Introducing the New Crusoe
The new Crusoe TM5800 processor is now at the heart of Sony's new VAIO PCG-C1MT ultraportable notebook. Clocked at higher speed than the previous generation of Crusoe processors, the TM5800 is not only faster, but boasts of lower power consumption and heat dissipation.
It took Transmeta roughly eighteen months to introduce the new TM5800 processor which is built on the state-of-the-art 0.13-micron manufacturing technology. Compared with the previous TM5600 processor which is based on the 0.18-micron technology, the TM5800 die is now only 55mm² in size, making it one of the smallest mobile chip available that operates at a speed of up to 800MHz.
The Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 processor.
Offering enhancements in speed, the new TM5800 also feature a new Code Morphing Software (CMS) version 4.2. The Code Morphing Software is a translator which dynamically translates x86 instructions into VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) which forms the basis of the Crusoe's hardware engine. The use of the code morphing software allows the design of the Crusoe processor to be simplified with the use of less transistors. The software basically replaces the logic transistors which other processors use. By replacing the use of complex transistors (which consumes more power and dissipates more heat) with the code morphing software, the Crusoe processor runs cooler and consumes less power. The advantage of using software to replace logic transistors is two-fold. The first, which I have already explained, is its low power consumption and heat dissipation. The second, is the flexibility it offers for further performance enhancements via a simple software update procedure.
The Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 processor also feature its own power management technology, called the LongRun. It is somewhat similar to AMD PowerNow and Intel's SpeedStep technology. However, the LongRun technology interacts with the code morphing software to control the amount of voltage and the clock frequency of the processor on the fly depending on how much of processing power is required of the CPU. Unlike the SpeedStep where it only offers two different frequency steps for reducing power, LongRun throttles both processor frequency and voltage in multiple steps. All this happens in the background and transparent to the user.