Transmeta has begun shipping its 90nm x86-compatible processor, the Efficeon TM8800, the chipmaker said today. It demo'd the part earlier this summer.
The company was even able to mention a couple of customers: Japan's Sharp and the hot start-up Orion Multisystems, which will use the 90nm part for its upcoming 'cluster-in-a-box' workstations.
However, Transmeta also admitted that 90nm parts are currently only available in "limited" numbers.
Fabbed by Fujitsu, the TM8800 clocks at up to 1.6GHz, rather faster than the 130nm version, the TM8600, which is currently offered at up to 1.1GHz. Both parts include an integrated 333MHz DDR SDRAM memory controller, HyperTransport bus (400MHz) manager and AGP 4x bus controller. Both sport 1MB of L2 cache, and support Intel's MMX and SSE 2 multimedia instruction sets.
The TM8800 also supports Windows XP Service Pack 2's 'no execute' technology, which prevents apps executing from memory set for data storage. AMD has offered such a system since the first AMD64 CPUs shipped, IBM for longer than that. Intel is expected to support it early next year.
Transmeta may have high hopes for the TM880, but the limited nature of its initial production forced the company to knock back its Q3 revenue forecast from $8.0-8.7m to $6.8-7.5m. Roughly half of that will come from chip sales, the rest from licensing its LongRun 2 power conservation technology. Since the expected licensing revenue remains the same - $3.5m - it's clear that the company is expecting far lower CPU sales than before.
Even at the low end of the revised range, Transmeta should see Q3's revenues come in above the $6m it reported for Q2. The downside is that the latter figure was almost entirely due to chip sales. Ignore the LongRun 2 licensing win, and the company's chip sales will have almost halved between Q2 and Q3.
Transmeta expects to sample 2GHz TM8800s in Q4, which should hopefully boost its fiscal performance during 2005, when most of the 90nm chip-using machines will ship, it calculates. ®
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