For Transmeta-watchers the recent announcement of a continuing partnership
with Microsoft on the Tablet PC is still fresh in the mind (especially after
spurring a momentary 20% jump in the value of Transmeta's stocks). The
Tablet PC is only one facet of Transmeta's strategy, so it is only fair we look
at one of the less noticed markets Crusoe processors are making head-ways into. While
receiving substantially less notice than the server or mobile devices which
incorporate Crusoe processors, Single Board Computers (SBC) may have an
underlying impact on industrial applications because of Crusoe's low-power
There are currently five companies in the SBC market which have released, or
are releasing Crusoe-based SBC's. IBase Technology made their first announcement at CES,
and recently displayed their second offering in the Transmeta Booth at Cebit Hannover
2001. Other SBC companies like Advantech Co., Boser Technology Co., Taiwan Mycomp Co. (TMC) and
ICP America Inc. still remain largely unknown however.
SBC's are generally about the size of a post card and pack in network
connectivity, video, disk support, memory, and even audio functionality.
Typically used in industrial applications where they are embedded into custom
applications for the vertical markets, computer telephony, industrial controls,
factory automation or point of sale (POS) applications.