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Fujitsu to manufacture 90nm Transmeta Efficeon processors

An interesting fact: Transmeta announced the new contract manufacturer for its next-generation processors. We know now that new 90nm chips codenamed Transmeta Efficeon will be produced by Japanese Fujitsu. Despite that we´ve already mentioned Efficeon chips (former Astro; TM8000 according to company´s internal marking), the official annoucement will take place only next week, October 13-16 at In-Stat/MDR Microprocessor Forum (MPF) in San Jose, CA.

It´s hard to name a univocal reason for Transmeta to change manufacturer from the usual TSMC to Fujitsu. They say that TSMC could only offer Transmeta 0.13µm process for Efficeon (chips will be announced in this process first). The first processor expected in volumes will have the 1.1GHz clock speed and the first notebooks should arrive in Q4 2003 already.

Perhaps, besides more prospects of Fujitsu technologies, it was also important for Transmeta that before TSMC has often delayed the volume production. At least seeing the over a half-year delay of Crusoe TM5800 Transmeta often complained about the manufacture partner.

Anyway, 90nm Efficeon volume production is scheduled to H2 2004. For this Fujitsu plans to port the chip design to own 90nm CS100 process technology. At that, according to the provisional information, transistor gate length will make 40nm in 11-layer design. The manufacture will be established in Fujitsu Akiruno Technology Center nearby Tokio.

As for the current 0.13µm Efficeons produced by TSMC, we know that they´ll be tested and packed by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE).

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