for the media to make up stuff (and let's face it, the media is well-known for "creating" stories out of virtually nothing when there's nothing better to report on.

I mean, think about it.. Transmeta is a perfect candidate for this kind of "media hype".

Transmeta and MAJC (3)

ChrisRijk (1818) | about 15 years ago | (#1680125)

They could have mentioned that an ex Sun guy also provided funding for the company. (ex-Microsoft guy, ex-Sun guy, and Linus... getting along together? We could learn something from these guys...)

Anyway, with regards to the speculated ability to execute binaries for x86, PowerPC etc, that's sort of similar to some of the things Sun's MAJC chip will do, which has also been in development for a long time. The MAJC chip doesn't literally execute Java byte-code but it's easier to translate to than other architectures - you still need a JVM. You can just run C/C++ binaries normally too - so yes, you can port Linux to it. However, what this means is that you don't have to support old versions and you can optimise best for each generation.

Here is a transcript of a live chat with the MAJC architecture lead designer, and they discuss some interesting things. (yes, someone does ask how easy it would be to do a Linux port ^-^)

What does Transmeta mean? (3)

HenryFlower (27286) | about 15 years ago | (#1680126)

If you translate the name Transmeta, what does it mean?

Like the company, the phrase is entirely vague: "Above the beyond."

Wrong. (Doesn't anyone study Latin and Greek anymore?)

trans is Latin, and means across, beyond. meta is Greek, and means with, among, beyond, after, next. (Don't ask me how it got to mean both with/among and beyond/after.) I assume the name is supposed to mean "Beyond the next"

Hypertrans or Supermeta would mean "Above the beyond", to the extent it would mean anything.

Re:Foolish Journalists using Netscape (1)

Trick (3648) | about 15 years ago | (#1680127)

Cut 'em a little slack. If they were using Internet Explorer the page would have been white.

Weird analogy... (1)

cowboy junkie (35926) | about 15 years ago | (#1680135)

"Most evidence suggests Transmeta is inventing a new kind of microprocessor so fast that it'll make a Pentium III feel like an abacus soaked in Jell-O. "

Umm...what exactly does an abacus soaked in Jell-O feel like?

Dude, open your mind (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680138)

If you haven't tried it, you haven't lived.

Maybe some narrow types don't approve of that, but I like to think that on /. we welcome people with all kinds of abacus orientations.

You can't spell traNSmetA without NSA. (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680141)

Linus has been bought off by gov't spooks to ensure the insecurity of Freedom's last OS, Linux.

Com'n guys! Untill you tell us something, wild rumors about what Transmeta really does will persist.

What's that noise? (/me looks out window) Uh oh. Black helicopters. Gotta get to the f$0n>3nq[x

Connection closed by foreign host.

vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680144)

transmeta and amiga are both vaporware companies. they have no project. that and transmeta is owned by microsoft thereby making torvalds on the payroll of big bad billy gates.

As time ticks by... (1)

Iggy (1156) | about 15 years ago | (#1680147)

I really hope they DO deliver and it's not just all vapourware.

I know we all love conspiricy(?) theories/secret stuff etc. but if they can deliver it could well end up being a major step forward.


P.S Wouldn't you just love to have a job there :)

Re:You can't spell traNSmetA without NSA. (0)

DeRobeHer (76234) | about 15 years ago | (#1680149)

Transmeta is busy making a software/hardware combination that will break into remote Windows machines using the NSA port.


Donald Roeber

Re:Weird analogy... (1)

chromatic (9471) | about 15 years ago | (#1680152)

Umm...what exactly does an abacus soaked in Jell-O feel like?

Squishy, chunky, and much less likely to burn your fingers.

That doesn't exactly fly with the ultra-low-power-consumption rumors, but the writer gets points for style.

QDMerge [] 0.21!

Interesting stuff.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1680154)

"So what could Transmeta be making to excite such unparalleled interest and talent? We read all we could find on the subject (not much) and talked to everyone we could pin down (not many), including Torvalds; David Ditzel, Transmeta's CEO; and Linley Gwennap, publisher and editorial director of Microprocessor Report. The more we pushed and probed, the more it felt as if we were playing some kind of elaborate Silicon Valley parlor game. Rather than a list of all the tortured permutations, what follows are the best answers we could muster."

"Why would Torvalds, the inventor of the world's best-known free operating system, go to work there?"

Of course, all debate about Richard Stallman, GNU, and Linux aside (just for the record, I don't really care /what/ you call the damn thing, so there's disclaimer #1), I could probably tell these people another reason why their research ran into a little "difficulty". :)

(well, unless you consider "OS" to be synonymous with "kernel" [or even "not just the kernel" as in "the kernel and a little more than the kernel" or whatever], in which case this joke doesn't apply to you.. and there's disclaimer #2)

Intel's competition (3)

Alphix (33559) | about 15 years ago | (#1680156)

What do competitors say?
When the Federal Trade Commission investigated Intel on antitrust charges last year, whom do you think the giant chipmaker cited to prove that it has serious competition in the microprocessor market? Transmeta.

