Transmeta Offers Up Blueprint For Efficeon Chip

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it will share a new small-form-factor Reference Design Kit for its Efficeon 8820 processor. The kit is designed to help OEMs and system builders work off a common standard for installing Transmeta's power-efficient chips into a wider array of devices, including consumer-electronics and digital media hardware.

Transmeta wants to expand market presence for Efficeon beyond power-efficient notebook space.

"It's a manufacturing reference-ready design that will cover a series of smaller form factors, including the Mini ITX form factor," said John Heinlien, Transmeta's director of strategic partner initiatives.

Transmeta wants to expand the market presence for Efficeon chips beyond the power-efficient notebook space, according to Heinlien.

With the reference design, as well as efforts to develop technology to support a fanless multimedia PC, the company believes it can gain a strong foothold in the digital convergence arena, he said.

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"Transmeta has really been expanding out of its old model where we were laser-focused on notebooks," Heinlien said.

The move toward laying out such a blueprint comes as the company is considering a new corporate direction, including ceasing the production of processors themselves and focusing on the licensing of intellectual property.

Since the company's founding, it has had a difficult time landing any major OEM support for its processor platforms in the United States. Company executives released a statement earlier this month saying they were looking at making licensing and intellectual property the company's sole focus.

While Transmeta hopes the new designs may woo system builders into its camp, it may have a lot of work to do. Tom Wong, a sales executive at system builder FIC International, said FIC once offered a Transmeta-based system but has since pulled that product from its lineup. Weak sales were one reason, he said.

"Transmeta itself is not doing so well, either," Wong said. FIC has begun building some smaller-form- factor systems using processors from rival Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, Calif., he said.