Mobile computing has been the buzzword for quite a long time. Mobile computing
devices like laptops, webslates & notebook PCs are becoming common nowadays.
The heart of every PC whether a desktop or mobile PC is the microprocessor. Several
microprocessors are available in the market for desktop PCs from companies like
Intel, AMD, Cyrix etc.The mobile computing market has never had a microprocessor
specifically designed for it. The microprocessors used in mobile PCs are optimized
versions of the desktop PC microprocessor.
Mobile computing makes very different demands on processors than desktop computing,
yet up until now, mobile x86 platforms have simply made do with the same old processors
originally designed for desktops. Those processors consume lots of power, and
they get very hot. When you're on the go, a power-hungry processor means you have
to pay a price: run out of power before you've finished, run more slowly and lose
application performance, or run through the airport with pounds of extra batteries.
A hot processor also needs fans to cool it; making the resulting mobile computer
bigger, clunkier and noisier.
newly designed microprocessor with low power consumption will still be rejected
by the market if the performance is poor. So any attempt in this regard must have
a proper 'performance-power' balance to ensure commercial success. A newly designed
microprocessor must be fully x86 compatible that is they should run x86 applications
just like conventional x86 microprocessors since most of the presently available
software's have been designed to work on x86 platform.
is the new microprocessor which has been designed specially for the mobile computing
market. It has been designed after considering the above mentioned constraints.
This microprocessor was developed by a small Silicon Valley startup company called
Transmeta Corp. after five years of secret toil at an expenditure of $100 million.
The concept of Crusoe is well understood from the simple sketch of the processor
architecture, called 'amoeba'. In this concept, the x86-architecture is an ill-defined
amoeba containing features like segmentation, ASCII arithmetic, variable-length
instructions etc. The amoeba explained how a traditional microprocessor was, in
their design, to be divided up into hardware and software.
Crusoe was conceptualized as a hybrid microprocessor that is it has a software
part and a hardware part with the software layer surrounding the hardware unit.
The role of software is to act as an emulator to translate x86 binaries into native
code at run time. Crusoe is a 128-bit microprocessor fabricated using the CMOS
process. The chip's design is based on a technique called VLIW to ensure design
simplicity and high performance. Besides this it also uses Transmeta's two patented
technologies, namely, Code Morphing Software and Longrun Power Management. It
is a highly integrated processor available in different versions for different
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