Is it only me or does it feel like the fact that Intel when under antitrust charges has to prove it's got competition uses a company that hasn't produced anything yet (not bashing transmeta, stating a fact). This is an even worse example of competition than the one Microsoft used in court that mentioned Redhat. Even though you could argue about if RH is a threat to MS they at least have a product out on the market. Seems like Intel had a hard time finding their competition ;)

Re:if M$ used them in claims then ask M$! (3)

paRcat (50146) | about 15 years ago | (#1680157)

Try reading the article next time.
*Intel* cited them as a competitor.

But flames aside, I thought the same thing. (About Intel that is) Why would they cite Transmeta as a competitor if the only thing they're producing is rumor? And how could the DOJ accept that as a valid argument?

It seems like there may be more knowledge outside Transmeta than we all think...

I bet they just sit on their thumbs. (1)

Skinka (15767) | about 15 years ago | (#1680158)

Why doesn't transmeta have a decent webpage?
Why don't they have any products?
Howcome only a couple of patents?
Why no press releases?

Trust me on this, they're just too darn busy playing q3a..

The speculation created to fill information voids (1)

Hollins (83264) | about 15 years ago | (#1680159)

I wish Transmeta the best, and of course I would love a chip that can emulate x86 faster than an Athlon, but face it, this is pure speculation, and if history is any indicator, the speculation that is created to fill information voids about tech startups usually exceeds whatever is eventually marketed.

We saw this last week as details emerged about the Handspring Visor. For months I heard that the original Palm developers were coming out with a unit that (check all that apply): was twice as fast, had a larger, high-resolution color display, longer battery life, more memory and a smaller, ultra-futuristic case that belongs on the set of the next Star Trek movie. While the new Visor is impressive, and a significant progression over the current Palm line in price, performance and expandibility, it doesn't approach the hype.

A company that employs a godfather of Linux and which reveals nothing about itself is reported to be inventing a chip that is astonishingly faster than anything else out there, capable of emulating any of the other major platform, and cheaper than all other high-end processors. Unlikely.

My guess is clockless logic. . . (4)

joabj (91819) | about 15 years ago | (#1680160)

My wild guess at what Transmeta is up to some form of asynchronous logic design. A lot of the fabless chip companies have been making similar promises with that area of research. Theseus Logic [] and Cogency [] are two that come to mind. Clocked logic has its limits and the Intels and Motorolas of the world are going to hit those limits sooner or later. And barring any sudden developments in, say, quantum comptuing, asynchronous logic is the next, ahem, logical step. It's much quicker, much more flexible (didn't surprise me about the emulation speeds transmeta boasted of)and should consume less power, if done right. Transmeta, or their followers, is touting all three benefits. Asynchronous logic design actually has been around for awhile, though its always required a complexity of design that makes it more expensive to pull off. But as clocked logic is getting so complex, it might soon be the time where they'll be equivalent, cost-wise. Then again, Transmeta could be up to something *completely* different. joab

Does anyone else find it amusing that.... (2)

Kewp (31180) | about 15 years ago | (#1680161)

one of the biggest names in the open source community works for a company so closed that they won't even discuss what their product is? Or does?

And is funded by an ex-microsoft founder? Thats money from MS Windows licenses that you're buying your groceries with Linus!

My predicition is they go the same way as MicroUnity and the MediaProcessor, remember that?

Re:Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (1)

Sorklin (88002) | about 15 years ago | (#1680162)

Sorry, I patented the Nacho process years ago. The cheese is actuallly a polymer that prevents the chips from oxidizing. It comes with a nice petroleum sauce for dipping!

THEY (0)

Bud^- (70689) | about 15 years ago | (#1680163)


THEY are two groups, one group tries to maintain stablitly and the other group works against stablitly. That is who THEY are.

Transmeta, is the group that is responsiable for maintaining stabitly, while Microsoft is responsiable for destorying this stabitly. No I am not talking about OS either.

The co-founder of Microsoft is playing an intresting role, in the public view, something set for by Microsoft to make us doubt transmeta and to revert society into a parinoid little hole.

Transmeta, can't go public, what do you think would happen if they said they where the force behind the NWO? (No not wrestling, New World Order, -George Bush!)

This does to things, transmeta can keep a another little "Hilter" event from happening again (thank you M$ for the first one), and second provide cloak for Linus to work.

The first one was explain early (remeber the NWO stuff, what you got bad memory man) the second one is this:

Linus is God, but he is also human.

He needs food, water, sleep, this is a fact, I can prove it! For Linus to do this, he need money, to get money he needs a job.

Linux is a full time project for Linus, so he to surive on the planet and develop linux for the furture of man kind, he needs a job doing kernel hacking on Linux, that pays decent money.

Do you think RedHat would hire him? Hell ya, do you think SuSe would, hell ya, they (distro people) all would.

