From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 12:26 PM
To: Viridian List
Subject: Viridian Note 00130: Portable Chips

Key concepts: chips, Transmeta, Linux, laptops,
cellphones, web pads

Attention Conservation Notice: It's a soft-vaporware news release of primary interest to technical specialists.


Entries in the "Dead Mike" Design contest:

Viridian contests archive:

This contest expires February 15, 02000.

Transmeta's design team, which includes one of the architects of RISC, have designed a brand-new chip expressly for portability and low power. The basic stunt here, known as "Code Morphing," moves a lot of former energy-sucking hardware activity into software. This shrinks the chip drastically, making it much smaller than Intel and AMD products. It took Transmeta five long years to juggle all this dynamic compiling and code optimizing, but they now announce themselves ready to ship the new "Crusoe" chip.

This chip, built by IBM, is so energy-wary that it adjusts its own speed and voltage on the fly. It'll run top speed on two watts. It'll sleep on ten milliwatts. Crusoe laptops will run PC software, while the handheld Internet gizmos run Linux. Transmeta envisions a new product category of Internet "web pads" and ultra-light laptops that run all day on a single battery.

Imagine these chips combined with the Motorola postage- stamp fuel cell. One foresees a world of cheap, green, recyclable laptops made out of bamboo, glass and straw, that run for months or years by sipping booze. Really. No kidding. The trend is here. If you ask for it loudly enough, you'll get it.

Viridian Disaster, Forwarded E-mail Department:

"Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 09:44:11 -0500
"From: Tony Socci <>

"Dear Folks:

"Unfortunately, due to the snow emergency and the shutdown of the federal government, we have cancelled today's US Global Climate Change seminar (January 25th), 'The Earth's Surface Temperature in the 20th Century: Coming to Grips with Satellite and Surface-Based Records of Temperature,' with Drs. Wallace and Trenberth. We will however, reschedule this seminar for a later date and keep you informed accordingly. Thank you for your patience and understanding."
Anthony D. Socci, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Office of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) 400 Virginia Ave., SW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20024

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