Transmeta unveils 1.6GHz Efficeon processor

Transmeta is showing working samples of the latest version of its Efficeon processor at the Computex trade show in Taipei this...

Transmeta is showing working samples of the latest version of its Efficeon processor at the Computex trade show in Taipei this week.

The 1.6GHz version of the processor is scheduled to ship in July or August and will be followed with the release of at least one faster version of the chip before the end of the year, said Walter Sun, product marketing manager for Transmeta.

The company's fastest Efficeon processor so far runs at 1.2GHz.

In addition to operating at a higher clock speed, the chip is also the first manufactured for the company by Fujitsu and using a 90-nanometer production process.

The company's existing chips are manufactured on a 130-nanometer process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.

In making the switch to a 90-nanometer process, Transmeta is following other processor makers, including Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which have also begun offering chips built using similar technology.

Each step to a more advanced production process provides engineers a chance to reduce the physical size of the chip or cram more components onto a chip of the same size. It can also help reduce power consumption.

A system based on a prototype Efficeon was running at Computex and Transmeta demonstrated the chip's support for Microsoft's NX (No Execute) feature. NX is a security feature that blocks attempts to cause buffer overruns, which are a common way for a virus or worm to infiltrate a computer or cause it to crash.

The company also demonstrated its LongRun 2 technology, which will be available in 90-nanometer chips later this year. The system is being co-developed by Transmeta and Japan's NEC Electronics and manages transistor leakage to help reduce power consumption.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service

 

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