What would this lead to, it wouldn't be redhat Linux anymore it would be REDHAT linux, it wouldn't be suse Linux, it would be SUSE linux.

The user base would split, Linux wouldn't have the support to grow into a world wide concept of sharing, and that little "Hilter" thing, that would rear it's ugly head..

Transmeta was founded by all the linux distro out there, redhat or slackware didn't hire Linuz, they all did, and that is the real deal.

This CPU a cop out man, get with the program, become on with the program, make sweet love to the program, uh scratch that last one.... sigh

Transmeta and Java... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680164)

"Java of the Hardware world...hmmm...if Transmeta can do a fast emulation of any chip, could it also do a fast emulation of the Java virtual machine? After all, Sun did have a chip to run the Java instructions natively....

Re:the chip (2)

Ender_the_Xenocide (71196) | about 15 years ago | (#1680165)

Hmm. Now, I'm going by memory here, since I don't have the magazine handy. But last month's Scientific American (or the month before's) had a big whack of articles on the Oxygen computing environment being developed at MIT. One of the keys was a self-modifying chip that would reconfigure itself when you downloaded software onto it to get a massive speed advantage - you're limited in that you can only have your PDA act as one thing at a time (web browser, MP3 player, whatever) but because it remakes the hardware when you load the code you get incredible optimization.

The little dribbles we're hearing about Transmeta's product sounds like it could be the same type of technology but on a larger scale. If it's so great at emulating the i386, perhaps that's because it'll have an "i386" template and rewire itself to use that when it runs 386 code? Pure speculation, of course.

Hey, wait a minute - sure I have the magazine handy! It's right here: ml


The Allen/Torvalds Conspiracy Connection (1)

shambler snack (17630) | about 15 years ago | (#1680166)

A number of industry analysts have mentioned the cautionary tale of MicroUnity, another Silicon Valley chipmaker that shrouded itself in secrecy while rumors of its revolutionary chip swirled. MicroUnity burned through $200 million of venture capital and never shipped a product. "One of the bigger craters, as we say," notes Gwennap dryly.

Yes. Or to be more blunt, product talks, bullshit walks. Even if they don't state specifically what products they're working on, they could give enough points at what markets they're after.

Here's a question for you conspiracy specialists: Why would Linus Torvalds, Super Geek, essentially work for Paul Allen, midwife to the Great Satan Microsoft? Could it be the fact that Allen is the third richest man in the world? And how do strong Linux supporters really feel about Linus that close to Allen? Wouldn't that be considered a serious conflict of interest? Or is Gates, through Allen, hedging his bets by essentially financing Linux kernel development and direction in case Windows really does fail?

Re:No Rumours (1)

Field Marshall Stack (58180) | about 15 years ago | (#1680187)

The company has some special way of preventing its employees from talking. We know Paul Allen has a huge cable/communications empire; does he have any major investments in radio astronomy?

Blast! I had to go and spend my last moderator point before I read this...feh. Well, just pretend it's Score: 2 (Funny), cause it should be. At the very least.


I know what transmeta does (1)

mr_burns (13129) | about 15 years ago | (#1680188)

...and I'm not telling. I think you all will thank me when they finally announce what they're up to. It's tremendously cool, and could be spoiled if anyone told.

That being said, I do think "I know what transmeta does" would be a great title for a sci-fi/horror flick. It just lends so much to the imagination.

And no, I will NOT answer any emails regarding the subject.

Analyse current technology (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 15 years ago | (#1680189)

IMHO the guys at TransMeta (read: Transport Metastuff) got smart and analysed the technology they've been using the last couple of years. This is not so difficult IF (you accept that all technology has an end) AND (you are smart, like Linus (probably, I haven't met him :))) AND (willing to let go of the concept of hardware vs. software). Mi2e-2

Re:Transmeta and MAJC (1)

terrified (89447) | about 15 years ago | (#1680190)

"ex-Microsoft guy, ex-Sun guy and Linus... getting along together..." of course. the first two are EX-MS and EX-Sun. (read: back from the brainwashed)

Deeply burried jewels (5)

jabber (13196) | about 15 years ago | (#1680191)

This was burried, but valuable. Thanks Chexum.

Subject: Re: OpenGL mini drivers?
Date: 1999/03/31
Author: Dave Taylor

I think that Sean Baggaley pitched in with Russ Williams' pet anti-OpenGL sentiments because they're both British. It's obvious. I mean, come on. Evil empire. Elitist snobs. Still bitter about the "colonials" on the other side of the "puddle." Duh. :)

I love the D3D vs OpenGL struggle. I love the consistently inconsistent visuals you get from playing 3D games on today's PC's. I wish Microsoft and SGI would reduce each other to charred cinders with patent infringement lawsuits.

