Recall trouble hits Transmeta

The company began recalling a total of 284 computers based on the TM5600 Crusoe processor due to a problem with memory inside the processor itself.

"There is an error in the cache on-board the processor," said Sammy Sakamoto, a spokesman for NEC. He said the company to date has sold around 2800 machines based on the Transmeta processor since they went on sale in Japan in mid-October. Sakamoto said NEC suspects the problem is not due to a fundamental problem with the processor itself, but rather a faulty batch of chips.

Nonetheless, news of the recall sent other Japanese notebook makers, including Fujitsu, Hitachi and Sony, that are also using Transmeta chips scrambling to check whether their machines had the same problem.

The faulty cache causes problems when Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system is loaded onto the machines, said Sakamoto, and was discovered by the company during its own testing. NEC has yet to receive any complaints from customers regarding the issue, he added.

"This matter is now under investigation," said Ted Kanno, a spokesman for Sony, which has released two notebook models with the microprocessor in question. "These two models are applicable in terms of CPU and we are investigating how this will impact the line-up and what action we should take to better serve customers."

Later in the day a spokesperson for Sony's PR company in the US said there would be no recall there. "There is no recall," said Danielle Ward, a spokeswoman at Mindstorm Communications, which is contracted by Sony Electronics. "We have received no calls on the Sony Vaio C1VN Picturebook."

The Sony Vaio C1VN Picturebook is the company's only model in the US to run on Transmeta's chip. It uses the TM5600 Crusoe chip with a clock speed of 600MHz. Ward said Sony would make a more formal announcement during the afternoon Thursday (US time).

A spokesman for Hitachi said his company was also looking into the issue.

In contrast, Fujitsu said it believed it had nothing to worry about. "We're not affected by it," said Bob Pomeroy, a company spokesman. "We use the 533MHz chip and not the 600MHz one so, as far as we know, we don't see any problems."

In a brief statement issued Wednesday, Transmeta said it was working with NEC on the issue and "stands behind Crusoe and will continue to work with its customers to insure Crusoe's quality and reliability."

The Crusoe microprocessors NEC is replacing came from a limited manufacturing batch, Transmeta said in the statement. "Any remaining inventory of this material at NEC or other customers has been returned to Transmeta. Transmeta is currently shipping Crusoe microprocessors to its customers to replenish their production lines to meet the demand for Crusoe systems."

Additional reporting by James Evans.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?