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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
News today relates to a rumor of a buyout of transmeta by SONY. Those of you who follow investment, may wish to purchase it. I do not own any shares of TMTA, nor of SNE. A little more than a year ago, I wrote to TMTA, asking for their assistance with the Efficeon (x86 instruction set) interface to the audio controller on the motherboard. At that time I did own a few thousand shares of TMTA stock, which I had purchased at > 4$/share, however, when they refused to assist me in providing the information needed to access the audio and video controllers on the efficeon board, I sold all my stock (for a modest loss, about 3.50/share). Yesterday, TMTA rose 10% in offhour trading, UP to 0.93/share, on rumors of the buyout from SNE. I had written them a long letter, maybe 15 months ago, predicting the inevitable demise of their company, if they continued to treat potential software developers as spies, trying to steal company secrets. Wonder what Sony will do with the TMTA cpu? Maybe under new management....??? Nah. just wishful thinking. They won't give us the information we need to build a useful widget. Still, hmm. 0.93/share. Hmm. Could be a potential profit there .... Smile
Post 01 Apr 2005, 12:42
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MCD



Joined: 21 Aug 2004
Posts: 604
Location: Germany
MCD
I have never asked Trasmeta any information dealing with the interfaces to their CPUs, but I am also curious in how much difference they actually have compared to the original hardwired Intel/AMD... CPUs.

Their homepage doesn't go enough into details for me. All I know is that the "legacy" x86 instructions are recompiled by a program into their own, much more effective instruction set. Since it requires it's own external Software, compatibility with different OSes is not clear to be granted for me. I'm not sure if it will work under Windows, Linux, Unix, BeOS or even DOS.

Actually, this is the only reason I didn't bought one. I liked the thought of having an energy effective CPU, which has perhaps only 1/2 of the overall throughput than other current CPUs, but uses only 1Watt electric power. Say, this would be at least 30times more effective than current most effective AMD CPU is!
Post 01 Apr 2005, 18:23
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
MCD is absolutely correct, as usual. The chief advantage of any modern cpu, for working as a widget controller, is low energy requirement. There are, of course, MANY other cpu's that can perform widget tasks, at least as efficiently as the TMTA, BUT, what makes the TMTA interesting among all widget controllers, is compatibility with x86. My own application for the transmeta cpu, was to have been working as a controller for a solar heliostat, connecting to the internet to transmit solar data from a hostile environment, by satellite. However, I have not worked on this project for more than a year, because of disenchantment with transmeta--i.e. their refusal to release, even with an offer to sign confidentiality agreements, the information needed to build a proper widget controller. Incidently, the stock zoomed up (the proper term is "gapped up") to 1.10, but fell later in the trading session, as the USA stock market itself fell another 100 points during today's trading session. That's life in the fast lane! Currently the stock trades for 1.02, still a 9% gain for the day, for those who may have purchased early on. I am still waiting on the sidelines, unwilling to commit even 100$ to a company with a track record of hostility to software designers, such as that manifested by TMTA.
Post 01 Apr 2005, 18:58
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Octavio



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 366
Location: Spain
Octavio
tom tobias wrote:
a company with a track record of hostility to software designers, such as that manifested by TMTA.

Hostility to software designers (others than microsoft ) is the general rule for all hardware manufacturers with few exceptions like Intel. But the problem of transmeta is that their notebooks are not cheaper than amd or intel ones,and the few info available makes centrino a better choice,especialy for programers who want a tool not a toy.
Post 01 Apr 2005, 23:05
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
Quote:

All I know is that the "legacy" x86 instructions are recompiled by a program into their own, much more effective instruction set. Since it requires it's own external Software, compatibility with different OSes is not clear to be granted for me. I'm not sure if it will work under Windows, Linux, Unix, BeOS or even DOS.

AFAIK, this x86->TM translation is done by the CPU itself, or rather, VLIW software embedded in the CPU. Thus, handling x86 code should be quite transparent to the developer.
Post 02 Apr 2005, 09:56
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MazeGen



Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Posts: 975
Location: Czechoslovakia
MazeGen
BTW, there was interesting attempt to Reverse Engineering the Transmeta TM5xxx Architecture
Post 03 Apr 2005, 13:17
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
Thanks MazeGen, yes, I agree with you, that was an interesting article. Here's a quote from it:
"Anyone from Transmeta should be able to verify that this is indeed genuine TM5800 code with the given meaning; they are invited to confirm the legitimacy of the reverse engineered code (assuming their employer will let them!)"
In response, I doubt that anyone from transmeta will either support or refute the code posted at this web site. That company is in trouble. I suppose they will be bought out by Sony or someone else. They certainly possess an interesting product (low power x86 cpu), but without a change in policy regarding interface to the cpu, their motherboard products will not attract many developers. For most widget controllers, the cpu offers TOO MUCH computing capability, notwithstanding the relatively low power requirement. In other words (i.e.), the cpu is RELATIVELY low power requiring, but, depending on the application, there are MANY other cpu's available, with even lower power rquirements, though they happen to be NOT compatible with x86 architecture. Depending on the application, x86 compatibility may not be particularly useful. I appreciate your reference. thanks. Smile
Post 04 Apr 2005, 09:07
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S.T.A.S.



Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 173
Location: Ru#27
S.T.A.S.
Nowadays Sony sells a lot of computers with Transmata CPU. Or may be they are intersting in x86 emulation by CELL CPU?

BTW, I heard, Transmata pays Linus Torvalds to hack on Linux. Is this rumour true? Will we see some SONIX next year? Very Happy
Post 04 Apr 2005, 23:28
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