Part of the Microprocessors glossary:

Crusoe is a family of "smart" microprocessors from Transmeta that combines a relatively simple, low-powered hardware processor with software that makes the hardware processor look like an x86 Intel processor (such as a Pentium III ). Because Crusoe requires only one-fourth of the usual number of transistors , the processor has a small power requirement. As a result, Crusoe is expected to introduce a new era of mobile devices that can run all day without requiring a battery recharge.

The hardware processor operates with very long instruction word ( VLIW ) instructions . The VLIW instructions are developed by the software, which is on flash memory and which Transmeta calls its Code Morphing Software. The software takes the x86 instructions from the operating system or applications and develops them into optimized VLIW instructions for the hardware processor.

Initially, the Crusoe family consists of two processors:

  • The TM3120 - for mobile devices weighing two pounds or less . The speed is 333-400 MHz and the power requirement is low enough to allow a full day of Web browsing without a battery recharge.
  • The TM5400 - for mobile PCs weighing four pounds or less . Performance is up to 700 MHz, providing up to eight hours of "everyday office" use" and up to four hours of playing DVD movies without needing a recharge.

Crusoe processors are expected to appear in mobile devices, including the Web pad, , the notebook computer, and the wearable computer .

This was last updated in September 2005
Contributor(s): Chiou-Shann Fuh
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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