RealTime IT News

Transmeta's Chips Now a Fashion Statement

From desktop, to laptop, to your palm device, computers are getting smaller and more personal. Now, more companies are looking to make the computer part of your wardrobe.

Pushing the technology forward is wearable/mobile computer maker Xybernaut , whose exploits to make wireless wearable and chic have been well documented. Now, the Fairfax, Va.-based company has signed on low-power chipmaker Transmeta as part of its big picture plans to adorn people in computers. The companies said the goal of their collaboration is to "develop mobile and wearable computing technologies that meet the needs of a wide variety of industry sectors and end-user communities."

Xybernaut President Steven Newman said the company's customers demand that it enhance its products for maximum productivity gains and measurable return on investment. "A critical differentiator that our customers recognize is our ability to attract, and work efficiently with, partners that push the envelope," he said in a statement.

Over the past 9 months, Newman said the companies have strengthened their working relationship to develop next-generation mobile/wearable computers -- particularly related to Xybernaut's open-source Atigo product family.

Execs say initial joint efforts and Xybernaut technology development will concentrate on targeted industry sectors such as retail, energy/ utilities, transportation, government/military, aerospace/aviation, manufacturing and hospitality.

"Transmeta is dedicated to driving innovation in the x86-processor market, and working with established market leaders such as Xybernaut opens a variety of new ways to implement cost effective products that will boost productivity by enhancing data acquisition and management," said Arthur L. Swift, vice president of marketing for Transmeta. "We feel that our companies will be able to develop intuitive ways to accomplish various technical tasks, complex repairs, detailed quality assurance inspections, point of sale transactions and customer-related activities."

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based concern is no stranger to pushing the envelope. Transmeta has two x86-compatible processors in production that require no fans and take up only a fraction of the power of similar chips from Intel or AMD.

The company's Crusoe TM5800 chip has been making the rounds in a variety of applications including laptops and embedded systems. The company's marquee relationship remains its deal with Hewlett-Packard to supply the company with CPUs for its Compaq Evo Tablet PCs as well as thin clients.

Transmeta's other processor -- the TM8000 or Efficeon -- is available to ship now and should debut on store shelves sometime in the next few months. The first generation of the brand will start at speeds of 1.1 GHz and ramp up 1.3 GHz. The processor is being marketed for 12- and 14-inch notebooks, Tablet PCs, ultra-personal computers, silent desktops, blade servers and embedded systems.

On its own, Xybernaut has made some very influential partnerships. In addition to teaming with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young this month, the company has partnered with Tactical Survey Group and has received a $510,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for wearable computing hardware that will be used by Air Force, Army, and National Guard personnel for maintenance activities.