"Yes, there is a secret message, and this is it:"
And so began the twelve lines of comment inserted playfully within
the HTML of Transmeta's deserted web site. Since its' inception in 1995,
secrecy has been Transmetas' greatest ally, generating massive amounts
of curiosity about what it was doing behind the doors of its Santa Clara
Well, now that the doors have opened, we can see the newest processor
to join the club. What is Crusoe, what does it do and why
should you be impressed with it?
PCstats Network - January 19, 2000. 4:39 PM
Speaking from a
large estate in Southern California, David Allen was named the new CEO of
Transmeta, while Dave Ditzel chose to introduce the world to Crusoe as a
processor for mobile applications - either mobile PC's or web appliances
like the "Web Pad". Some news was expected, but other bits were just amazing to
hear... The two hour webcast featured Ditzel, and Linux guru Linus Torvalds,
whom helped to design the software architecture, code morphing capabilities
and Mobile Linux. By 12:00 PM PST the websites were brought to life, and more
details about Crusoe began to flow in - though very slowly at first, the website
appeared to be overwhelmed with traffic, bringing to mind a certain IBM
e-commerce commercial where the character forgot to remind the web-guys about
the surge in traffic and the site went down ;-) Somewhere in Santa Clara a web
guy now runs free...
Onto the details!
What is Crusoe for?
"Crusoe is the future of mobile internet computing"
The Crusoe processors: TM3120 and TM5400 are designed
for mobile applications. The TM5400 is meant to be included in sub 4 pound
laptops, and has impressive battery time stats, although Transmeta would
not say exactly what those are but when prodded allowed it to be
2-2.5 times the standard 3-4 hour battery life. Only 3-4 hours are possible for
DVD running, as it is a power intensive application. The price tag for the new Crusoe based notebooks
are expected to be within the $1200 - $2500
range (for 700Mhz!). TM3120 is designed to be included within "web appliances," such as the
"Web Pad" that was demo'd on the webcast, and would be prices between $500 - $1000. Such web appliances would
run on Mobile Linux. Hard-drive less, the web appliances would retain their Mobile Linux operating
system within ROM. The units would be based on wireless
technology to allow total freedom within an unspecified range. The TM3120
Processor is not destined to become part of Cell phones, or palm pilot like
PDA's as had been previously speculated.