Transmeta to Shut Down?

By Deane Barker on June 5, 2005

Transmeta sells microprocessor unit: Apparently Transmeta — well known as the landing place of Linus Torvalds — is going to shut down. They just sold the Crusoe line of processors to a Hong Kong company.

The deal marks the latest twist in the Transmeta melodrama. The Sunnyvale, California-based company, which counted Linus Torvalds as an early employee, hoped to challenge Intel in notebooks with processors that consumed far less power. Despite signing deals with brand-name manufacturers such as Sony and Fujitsu in 2000, tepid performance reviews and product delays followed in 2001.

Deals dried up, three CEOs came and went, and financial losses increased. Since 1998, the company has posted accumulated losses of $635 million on revenues of $134 million.

Transmeta’s early successes, however, did have a lasting effect: They prompted Intel to come up with the Centrino processor, chipset and network-interface bundle.

I remember when this company launched amid total secrecy. They wouldn’t tell anyone what they were doing or working on. When they hired Linus, everyone went atwitter about what they were up to. Sad to see it end this way.



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