Gateway & AOL Follow Crusoe's Footprints
SAN DIEGO and SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 30 -- Gateway has selected the
Transmeta Crusoe smart processor to power the first of its new line of
network-ready Internet Appliances (IAs) that it is developing with America
Online, Inc. The Crusoe processor is ideally suited to IAs and handheld
devices because it offers sharply extended battery life, smaller size
and lower operating temperatures than traditional processors. The company
also has selected Transmeta's Mobile Linux as the operating system for
which also made a strategic investment in Transmeta in April 2000, selected
the Transmeta Crusoe processor for inclusion in the family of IAs it plans
to launch with AOL based on several criteria: high performance; lower
temperature operation, which permits smaller packaging; and its low-power
requirements, which dramatically increases battery life.
As we previously reported, the Gateway AOL appliances will use Gecko technology
from Netscape 6 running on Linux. [See TEC article It's
a Portal AND It's a Gateway] Gateway & AOL are planning three different
appliance, using a flat panel touchscreen, to ship by year-end 2000
webpad, connecting to a base station elsewhere in home or office, shipping
in early 2001
appliance, in a traditional PC form factor, on sale by the end of the
to TEC inquiries, Gateway officials stated that all three iPliances will
run Transmeta Mobile Linux, but only the countertop and webpad will use
the Crusoe processor. Although Gateway has yet to announce the processor,
we forecast a 60% likelihood that it will be an AMD unit.
Car companies love displaying their concept cars at their annual trade
shows. Few of them ever see street miles. Some lack optional features
like engines. Only occasionally, a Ford Taurus or Dodge Viper becomes
more than a "proof of concept". The iPliances are interesting, and it's
great that Gateway's picked out the engine. But as with appliance PCs,
this sub market is unproven.
read the tea leaves. Gateway is expecting to have the Crusoe chip in the
first of its new appliances. Since the desktop iPliance won't use Crusoe,
the countertop will ship first. And Gateway is saying only that the desktop
will be "on sale" by year-end.
Gateway can stick to this schedule, hats off to them. However, the desktop
iPliance should be easier to get out the door, since it has fewer novel
technologies. S3 was expected to have its Linux-based Crusoe Webpad out
by midyear, but we have yet to see a real announcement from them. Given
holiday market realities, we expect to see an AMD-based desktop appliance
from Gateway AOL in time for the holidays, before we see a countertop.