Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Transmeta Corp. are discussing various types of cooperation, including technology exchanges on a possible new very low-end consumer PC appliance, AMD president Hector Ruiz said in an interview yesterday.
AMD is also interested in Transmeta's low-power processor technology, which could reduce power consumption of the Athlon and Duron processors, he added. AMD is developing new Athlon and Duron versions that will cut the present power consumption below 3 watts, but Transmeta's technology might be able to cut this to 1 watt, Ruiz said.Both AMD, Sunnyvale, and Transmeta, Santa Clara, could benefit by cooperating on a new processor aimed at the sub-$400 PC market, he said.
"We don't have a good feel for this market," Ruiz said. "It is so fragmented with various proposed solutions that it's hard to pull our arms around it. Perhaps by looking at the market jointly with Transmeta, we can come to understand it better."
Ruiz believes AMD could help Transmeta with its processor technology. "Currently the Transmeta Crusoe chip effectively runs at 500 MHz and doesn't offer a complete PC solution. We might be creative and structure a deal that would benefit both companies," he said.
AMD won't move into the new market until it determines what its PC customers want, according to Ben Anixter, vice president for external relations. "The Athlon and Duron cores are very flexible and can be moved quickly into this market segment once we see what customers want." AMD is interested in talking with Transmeta regarding technical cooperation for processors aimed at handheld Internet-access devices, Anixter said.
"We have a second interest in this market-selling our flash memory for handheld devices. Even if we decide not to target a processor for this market, we plan on selling lots of flash memory to it," he said.