Transmeta shares drop as lock-up ends

End of lock-up period sees chip manufacturer lose almost a quarter of its stock market value

End of lock-up period sees chip manufacturer lose almost a quarter of its stock market value

Shares in chip-maker Transmeta plummeted 23 percent on Monday after investors were freed from a restriction on selling stock.

By the end of trading on the Nasdaq exchange, the shares had dropped $3.40 to $11.17. The slide was only the latest in a long decline -- matched by many other high-tech companies -- that has seen it fall from a high of $50 over the last few months. The company debuted on the stock market on 7 November last year.

Transmeta makes chips that claim to nearly match normal Intel processor speeds while consuming far less power, targeting them at portable devices and notebook computers.

While Transmeta has shaken up the microprocessor industry, its chips are used chiefly in portable computers for the Japanese market and haven't penetrated mainstream corporate computing. IBM flirted with a Transmeta laptop last year but cancelled it, saying the chip didn't save enough power to make the effort worthwhile.

The stock turbulence came on the same day that Transmeta announced a deal with Toshiba to use its Crusoe chips in a Libretto ultra-light notebook. The company may also move into servers.

The US' Securities and Exchange Commission imposes regulations on significant investors and insiders from selling their stock shortly after a company's initial public offering, usually for 180 days.

CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.

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