Most of the
Efficeon-based notebooks and blade servers we've seen so far use the ULi 1563M Southbridge chip to partner the Transmeta chip.
In terms of features, this chipset could charitably be described as dated,
lacking PCI-Express and SATA support. ULi's newest
desktop Transmeta chipset, the M1573 , will bring PCI
Express support to the Efficeon, along integrated SATA and audio, but
as yet no mobile version has been announced.
Efficeon was first introduced, Transmeta announced a partnership with nVidia to
integrate the chip with the nForce 3 Go120
chipset that that company was producing. While this was considerably higher
spec than its competitors at the time, we have yet to see any products incorporating
The future of the Efficeon...
future of Transmeta's Efficeon line is murky, but can be summed up this way: smaller and faster 90nm-based
processors. At CES this year, the company demonstrated a desktop 90nm Efficeon running at 2.0
GHz, claiming it was comparable in performance to an Intel Pentium 4 3GHz 'c'
line of Efficeon chips expected to be launched were the TM8820 series. Based on
the same 90nm design process as the TM8800, these chips, if they are released, will sport compact
packaging like the TM8620 chips and should be capable of fanless operation. However, with
the recent restructuring of the company towards intellectual property leasing, it is
difficult to say what if any future the Efficeon processor really
April 2005, the Transmeta
Crusoe processor and 130 nanomemter Efficeon processors are available on an EOL
basis only. The mini-Efficeon chips based on the 90nm manufacturing process are
available on an as-needed basis, to
specific customers only. Rather than continue to make processors, Transmeta announced that it will
leverage its interests in technologies like LongRun2, and Code Morphing, which it
has already embarked upon with licence agreements to Sony, NEC, and
I'm still working on a Crusoe-based Fujitsu
notebook everyday, which has been running cool and reliably for years, but it
seems the future prospects of an Efficeon based system are unlikely. That is a
shame, as compared with the Intel Pentium M, Transmeta's technology offers
several distinct low-power advantages. Such is the burn-brightly, burn-fast,
life of technology.