Transmeta's Crusoe: A Low-Power x86 Microprocessor Built with Software

EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Dave Ditzel
Chief Executive Officer, Transmeta Corporation

Wednesday, March 1, 2000
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.


Transmeta has recently introduced a new microprocessor family named Crusoe. Crusoe in unique in that it is the first microprocessor whose instruction set is implemented entirely with software. Software dynamically translates any x86 software to an underlying VLIW processor that contains special hardware support for dynamic translation. The result is a processor that is fully compatible with all x86 software, has high performance, but uses very low power consumption (about 1 watt). The first two Crusoe processors are the 400 MHz TM3120 for mobile internet devices using Mobile Linux, and the 700 MHz TM5400 for traditional notebook computers running Windows. A new power management mode called LongRun will be discussed, that can dynamically adjust the processor frequency and voltage on the fly to minimize power consumption for mobile computer systems.

Speaker Bio:

Dave Ditzel is Chief Executive Officer and a founder of Transmeta Corporation. He is a long term microprocessor designer, having worked on over 20 different processor designs, prior to Transmeta he was chief technical officer for Sun Microelectronics on their SPARC processors. He co-authored "The Case for the Reduced Instruction Set Computer" in 1980 with U.C.Berkeley professor David Patterson and has published over 30 papers in the field of advanced computer design. He graduated with a MS CSEE from U.C. Berkeley in 1979.