When IBM replaced Transmeta Crusoes with low-power Pentium IIIs in prototype ThinkPads last October, the promising chip startup’s future changed from dazzling to ambiguous. A Transmeta executive has admitted that, since then, talks with OEMs have basically stalled. Philips Components’ choice of an improved TM 3400 Crusoe with 256 kBytes of L2 cache for use in one of its Net Display Modules is being hailed by Transmeta as a critical design win. The Net Display Module is a nearly complete platform for Internet appliances that Philips Components is showing at the CES. On Philips’ part, the company is hoping to break out of the strict chip business and begin competing in the appliance market.
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