John uses OpenGL because he can afford to. He can lose hundreds of thousands of sell-throughs and be perfectly happy. Christ, he could throw every copy of Quake 3 in a wood chipper and sell the chaff to the government for use in hideous anti-personel weapons against the Serbs, and he would still make a killing on the royalty advances. This has always been John's modus operandi, whether he was turning a monster dime or a modest dime, and we should be thankful. Others follow suit because John's products become the IHV's benchmarks, so the IHV's improve their drivers and hardware to work with John's games, and so other game developers can eventually switch over. I think this is a better system than following Microsoft's lead just because one of their over-worked engineers or megalomaniac managers decided to arbitrate a new standard.

There's an alternative. You don't see anyone hotly debating whether to use DirectDraw. You don't see video glitches on games that use software renderers. They just work. They just deliver exactly what you specified and never crash. Sure, you have to come up with innovative gameplay and/or excellent artwork, but the technique has been a solid technique for hit-making from Myst to Heroes 3.

I am quite happy for the 3D cards and API's to beat each other black and blue while the real engineers either deal with what's available or quietly work on the solution to this whole mess.

Here's a fun multiple-choice quiz. What do you suppose that long-term solution is?

- A. Waiting for Nvidia to come out with the TNT N (as N gets large).
- B. Waiting for 3DFX to come out with the Voodoo N (as N gets large).
- C. Waiting for Matrox to come out with the GN00 (as N gets large).
- D. Waiting for ATI to come out with the Rage * (as * gets goofy).
- E. Waiting for OpenGL to get caps bits.
- F. Waiting for D3D code to be easier to read.
- G. Waiting for someone really brave to come out with a general-purpose processor w/ an open architecture that is suitable for high-performance parallel processing so that we have complete control over every pixel and get a consistent, high-quality, fast, innovative graphic experience.

I leave it to you, noble reader. (but if you pick anything but G., then you have gooey fluff where your brains should be, nyah)

Re:Transmeta could be much more secretive. (1)

The Fonze (28895) | about 15 years ago | (#1680192)

no...What they are actually doing, is setting up some baite, so you keep checking back to see what this big suprise is. Does anyone really think that if transmeta starts to make major dough that paul allen is gonna block his buddy bill from the action? Linus may as well rewrite the linux kernel with win32 and get to the point.

Conspiracy theory of the day (2)

ratliff (53656) | about 15 years ago | (#1680193)

When my friends and I sit around and speculate what we would do with all that money (if we ever became even a tenth as rich as Paul Allen), someone always comes up with the idea of hiring the smartest technical people that we could find, putting them in a building together, letting them do whatever they wanted and seeing what they came up with. Call it giving back to the community.

Transmeta has been around for years and has not officially produced anything. They buzz/hype builds up and then dies down on a cyclical basis. Transmeta is clearly enjoying it - they could kill this type of hype easily if they wanted - but they don't. I think this is directly attributable to their sense of humor.

Maybe this is Paul Allen's way of giving back to the community. If this is the case, then the joke is - there will never be a product.

Re:if M$ used them in claims then ask M$! (1)

AndyL (89715) | about 15 years ago | (#1680194)

Perhaps Intel was hoping that the DOJ would force Transmeta into revealing what is going on in there.

Area 51 Connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680195)

I was watching the Discovery channel a year ago, this was before their awesome program, On The Inside, that would normally handle these sorts of stories. Anyways, they were doing a story on Area 51, the myth, the facts, what not. The story was about 2 hours long and the last 30 min or so involved the idea that real people worked there so where did these people come from? Turns out that they were bused in via nodescript busses from Las Vegas to Las Vegas International Airport and then flown in nondescript 737s to Area 51. They also mentioned the name of the contracting company that supplied the workers. I can't be sure as it has been a while, but I think that the name of the company was Transmeta. Does anyone else remember this? Surely I have mixed up my facts somehow. I can't imagine Linus working with the spooks on a secret government project.

But then that could explain the revolutionary chip rumors if they got the tech from aliens. ;-)

Re:proof of M$ involvement (2)

GnrcMan (53534) | about 15 years ago | (#1680196)

Paul Allen hasn't had much to do with MS (other than owning stock) for years. Besides, even if that article you linked to made the statement, "Microsoft invested in Transmeta"(which it didn't), that's not proof. That's some journalist making a statement.

Linus has been replaced with a clone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680209)

Lifes in the Bay Area? Speaks without a Finnish accent? Who is this impostor?! I think the real Linus is jailed at Area 51 while this cloned dup has been created to some nefarious purpose.

Or... (2)

juuri (7678) | about 15 years ago | (#1680210)

Or maybe Paul is finally tired of playing second fiddle to a bumbling fool and sees trasnmeta as his way to overtake Bill.

Unlike Bill, Paul has some pretty amazingly diverse investments and interests. Even if the mighty Microsoft were to fail he is covered in so many ways he wouldn't have to worry about falling out of the top ten richest people in the world.

Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...


Bud^- (70689) | about 15 years ago | (#1680211)

You fools, that story was nothing but a way to grep the minds of users on this forum, YUCK they are doing martket research right now, on this board.

