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Transmeta looks ahead to second-generation Efficeon chip

Transmeta has not yet launched its first-generation Efficeon processor, but the company has already begun talking about the second-generation version of the chip.

Efficeon, or TM8000, will take over from the Crusoe processor as Transmeta's main processor for notebook computers, which will be launched officially next week.

It will be built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) on one of the company's 0.13-micron (130-nanometer) production lines.

Lines such as that at TSMC are capable of producing chips whose smallest circuits are 130 nanometers in width. A nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter.

Transmeta said it has contracted with Japan's Fujitsu to manufacture the second-generation version of the chip, which will be built on a more advanced 90-nanometer production line that Fujitsu is constructing at its Akiruno Technology Centre in Tokyo.

Volume production of the Efficeon is scheduled to begin in the second half of next year.

The company said the 90-nanometer version of the chip will offer a "strong performance upgrade" over the first-generation version.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service


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