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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

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.

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?