Conspiracy??? (3)

TerryMathews (57165) | about 15 years ago | (#1680212)

I believe so. Look in the program linux_logo (Ships with Linux-Mandrake 6). Using vi, I found the lines where it has the processor name and the cute little tag-line. Intel-GenuineIntel, Cyrix-CyrixInstead, etc. Funny, there is a Transmeta line. Transmeta-TransmetaNow!

Re:Intel's competition / Anti-Trust (1)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | about 15 years ago | (#1680213)

Seems like Intel had a hard time finding their competition Hmm... a company that doesn't even have the fastest processor in their own market is hardly a monopoly! The Athalon proves that the x86 chip market is still competitive. But I suppose it wasn't around during their trial... so it didn't really help. What is DOES prove is that hi-tech anti-trust suits suffer from a lack of foresight (Yes, I am including MS) -rt

Re:I know what transmeta does (1)

AndyL (89715) | about 15 years ago | (#1680214)

I'd like to take this opertunity to say that I know the secret of turning empty soda cans into gold using only household ingredients. It's a tremendusly cool process and will make me very rich. Unfortunetly because of what it would do to the world economy I'm not telling. And I think you'll all thank me for it.

Re:Who needs a marketing department..? (1)

rrogers (48345) | about 15 years ago | (#1680215)

I completely agree with you. The point I was trying to make was there is a big difference between vaporware and hype (or buzz).

When I hear the word vaporware I think of Microsoft trying to scare away competition by saying "we'll have a product out that does all that and more in X months and it will integrate better with what you're using, so just sit tight a bit longer".

Whereas when I think of Transmeta I think "We're waiting to release info until we're done because we're not sure when it'll be out or if it will do everything we're expecting now and we don't want to look like fools when it doesn't work the way we said it would 2 years ago".

Hmm... who can spot the difference between those 2? :-)

Re:Transmeta could be much more secretive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680216)

Transmeta's up to something big. I just hope that their big thing doesn't flop before it has a chance to go to market.

Well their appoint Geraldo Rivera (of Al Capone's vaults fame) to CEO doesn't bode well.

More conspiracy fodder (1)

kijiki (16916) | about 15 years ago | (#1680217)

transmeta.COM name server ns.transmeta.COM
transmeta.COM name server
transmeta.COM name server
transmeta.COM name server
neosilicon.transmeta.COM has address
best-gw-aux.transmeta.COM has address
ssl.transmeta.COM has address
localhost.transmeta.COM has address
neon-best.transmeta.COM has address
www.transmeta.COM has address
loghost.transmeta.COM has address
best-gw.transmeta.COM has address
ns.transmeta.COM has address

neosilicon? new silicon? Interesting. Please commence out-of-control speculation... NOW.

Re:Foolish Journalists (1)

drivers (45076) | about 15 years ago | (#1680218)

The page is whatever your browser's default is.

Mr Ditzel would you read this please (0)

johnjones (14274) | about 15 years ago | (#1680219)

Dear Mr Ditzel

I would like to work for you on the basis that you are interested in producing a sophisticated compiler which will make use of VLIW and parallelism of code I have an morbid interest of this type of system.

I understand that your project incorporates the use of streamed data and operation on such data and think that I would be able to help having previous experience in the operation of MPEG2 encoding and decoding and the interdependent data processing associated with it.

My skills that would be of use to you are writing complex low level functions in C and machine code. I also have good Java understanding and I think that this would help in your project dealing with code templates. Dealing with understanding of the parallel nature of those templates and why it is necessary in clusters of microprocessors.

I have a period of one year before I plan to return to academic life and would like a interesting employer as all previous work has been in large companies.


John Jones

P.S. I apologise to all posters of slashdot as I know they may not want to read this but I find communicating with this company very frustrating. I hope you may glean a little knowledge of what they want from my application.

a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)

Sloppy translation. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 15 years ago | (#1680236)

In the article the author says that transmeta means "Above The Beyond". The prefix -trans- means "across". "meta" Has several possible meaning. That would make the translation vary from "Across The Beyond" to "Across the Goal" and everything in between and beyond.

Just an observation.


Re:New poll idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680237)

Which is greater?

The hype about Transmeta
The hype about the hype about Transmeta

[X] Rob Sux! Hemos Sux! F1r5t p0st d00dz!! This poll sux!

"It's only ones and zeros" (3)

Ted V (67691) | about 15 years ago | (#1680238)

Methinks such folk should scale back their expectations a bit. After all its only ones and zeros. Tiny little switches on a hunk of silicon. It will be cool, but not immediately world-changing.

I'm sure we all know that ideas are some of the most valuable commodities in the world-- why else would the slashdot community care so much about privacy? But ideas don't do anything on their own until you have some hardware to prove the idea. Do you really want someone else to take your idea before you prove it empyrically?

The only project that compares in secrecy is the Manhattan Project, and that definatly changed the world. But more importantly, it changed the way we thought.

The Manhattan Project's idea was, "Atoms can be split and produce a lot of energy." What if Transmetta has another very simple yet profound idea? "It's only ones and zeros"? Maybe it's NOT ones and zeros any more. And therein lies the reason for secrecy.

