Transmeta still in it for the LongRun

Former notebook chip company Transmeta has found another customer for its LongRun2 technology, signing a licensing deal with Toshiba.

Transmeta tried to take on Intel in the notebook chip market, which didn't work out all that well. Transmeta's Crusoe chip was credited with changing the debate about processor performance to include power consumption, but manufacturing problems, product delays, and Intel's Pentium M processor conspired to hold the chip down. Last year Transmeta announced it was getting out of the chip business and focusing on licensing some of the technologies that first captured the market's attention.

LongRun2 allows chip makers to alter the threshold voltage of a transistor, or the amount of current needed to turn on the transistor. Power leakage has become such a problem with advanced chip manufacturing technologies that idle transistors can be accidentally activated in the face current leaking from an active transistor, wasting power.

Toshiba will use LongRun2 on transistors going forward to the 22-nanometer process generation, it said in a release. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Transmeta is still losing money despite switching to the licensing model.

Tech Culture
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    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.


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