Transmeta Corp., a developer of processors that recently announced quit from chip business in an attempt to concentrate on licensing deals, revealed this week that Sony, a leading consumer electronics company, had licensed the company’s LongRun2 technology used to cut-down chips’ power consumption.
Transmeta’s first generation LongRun power management technology was introduced in January 2000, and was the first technology in the industry to adjust MHz and voltage dynamically, hundreds of times per second, to reduce power consumption. Transmeta’s second generation LongRun2 technology extends this approach further to include dynamic adjustments of transistor leakage under software control. Software control is important in order to adjust leakage due to changes in runtime conditions, such as voltage and temperature that are not predetermined when the chip is manufactured.
Transmeta’s LongRun2 software works to control leakage as an interdisciplinary solution in combination with special circuits within a processor, and with a standard CMOS process. During the demonstration at the Microprocessor Forum conference in late 2003, Transmeta showed the Efficeon processor adjusting leakage up to hundreds of times per second while playing a video game, playing a DVD movie and going into standby. In standby mode, Efficeon core leakage power was reduced by approximately 70 times by using LongRun2 technology, according to Transmeta.
It is unclear which of Sony’s products will use LongRun2 technology.
Sony is developing and designing the Cell processors for its PlayStation 3 console as well as various other consumer electronics devices.
Earlier Transmeta Corp. granted licenses on the LongRun2 to NEC Electronics and Fujitsu Limited.