There are two reasons for extreme secrecy. Either you really do have something important to hide (think Manhattan Project) or you want to drum up interest (think GeForce 256). But if you're just drumming up interest, you need to let a few crumbs slip. Transmetta's air-tight secrecy is not worth its cost of implementation if they're not actually hiding anything worthwhile.

In short, I think they're really onto something. It will probably change the way we think about Silicon, ones and zeros, and so on.


Re:Hmmmm.... (2)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 15 years ago | (#1680239)

... and if you held it up to a light bulb, you could read the watermark that read:

"There are no secret messages in the watermark of this press release."

Why Transmeta will deliver... (1)

Hiro_Protagonist (79351) | about 15 years ago | (#1680240)

There are a couple of reasons why I believe that this company actually will deliver:

1. They have bright people working for them AND they don't quit (e.g. no frustrations)
2. They have managed to not give out information, a "company-feature" you only see in companies where the absolutely all the employees believe the product 100%.
3. They wont run out of money...

"The future is already here,
it's just not evenly distributed yet"

Re:Not making anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680241)

>Funded by one of the richest men in the world.

And one of the three major stockholders of Guess Who. Can you say "M*cr*s*ft Linux?"

Re:What does Transmeta mean? (1)

zantispam (78764) | about 15 years ago | (#1680242)

How about "Across the Beyond"?

Or "Beyond and After"?

Or (my personal favorite) "Beyond the Beyond"?


Makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680244)

Switch the letters around of Transmeta: TART AS MEN nuff said.

Moderators!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680246)

This post was marked as "Off-Topic" but it's not.

The part about:
- G. Waiting for someone really brave to come out with a general-purpose processor w/ an open architecture that is suitable for high-performance parallel processing so that we have complete control over every pixel and get a consistent, high-quality, fast, innovative graphic experience.
is very "On-Topic", and the complete message just provides the context...

Somebody bump this back up, please!

_this_ is greater (1)

RoLlEr_CoAsTeR (39353) | about 15 years ago | (#1680247)

the fuss about the hype about the hype about Transmeta

Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (5)

Darksky (58431) | about 15 years ago | (#1680255)

As a designer who worked for Transmeta until last week, I am risking my very life to bring this information to the /. readers.... I can safely say that the primary product shipped will be Warp Coil Drives that will allow man to travel faster than light. Transmeta's secondary product (the one I was involved with) will be Nachos that never go stale...

Re:As time ticks by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680256)

Probably would love to work there, but I bet you wouldn't be able to say if you loved it or not ;)

Re:vapor (0)

Alphix (33559) | about 15 years ago | (#1680257)

What ever gave you the idea Transmeta is owned by MS you troll?

Re:As time ticks by... (3)

rrogers (48345) | about 15 years ago | (#1680258)

But it's not vaporware. It may be very hyped, but there's a big difference. They haven't created any hype, haven't said much, haven't even said exactly what it does.

Rumors from the media do not create vaporware. Saying you're going to release a product in 6 months and taking 2 years does. To take a quote right frim the article...

What's with all the tiresome secrecy?

Ditzel shrugs it off as nothing more than common sense. "We don't like the notion of vaporware. We're just trying to say, Wait and see what we have to say."

Not making anything (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680260)

Funded by one of the richest men in the world. Only rich people can afford to fund high risk projects. This is probably so high risk it isn't producing anything. Motivation for the top programmers who work there to succeed - None. As Linus once said 'Do you think I would have trouble finding a job?' (or somthing like that). They'll just burn up the VC and move on. I wouldn't mind living that kind of life...

Whoa..! (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1680262)

You mean not everyone uses Alpha and SPARC? Wow.. where have I been all these years? :)

Transmeta could be much more secretive. (1)

robs (10182) | about 15 years ago | (#1680263)

Transmeta's up to something big. I just hope that their big thing doesn't flop before it has a chance to go to market.

I admit, I like the comment about the web page. But seriously, at least they admit they don't have a web page yet. If I wanted to be more secretive, I just would have set the web server to return a permission denied error instead to at least leave some possibility that some IP addresses might actually have access to some goodies on the web site.

"Sometimes the words you are looking for are right on the tip of your tongue. Unfortunately, most people can't see the tip of their tongue." -- Anonymous

Re:Intel's competition (1)

Dirtside (91468) | about 15 years ago | (#1680265)

Yeah... you'd think they'd have cited, say, AMD, which actually had the potential to be a threat at that point... Transmeta was only a 3-year vaporware company at that point, not a 4-year one.

Re:Whoa..! (1)

Alphix (33559) | about 15 years ago | (#1680267)

Im not saying Alpha, SPARC etc are dead, Im saying it's strange to use transmeta as an example of how strong the competition is....AMD, Alpha, SPARC whatever would have made a better choice IMHO

Re:vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680270)

"and transmeta is owned by microsoft" uh... no

Quick Question: (1)

Kintanon (65528) | about 15 years ago | (#1680275)

Does anyone know if Linus had to sign one of those 'Anything you produce while with this company belongs to us' agreements like the rest of us techies? And if so does that mean that these guys own the Linux Kernel??


