SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Transmeta Corp., the secretive chip startup that unveiled a highly power-efficient processor earlier this year, has gained a major design win from Gateway Inc. the No. 2 maker of personal computers. Gateway, of San Diego, told Reuters it would use a processor from Transmeta to power Internet appliances it is developing with Web service provider America Online Inc.
Gateway said that it was picking the Transmeta processor because of its longer battery life, smaller size and lower operating temperatures.
Gateway also has picked Transmeta's Mobile Linux as the operating system for the products. Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the open-source operating system, is an employee of Transmeta (see Jan. 19 story). The move is a break by Gateway and AOL from the so-called ``Wintel duopoly'' grouping Intel Corp. hardware and Microsoft Corp.software.
Internet appliances are designed to sit on kitchen counters or desktops and eventually be carried around the home as wireless devices always connected to the Internet.
Gateway took a strategic stake in Santa Clara, Calif.-based Transmeta last month.