Transmeta unveils Efficeon brand for TM8000

Transmeta Corp. will name its next-generation mobile processor Efficeon, hoping that name draws more customers than its current Crusoe processor has mustered so far, the company announced Tuesday.

Samples of the TM8000, or Efficeon, are being distributed to customers, and Transmeta hopes to release it in volume to customers by the end of the third quarter, said Mike DeNeffe, director of marketing for Transmeta. The new chip, formerly known by its Astro code name, promises performance increases up to 50 percent over Transmeta's Crusoe mobile chip, he said.

Transmeta garnered a lot of attention when Crusoe was released in 2000. A mobile chip known for its miserly power consumption, Crusoe became popular in Japanese notebooks, but has never quite caught on in the rest of the world. Hewlett-Packard Co. used Crusoe in its Tablet PC, and Microsoft Corp. certified Crusoe for use with Smart Displays, but that recognition has not translated into much revenue for the Santa Clara, California, company, which continues to lose money.

The company will continue to sell the Crusoe chip when Efficeon is released, but will target Crusoe for embedded applications and industrial equipment, DeNeffe said.

Efficeon will become Transmeta's main product for notebooks, and is also expected to find its way into slim desktop PCs and blade servers, he said.

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