Transmeta Revealed!

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Five years ago David Ditzel, a crack computer chip designer whose credentials include stints at AT&T and Sun, decided he had a big idea on his hands. Big enough to base a company around. He named the company Transmeta, and he holed up in Santa Clara to make his idea happen. He brought in world-class talent, including Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the open source operating system Linux and arguably the most famous computer programmer in the world. He brought in lots and lots of money, including investments by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and mega-billionaire George Soros.

Nothing came out. For five years, Transmeta shipped no products, and secrecy about the project was total. The only thing that left Transmeta was a patent or three, and the occasional unsubstantiated rumor. Until yesterday, that is, when Transmeta revealed all at a press conference. What was the big secret? A microprocessor called Crusoe. MORE >>