Transmeta Releases Details On 90nm CPU

Details about the processor were revealed at In-Stat/MDR’s Fall Processor Forum in San Jose, California.

The single chip Efficeon TM8800 is specified as featuring a high performance processor core capable of issuing up to eight internal instructions per clock, an integrated DDR-400 memory interface and an AGP-4X high-speed graphics interface. Connection to other chips is made through a high performance HyperTransport interface.

Using an industry-leading 90nm process technology, the new second generation Efficeon TM8800 processor achieves significantly improved speed and efficiency over the prior 130nm generation. Previously, the 130nm Efficeon TM8600 processor achieved 1 GHz speeds at a maximum power of 7 watts. With the new 90nm technology, the Efficeon TM8800 is expected to achieve comparable 1 GHz speeds using a mere 3 watts maximum power. The 1.6 GHz Efficeon TM8800 processor is already in limited production and shipping in Sharp’s new PC-MP50G and PC-MP70G notebook computers in Japan. Transmeta will also demonstrate a technology preview of the new Efficeon TM8800 processor running at 2 GHz at the Fall Processor Forum.

“The 90nm Efficeon TM8800 provides a major boost in performance while maintaining the low power consumption needed for today’s demanding devices and applications,” said Matthew R. Perry, president and CEO of Transmeta Corporation.

The Efficeon TM8800 features AntiVirusNX(TM) technology and is the first low power x86-microprocessor to provide support for the anti-virus protection enabled in the currently available Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). The Efficeon TM8800 processor and future versions of the Efficeon processor will provide AntiVirusNX capability to protect against the execution of code from memory regions intended for data, when used in conjunction with the Data Execution Protection feature shipping from Microsoft in Windows XP SP2.

In addition, the next version of the Efficeon TM8800, which is scheduled for later this year, is expected to be the first low power x86-microprocessor to provide support for the new x86 instruction extensions for multimedia and video processing known as “SSE-3.” The new SSE-3 instructions can improve performance for applications such as video decompression.

The 90nm TM8800 Efficeon is being manufactured at Fujitsu Electronic Devices Group’s Akiruno Technology Center near Tokyo. Using Fujitsu’s advanced 90nm CMOS semiconductor technology enables smaller die sizes and reduced manufacturing costs, as well as lower power and higher performance. Fujitsu’s technology provides Efficeon with an industry leading transistor design capable of reaching 40-nm physical gate lengths and eight layers of high speed metal interconnect.

The Efficeon TM8800 is targeted at a wide range of computing devices such as thin-and-light notebook computers, mainstream notebooks, ultra-personal computers (UPCs), tablet PC’s, BladePCs, cluster workstations and fanless media centers.