Transmeta plans 1GHz Crusoe in third quarter

Transmeta plans to begin shipping a faster version of its Crusoe processor in the third quarter of this year, a spokeswoman for the company said Thursday.

The plans, which were divulged during the company's Crusoe Seminar in Tokyo, raise the stakes in the battle for the notebook processor market.

Intel, which currently dominates the market, plans to begin shipping during the third quarter a low power version of its Pentium 3 chip. Code-named Tualatin, the new chip will be produced using a 0.13 micron process. Samples of a notebook based on a 1.16GHz version of the chip were on display by Intel at the recent Computex show in Taiwan. Transmeta plans to officially announce the chip and provide more details about it during the upcoming PC Expo show in New York, which begins on June 26.

The Crusoe Seminar is a day-long event targeted at Transmeta's Japanese customers, which make up the majority of it's notebook personal computer customers.

Since Transmeta shipped its first processors around nine months ago, the company has attracted business from all major Japanese notebook PC makers: Casio, Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sony, Toshiba and, most recently, Sharp.

The company views Japan as its most important market at present, especially given the low adoption of its processors by U.S. notebook makers. In an interview in Tokyo last month James Chapman, executive vice president of marketing, told IDG News Service the company also sees Japan as a way into the U.S.

"The marketing strategy has been, basically, win big in Japan with our Japanese partners and export that success to the U.S. through those partners," said Chapman. "Having success with Japanese companies puts us in a good position to partner with those companies to bring this type of technology to the U.S. market."

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