Transmeta Demos 90nm Efficeon at 2.0GHz

Despite the negative news reports regarding Transmeta in the mainstream media, the unique chip manufacturer actually had a more interesting (from a PC perspective) booth than AMD.

The most impressive demonstration at Transmeta was of a 2.0GHz, 25W, 90nm Efficeon. The clock speed alone was impressive, considering that the fastest Efficeon demo we'd seen previously was at 1.6GHz. The other part of the demo that was impressive was the test itself: a 6Mbit WMV HD playback test with no GPU assistance.

WMV HD (1080p) playback is one of the most stressful playback tests you can run on a PC, and the fact that the Efficeon is able to handle it is a huge feather in Transmeta's cap.

The demo also monitored clock speed, which ranged from 1.2GHz up to 2.0GHz, with the majority of the playback happening with the CPU at 1.4/1.6GHz. While 1.6GHz Efficeon products are available today, 2.0GHz offerings should be hitting the streets before the end of the year. For the first time we were actually impressed with the level of performance from a Transmeta CPU, but we'd actually like to put it head to head with a Dothan based Pentium M to see how strong the performance really is.

According to Transmeta, the 2.0GHz Efficeon is comparable in overall performance to a 3.0GHz Pentium 4. The WMV HD decode test does back up Transmeta's claims, but it's still a tough pill to swallow given Transmeta's prior performance history.

Transmeta had a Sharp ultraportable on display that was also quite impressive:

The notebook is extremely tiny but has a keyboard that is barely manageable if you have small hands. But if you've got average sized hands then you'll find yourself cramped for space and if you have big hands then this is definitely not the notebook for you.

The screen itself is pretty small and it can be hard to read the default sized text in Windows:

But you can't beat the portability of the notebook, something that Intel has come close to doing with the Pentium M but most of those designs end up being far too conservative compared to what we've seen from the Transmeta camp:

There was an Efficeon media center based platform at the Transmeta booth as well, but it ran MythTV and not XP Media Center Edition. We are curious to see if the Efficeon performs well enough to run a MCE PC as smoothly as some of the higher end AMD and Intel offerings.

AMD's Booth: A lot of Alchemy and Flash The CPU and Chipset Marketplace


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  • dderidex - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    About that SN25P....nice Envy24 chip on it - but do we know anything about the DAC used?

    24/192 internal precision is useless if they pair it with a 16/48 DAC. If their was a Wolfson chip on that motherboard by the Envy24 chip...I would be *drooling*.
  • Reflex - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    #36: I am not debating that. I am saying that you need to pay attention to his statement about 'a way that you won't expect'. For one, it won't be a nVidia developed solution. That I can guarantee you since there is NO DESIGN TEAM anymore. But you can choose to believe what you wish I suppose.... Reply
  • shinotenshi - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    SAN JOSE — Here at NVIDIA's Editor's Day event today, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang addressed questions about the company's plans for a possible second spin of its popular but ill-fated SoundStorm audio solution. Apparently, a reprise of SoundStorm will happen. Huang told the assembled press types, "We're gonna build SoundStorm 2. It's gonna be awesome." He was less clear on what form the next SoundStorm would take, saying that NVIDIA was still trying to figure out how to deliver SoundStorm as a product. Huang said, cryptically, that the new SoundStorm "will come in a way that you won't expect Reply
  • shabby - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    14: the way our living room is arranged we needed a display that allowed viewing from an angle and needed to be thin, and this is where the dlp fell flat on its face. It was too dark and too thick, at least compared to a plasma.

    While plasma's do wear out over time, thraxes just proved that it takes a long long time.
  • Reflex - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    SoundStorm is completely dead. The group is disbanded and its members have found jobs in other parts of the company. This is a fact.

    Sound in nVidia's chipset solutions is not dead, however. From what I have heard though its just a license of Intel's Azalia spec. In other words: No different than the integrated sound that you get on any Intel chipset board nowadays.

    The SoundStorm solution that you all know from the NF/NF2 days is completely gone however, and it will NOT be making a comeback.
  • shinotenshi - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    Well As i said, as being part of chipset its dead. but nvidia knows it can make a killing makeing add in sound boards. creative makes weak products let get real. The orginal soundstorm needed too much bandwidth to be done on pci. with PCI-E they have enough bandwidth to produce the card. Nvidia will be able to fund SS2 development becuase of its deal with the Ps3. The PS3 will need a high end sound chip because im sure sony is going to use it as means of spreading blu-ray introduction.
  • bob661 - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    I think the CEO of Nvidia is just trying to keep customers. He would lose a few by announcing that SS is totally dead. I would string you guys along until it didn't make a difference whether you bailed or not. Reply
  • bob661 - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    The Inq isn't lying. They are reporting what's been told to them. That's they're job. Sometimes it's bum info. Reply
  • knitecrow - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    On the soundstorm issue, I personally wouldn't believe AMD, Intel, Nvidia, or ATI... they have been known to lie when it suits their interests.

    **cough** 6800GT/ultra hardware mpeg2/WMV decoding **cough**

    There are conflicting reports to be sure, but I am more likey to believe those from close partners. I am sure the next soundstorm is going to be an intel azilla rehash to appease the masses.
  • shinotenshi - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    Soundstorm is not dead, the chairman of nvidia confirm this himself. however i think its dead as far as being apart of a chipset. the chairman remarked that it would return in a suprising form.
    this has to the belief that either it will return as a seperate chip sutitable for add in sound boards, or interagrated in graphics cards. my bet is that it will return as a PCI-e card capable of encoding some the advance audio codecs that are apart of the blu-ray spec. I don't think it was a coincidence that the chairman of nvidia made the announcement shortly after it was revealed that nvidia would be doing the PS3's GPU.

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