AMD licences to mobile chip start-up

Intel feels the squeeze as Linus vehicle revs up the competition

Intel feels the squeeze as Linus vehicle revs up the competition

Mobile chip upstart Transmeta is to licence technologies from chipmaker AMD in a move that will up the challenge to Intel on 64bit technology. Newly formed Transmeta, which has already forced Intel to revitalise its efforts in the mobile chip arena, is now to use two AMD technologies to up its 64bit efforts. Transmeta will licence a high-speed "bus" called HyperTransport, a technology AMD claim is 24 times faster than current equivalents, and AMD's x86-64 architecture, a direct competitor of Intel's planned 64bit Itanium chip. Intel's domination of the PC chip market has lessened in the last year, with competitors such as AMD mounting an increasingly stiff challenge. Transmeta, which launched its first product, Crusoe, last year, has enjoyed some success, taking market share from Intel in the mobile computing space. AMD has already licensed its 64bit technology to 100 companies, including Broadcom, Cisco and Sun Microsystems. 64bit technology will allow data to be processed faster and in larger chunks, and will increasingly replace computers based on 32bit chips. Transmeta said it chose AMD's technology because it was backwards compatible - allowing you run software designed for 32bit systems, as well as newer, 64bit-tailored programmes. Transmeta gained notoriety as the latest vehicle for Linux inventor Linus Torvalds. For full coverage of silicon.com's recent Linus Week, including exclusive interviews with Linus Torvalds and the chance to buy his autobiography at a specially discounted price, visit http://www.silicon.com/linusweek