Transmeta Redesigns Crusoe for Embedded, SFF Systems

Seeks for New Markets

by Anton Shilov
01/05/2004 | 06:50 PM

Transmeta Corporation today introduced its Crusoe TM5700 and TM5900 microprocessors, creating a “new standard” in ultra-compact, efficient computing. The new processors feature an integrated North Bridge and are available in a 21mm x 21mm package for increased design flexibility and to enable smaller form factors for x86-compatible, energy efficient mobile and embedded computing.


The TM5700 and TM5900 processors are a continuation of the Crusoe product line and provide the established low-power characteristics of Crusoe’s 128-bit VLIW engine, which issues up to 4 instructions per clock cycle. The Crusoe architecture includes integrated on-chip memory controller, reducing chip count and power requirements and decreasing the size and cost of PC mainboard.

The new processors offer up to 1GHz of x86-compatible performance and incorporate integer and floating-point execution units, separate 64KB instruction and data caches, a large 512KB (TM5900) or 256KB (TM5700) L2 write-back cache, a single-channel DDR SDRAM memory controller, and a 32-bit PCI controller. The chip also features LongRun power management technology.

A small form factor Mini-ITX mainboard evaluation/reference platform based upon the TM5900 processor will be available in Q1 2004. This high-performance, low-power platform comes with schematics, design guides, processor specifications, device drivers and all other requirements for evaluation and initiating product designs.

The small footprint of the Transmeta Crusoe TM5700/TM5900 processors make it useful for applications that require high performance processing within small and thermally constrained environments, including thin clients, blade servers, printers, copiers, point-of-sale terminals, smart displays, portable consumer devices, ultra-personal computers (UPCs) and set-top boxes.

Recently Transmeta said it would seek for new markets to sell its processors. The introduction of Crusoe chips for SFF desktop computers or other PC-based applications may improve the company’s financial performance and help the firm to finally become profitable.

The Crusoe TM5700 and TM5900 chips have already begun sampling with Transmeta’s customers and will be in production in January 2004.