|| Transmeta Demo's The TM8000 "Astro" Processor
Transmetazone.com were one of only a handful of media
given the select opportunity to witness a first hand demo of the new
Transmeta TM8000 "Astro" processor in operation.
The first-run silicon sample was demonstrated on a special
development system running Windows XP at speeds of 400-500MHz (Longrun power
management). [Update: the processor we saw was actually clocked at over 1GHz, not at 500MHz as we initially reported. We are talking with Transmeta to figure out why the management software on the demo system was showing 400-500MHz frequency modulation.] When the TM8000 Astro processor arrives to market in full
sized desktop notebooks sometime in Q3 2003, the chip will initially be in the 1GHz arena, and scale up from there.
Along side the Astro demo unit was a full size
Sony GRX notebook with a 1.8GHz Pentium 4-M processor running off the AC adaptor.
In a side by side comparison opening up large Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, the
Transmeta Astro-based system was actually faster
- something which only hints at the potential performance impact the TM8000 Astro
processor will bring to the Crusoe processor line.
Current TM5800 Crusoe processors have been dogged
by slower performance than comparable Intel solutions, but still offer better
battery life. Marriage of increased performance with increased power savings is
quite an exciting prospect - however, no specific details were given as to the
power consumption of the TM8000.
The Astro processor itself is slightly larger
than the TM5800 processor, both in terms of package and actual core size. The processor
remains based on a BGA platform, but contains more pins than that of
the TM5800 Crusoe chip. The processor is built around the 0.13 micron process
and will reportedly offer eight
instructions per clock cycle; twice that of the current crop of