Transmeta, which only revealed its Crusoe line of chips last month, is giving the product a press and trade tour of Europe.
A report on a UK-based Mac rumours Web site recently alleged that Apple might consider reworking its OS to run on Crusoe chips as a way of alleviating its supply problems. This has not been substantiated at this time.
Transmeta executives added little to the company's unveiling of the Crusoe in the US, focusing on how its mobile chips offer increased power and longer battery life by relying on complex software to make the processor work.
On the move "We wanted to go after the market that we thought was completely unserved," Transmeta chief executive officer David Ditzel said about the company's focus on notebooks and mobile Internet appliances.
The company has two chips, the TM5400, for lightweight notebook computers running the Windows operating system, and the TM3120, for Internet appliances running Linux OS, officials said.
"Linus (Torvalds) has actually modified Linux for the Crusoe chips. We've added power management to the mobile Linux management system," Ditzel said. Linux guru Torvalds works for Transmeta.
A quick nap The software that works with the chips has a special stand-by, low-power mode that can switch itself on and off, even in between strokes on the keyboard. Furthermore, the software "can actually learn about the application program while it's running, so it figures out how to run faster and run with less power", Ditzel said.
Transmeta has also modified Linux so it can run with no hard disk. Rather, a small flash ROM (read only memory) is used for a compressed memory file system, Ditzel said.
Ditzel said: "We expect to fully supply Europe over the next two years, with some products available by the second half of the year."
Radio gaga In order to take advantage of Europe's rapidly-growing wireless market, Ditzel said that products using the Crusoe chips have ports built in for a variety of radio cards. Part of Transmeta's reason for being in Europe, and specifically in Hanover, is to let companies who are working on wireless products know that Crusoe has access to the radio infrastructure, Ditzel said.
"We are working with a number of wireless companies now. Plus we are trying to understand where the wireless market is going as we build our structure," Ditzel said.
"We are talking to the usual suspects," added James Chapman, the vice president of sales and marketing, without mentioning any companies by name.
Although Transmeta is not currently aiming its products at the mobile phone market, such as WAP (wireless application protocol)-enabled mobile devices, Ditzel said it would be easy to adapt Crusoe products to those markets - especially for the upcoming third-generation (3G) mobile networks.