Transmeta introduces Efficeon TM8000 processor

Posted on Wednesday, October 15 2003 @ 14:12 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Transmeta today launched the Efficeon TM8000 processor, a new high-performance low-power x86-compatible CPU. This processor is aimed at ultra-portable deviced and mainstream laptops, they also suggest usage in tabled PC's, ultra-presonal computers, silent computers, ...
This processor stays within the thermal limit of 7W, so it can be used in fanless computer system designs.

  Efficeon is a high-performance, low-power x86-compatible processor, based upon a new silicon microarchitecture and also a redesigned version of Transmeta's Code Morphing® Software. The microarchitecture is based on a 256-bit VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) processor that can issue up to 8 internal instructions per clock cycle. When combined with the new Efficeon Code Morphing Software, it provides full compatibility with modern x86 software, including MMX, SSE and SSE2 multimedia instructions.

Efficeon features a number of new high performance interfaces integrated into the same chip as the processor, eliminating the need for a separate Northbridge chip. Efficeon includes a high speed AGP-4X graphics interface that enables the use of industry standard high performance AGP graphics solutions. Efficeon includes a high speed DDR-400 (Double Data Rate SDRAM at 400 Megatransfers/second) memory interface, with ECC (Error Correcting Code) as an option. Efficeon includes a high performance HyperTransport interconnect for connecting to the rest of the system. Efficeon's HyperTransport interface can send data at up to 1.6 GBytes/second aggregate, which is up to 12 times faster than the I/O throughput of Crusoe's PCI interface. Efficeon also includes a high speed LPC (Low Pin Count) bus interface for communicating with the latest generation of FLASH memory.

With integrated on-chip Northbridge core logic, the Efficeon TM8000 family reduces chip count and decreases the size and cost of the PC board, enabling innovative, smaller form factor designs. Transmeta and NVIDIA have been working jointly together on small package solutions. The Efficeon TM8620 21x21mm small package combined with NVIDIA's 22x22mm nForce3 Go 120 Southbridge will allow the combination of CPU, Northbridge and Southbridge to fit in a space nearly four times smaller than that of its nearest competitor. The standard model Efficeon TM8600 processor will be offered in a 29x29mm package, also smaller than the competitive processors.

Initially, Efficeon silicon will be manufactured for Transmeta by TSMC in Taiwan, in TMSC's 0.13 micron (130 nanometer) CMOS technology at clock speeds starting at 1 GHz and above. Starting in the second half of 2004, Efficeon silicon will also be manufactured for Transmeta at Fujitsu's Akiruno Technology Center near Tokyo, Japan, at speeds up to 2 GHz, using Fujitsu's 90 nm CMOS process.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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