Aussie take up slow for Transmeta chips

Despite a more energy efficient architecture than its rivals, notebooks using chips from mobile chip specialist Transmeta have found little space on Australian retailers' shelves.

Gartner analyst Andy Woo said Transmeta’s chips held advantages over other brands for notebooks, but this didn’t mean they would be everywhere.

“Transmeta does have some unique technologies like low power usage, but at the end of the day it’s marketing capability that’s important," Woo said. "Intel still dominates brand awareness, it has about 95 per cent of the market.

“[That’s why] Transmeta’s penetration in Australia is not much different to the rest of the globe, it’s still fairly low,” Woo said.

Since releasing its battery-preserving Crusoe processor in late 2000, manufacturers like Sony and Fujitsu have used Transmeta chips to power their notebooks.

However, IDG enquiries found a dearth of Transmeta-based notebooks in the Australian market.

Dick Smith Electronics does not stock a Transmeta-based notebook but Plus Corporation said it did, despite its online catalogue.

Harris Technology did stock Transmeta-based Sony notebooks but they have now been discontinued.

A spokesperson for Sony said it last released a Transmeta-based notebook in Australia one year ago.

Despite its distribution trouble though, the US chipmaker will release the world's first 256-bit chip, the Astro mobile processor, in the third quarter of this year.

The Astro will sport an architecture redesign and will clash with Intel’s Banias mobile processor and forthcoming wireless architecture, Centrino.

“Centrino will give new spin to the mobile space,” said Woo. “It will be interesting to see how the Transmeta chips rate after we see that.”

Transmeta communications director, Phillip Bergman, told IDG that while the company had no dedicated Australia-based representative it was the decision of Transmeta's customers as to where Crusoe-based products were distributed.

"However, we are being aggressive about increasing the number of Crusoe-based products and the geographic diversity of our customers," Bergman said.

Transmeta’s chips differ to traditional processors by being software, not hardware, based.

“These processors are able to adjust, up to 200 times per second, to deliver the performance a computer user requires based on the specific task being undertaken by the end user,” Transmeta director of marketing, Mike DeNeffe, said.

“For example, DVD play is very performance intensive, but typing a document in Microsoft Word is much less so. By adjusting performance to each task, much like the automatic transmission in a car, the Crusoe processor is able to extend battery life."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?