Re:THEY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680276)

You have got to be fucking kidding. Where the hell is the analogy between a madman resposible for the deaths (DEAD, no repair, no second chance, no nothing, just plain fucking DEAD) of millions of people and a megalomaniac businessman. Yes, Bill G. is unfair, yes he is ruthless, and yes he has put many, many companies out of business. But, (to the best of my knowledge anyway), not one has died at the hands of (or as a result of the orders of) Bill Gates. Please do not try to bring in the
argument of suicide one died in a concentration camp, no one has been sawed in half,
none of the horribe attrocities have occured.

It is half cocked comments like that that give us geeks a bad name, and I am ashamed to be associated with a group of people that includes someone who is so utterly uneducated and insensitive to the fact that Hitler and Bill Gates are two entirely different animals.
"Ain't no ball park, motherfucker, it ain't even the same motherfucking sport"

Man, I repect your right to go off and say stupid shit, but if you can't realize that there is a fundamental difference between one leader and the other, I serously question your ability and right to hang out on /.

Shit, I need some more sleep and less cafeinne, no
wait more caffeinne and more sleep, no, less sleep and more crack....anyway

My $0.10


Question... (1)

LLatson (24205) | about 15 years ago | (#1680277)

If Transmeta is really developing some kind of
new processor, and assuming that this processor
will be available sometime within the next
few years, shouldn't they be seeding it to the
development community?? Or they must be at least
writing a compiler for it... (Assuming that
running x86 code on a clockless chip requires
recompiling... wouldn't it?)

What good is a new
processor if you can't run any apps on it?


not off-topic you bumbling fudgemunching moderator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680278)

Gosh, it must be difficult to deduce. When posts aren't short & sycophantic (which makes me wonder why you let Katz, who's long & sycophantic, write here) they must be off-topic.

Possible clues... (5)

eyeball (17206) | about 15 years ago | (#1680279)

If you rearrange the letters in "Transmeta, Inc", you get "Intranet Scam." Sounds like a good investment.

Other possible letter rearrangements
Martian Scent
Instant Cream
Semantic Rant (sounds like a good name for a band)
Manic Rat Nest
Transient Mac
Men In Scat Art (ugh)

What Transmeta is working on at this moment... (1)

robertw (31899) | about 15 years ago | (#1680280)

Comment: What Transmeta is working on

hQCMA5xNZGOoazXFAQP8CW4zJc+vsFkGokI59qeOk/57XjmN cjjyN0mVDsyJX+XX
EWzAUjhA4tpKcjY1MqP3ZnKwQx0qS0XtzYKHvpcT6R0MabH/ IiNauwjue0zuBsQQ
78wIQ9OSLGKDun7YOckiyq505KWwGO9t/z28bWPA9cAYnbCc MQkiOieTY1ECdPuk
o59eSLhKl3oi6cTa0jkPRecm3VyLhSY9d5ggYWTgcuOudtSY TUdvXC3b6y1h6LeL
i/VnuaIvjQZma1L+MSt3S5HDCwqn3lq8SxU7d1lwLzRlAbGP dUylpePTp6YhM6NH
lHok4MgjsaXk+KRJdb50rr69wH5ovQ5D3hMcQVJvXAUgKCM/ 5rzEGEOk1bPWOo/T

Re:Moderators!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680281)

So we're waiting for the Alpha 21364?

Me!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680284)

I don't know about you, but I'd shave my head for a chance! Nachos that don't go stale? Make it so!

Reverse engineer the market (1)

wskish (84575) | about 15 years ago | (#1680285)

Transmeta is probably making a very fast, flexible processor. This processor must do two things very well:

1. Run Linux 3 to 10 times faster than any existing processor (at the time of it's release).

2. Provide a virtual machine emulation of the x86 architecture (in microcode) such that it can run windows and windows apps (simultaneously with linux or standalone) at competetive speeds.

As a fallout from #2, it can probably provide fast emulations of any processor, including Java.

If they can deliver this, they are golden.

Re:Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (1)

Lowdown (84458) | about 15 years ago | (#1680288)

Actually I believe 7-11 has been serving that sauce for years, but with a chip that has built obsolescence so as not to eat into their margins.

This post is not here yet. (1)

G-Man (79561) | about 15 years ago | (#1680295)

Love their web site. Who designed their home page, Magritte?

btw, Dvorak may be well known, but 'well respected'?

Give us a break! (3)

Jeff_Uphoff (4498) | about 15 years ago | (#1680296)

These alien corpses take *way* longer to microwave than anyone expected....

