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Experience Crusoe vs. Intel Inside

Experience Crusoe vs. Intel Inside - PCSTATS
Abstract: The situation is almost comic if you consider that Transmeta's Santa Clara headquarters are pretty much right across the street from Intel. The rivalry must be a heated one...
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Transmeta Feb 20 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > Transmeta

Experience Crusoe vs. Intel Inside


For a moment imagine you run a line of small stores which are planning to expand. The biggest competitor in your market is Walmart. The question then arises, "How do you compete against Walmart?"

The answer you might think, is to undercut Walmarts' prices, offer a better level of service, a wider range of products or any other of a number of savvy ideas. Those answers are of course, totally wrong. The real answer to "how do you compete with Walmart?" is much more simple. The answer is, you don't.

That is essentially the situation Transmeta faces. How to compete with the great Chipzilla - Intel? The situation is almost comic if you consider that Transmeta's Santa Clara headquarters are pretty much right across the street from Intel. The rivalry must be a heated one, but what is Transmeta going to do?

The are very adeptly, not going to compete with Intel on its' own terms.

Instead, Transmeta say they are going to chip away at the very foundations of Intel's business model. Their secret ally in the battle for future notebook consumers is Moore's Law. Moore's Law states that every 18 months, processing power doubles while cost holds constant. After almost 20 years of advancing processor developments there's precious little room left to maneuver without some very fundamental (read: costly) changes to the underlying technology of Intel's silicon processor. It's right about here where Transmeta's next ally kicks in, and that would be heat.

Current Intel Pentium 4 processors produce upwards of 50 to 60 watts of heat energy per square centimeter. That is exceptionally hot as anyone following current heatsink evolution can attest to. Mix Moore's Law and heat into the equation and you see a situation where, under the current architectures, MHz-based marketing can only go so much further.

What better way to compete for the hearts and minds of future notebook consumers than to abandon MegaHertz, or even GigaHertz, as the measuring stick for a processors' usefulness. That's right, abandon MHz marketing.

If you can't fathom not judging your processor by its' MHz don't worry, you're not alone - but consider this first. De Beers, the worlds largest Diamond monopoly, created their marketing strategy "A diamond is forever" about 50 years ago. Believe it or not, before they started their campaign, most wedding rings were plain gold bands, and only about 1-2% of brides thought a diamond was "a girls best friend." De Beers marketing strategy changed all that forever, and that is exactly what Transmeta hope to do with theirs.

Unworking Billions of dollars worth of Intel marketing will not be an easy task, but Transmeta say they are determined to show the world that MHz doesn't mean squat, it's productivity that matters!

How do you relate such an intangible in a quantitative manner? Well, even we're not totally sure, but according to Transmeta they will be emphasizing the benefits to end users using Crusoe-based notebooks. The end result? Promote the "Crusoe Experience."

It's not as crazy as it might seem if you consider Sony for a moment. The "It's a Sony" type of marketing strategy is exactly what Transmeta appear to be shooting for. This kind of brand-based marketing plan emphasizes the end user experience entirely. This begs the question of whether or not Transmeta will position Crusoe-based computers as "consumer electronics" rather than "computers."

The difference is slight, but has serious ramifications to the way we shop for, compare, and buy computers. Transforming the status of the computer from that of a 'highend electronic object' which can be tweaked, upgraded, and coerced into performing better into a generic piece of consumer electronics may seem hard to accept, but the paradigm shift could be very powerful, not to mention profitable.

Chances are it will be some time before consumers shop for notebook computers with the same abandonment as they do for portable CD-players, but when they do, don't be surprised if you see a little sticker saying "Experience Crusoe!"


 

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