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Transmeta samples 90nm Efficeon, but quarter results are poor

At the dedicated press conference Transmeta officially informed on sampling of new-generation Efficeon processors made at Fujitsu fab using 90nm process. The company assured this launch is even ahead of schedule. According to Matthew R. Perry, Transmeta CEO, the company will be shipping limited commercial quantities in mid-2004, while ready solutions should go on sale in H2 2004 Spring 2005.

If you remember, the second Efficeon generation to be made at Fujitsu fabs using 90nm process was scheduled to H2 2004. This transition will enable to reduce Efficeon chip size from 119mm² to 68². At that not only clock rates, but model names are to change.

2nd Efficeon generation TM8800 TM8500 TM8820
Modification Basic Inexpensive Compact
L1 instruction cache 128KB
L1 data cache 64KB
L2 cache 1MB 512KB 1MB
Body size 29x29mm 21x21mm
Package FC-OBGA 783

Already now Transmeta declares the following power consumption rates of basic 2G 90nm Efficeon TM8800 chips.

TM8800 Efficeon core clock Power consumption
1GHz 3W
1.4GHz 5W
1.6GHz 7W
1.8GHz 12W
2.0GHz 25W

Well, it would be good, if everying goes as planned. I guess the most important thing for Transmeta now is to catch the moment, when its chips offer good performance/price/consumption. Otherwise the experience of Crusoe TM5800 will repeat and the novelty will arrive in mass quantities half a year later than it should.

Now sad financial news. In Q1 that finished for Transmeta on March 26, 2004, the company earned $5.2 million at the dead loss of $23.4 million. A year ago it was $6.0 million and $20.1 million, while in Q4 2003 numbers were $21.9 million and $3.6 million, respectively. You can consider $5.2 million the 44% growth comparing to the previous quarter, but also considering the loss...

Transmeta´s balance is still about $113 million (vs. $120.8 million in December) that will be enough for the near future.

The quarter benefits include licensing the proprietary LongRun2 energy saving to NEC and the release of Efficeon TM8600-based notebook (actually there´s only a single model Sharp Actius MM20) that has been selling in Japan for several months and has recently arrived to USA.

Company´s closest plans are not that dim in general. In May Japanese PC builder, JMNet, is going to introduce Efficeon-based Wake blade series to the local market; Vulcan venture founded by Paul Allen is actively promoting its FlipStart mini PC on Crusoe TM5800. Besides, there are some more systems to be based on Transmeta: Densitron Technologies is to offer DPX-114 single-board PC, Dialogue Technology introduced ultra light Flybook at CeBIT 2004, IBM Japan announced PC Core System mini PC prototype, Kontron released industrial PC of PC104 form factor, and Teco Electric and Machinery unveiled its TECO Thin Client TR5670-XPe.

It´s generally good, but the company expects losses in Q2 as well: about $20.5-21.5 million at assumed 25% sales growth as well as reserves reduction to $85.0 million by June (mostly due to license payments.)

P.S. I hope we´ll get a sample notebook on Efficeon TM8600 someday for testing, so you, our readers, know how it performs at least.

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