Is Transmeta >= Hype_About_Transmeta? (3)

Jack William Bell (84469) | about 15 years ago | (#1680297)

Ghod, but it seems like I have been following this story for a long time. With all this hype it seems certain whatever Transmeta comes up with will be something of an anticlimax. But I also expect there will be lots of meat, just perhaps different meat than many hope for.

Still this long buildup of suspense seems almost calculated to create more buzz. Of course Transmeta says differently -- the article quotes Ditzel as saying "It's not a ploy! We're sort of enjoying all the speculation, but we try to ignore things and hope it goes away."

Right. I believe that. Uh huhh.

Still it is beginning to seem like there is a hard core of the faithfull who wait with bated breath, hoping for a silicon messiah to come out of Transmeta and lead us to the promised land where Wintel fades away and Open Source reigns forever. Methinks such folk should scale back their expectations a bit. After all its only ones and zeros. Tiny little switches on a hunk of silicon. I will be cool, but not immediately world-changing.

But, with any luck, My prediction is one hundred percent wrong...


Re:Transmeta could be much more secretive. (1)

Dirtside (91468) | about 15 years ago | (#1680298)

I think it shows that they have a sense of humor, which may be a key element in their plan -- not only having some wonderful new technology, but having the proper corporate image ("Hey, we're hip, daddy-o") to get hackers and geeks like us to like them.

Re:Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680299)

Imagine the possibilities... Nachos, that never go stale... This changes everything. Nobel Prize material for sure.

Oh yeah, that warp drive thing might be cool, too.

Another lesser known Transmeta Leak (3)

Chexum (1498) | about 15 years ago | (#1680300)

Funny, the wintel software part refers to Linux as competitor, the hardware part to transmeta.. Please don't tell me it's not a coincidence :)

BTW, I think few people saw this: 79 []

proof of M$ involvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680301)

here is proof []

Re:Is Transmeta >= Hype_About_Transmeta? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680302)

Considering we havent heard anything about a chip release i am assuming it is YEARS off, i mean how long were we hearing about the AMD-K7, which in my opion didnt deliver on what it claimed it would. Is 12 million enough venture capital to launch a chip? Is it enough to sustain R&D at a company for 4+ years? I am not sure about either but i have a feeling this whole thing is hyped, kinda the "Darkman" of the chip industry. PS the movie sucked!

Well.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1680303)

It was just a joke. :) Based on the fact that most computers use Intel chips, not Alpha, SPARC, AMD, etc.. Which is why they would have to point out some weird company that has yet to do anything (they cite paranoia over what this company will do, because obviously none of the other ones have done anything yet either, despite having a product). And no, I'm not slamming Transmeta, Alpha, SPARC, or AMD. So just chill. :)

the chip (1)

doobie (2546) | about 15 years ago | (#1680304)

Transmeta is working on a Microprocessor that is able to run x86 code, PPC code, and perhaps a few others, however the key thing is they are developing a new method of doing tasks, fast. Their chips have ALOT microcode (Guess why Linus works there!) to do conversions of x86/ppc to its naitive instruction set. It is rumored to run x86 code better than the IA-64 can. Of course this is all dynamic speculation of my memory.

Re:vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680324)

Ya, Paul Allen companies never wind up being owned by Microsoft.

the "Darkman" of processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680325)

"darkman" tried a simlar advritising campain and that movie sucked. If they are coming out with a chip we would hear about it at least 8 months before release yet we have heard nothing and thier patents are from years ago. Do the math. Can you sustain a company for 4+ years on 12 million in venture capital? Can you devolp and deploy a chip for 12 mil? *shudder* the mere thought of another darkman...

Re:Transmeta Projects Revealed!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680326)

Nachos that don't go stale... cool!

if M$ used them in claims then ask M$! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1680327)

Seems to me if Microsoft can use Transmeta as an example of a competitor then Microsoft is, in effect, claiming to know something. So... ask somebody with Microsoft what Transmeta is up to!

Forgive me if I still seem sleep-deprived.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | about 15 years ago | (#1680328)

So, basically, if these chips can do this for all of the major architectures, it would run any of three ports of say, Red Hat Linux? Sounds vaguely similar to being a "Java" of the hardware world. Must be nice.. If all of this speculation actually amounts to something solid when Transmeta finally does "their big thing".

Re:proof of M$ involvement (1)

ajakk (29927) | about 15 years ago | (#1680329)

No proof there. Everyone knows that Paul Allen invested in Transmeta. That doesn't mean that there is Microsoft involvement. All it means is that someone who owns Microsoft stock(granted quite a bit of MS stock) helped fund the company.

Re:Another lesser known Transmeta Leak (2)

Svartalf (2997) | about 15 years ago | (#1680330)

Don't know if this is a leak...

Dave's been preaching this one for years now- I know, it was one of the things he was talking about at the first CDGC mini-conference in Austin. It's the thing he kept thinking about and going on about in his log files (not that I blame him- the consistency between accel cards is pathetic; how could any game designer really like this sort of BS?)

Of course, that could be why he's working at Transmeta... :-) We'll just have to wait and see, now won't we? :->
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