Microprocessor company Transmeta Corp. says NEC Electronics has become the first company to license Transmeta technology for reducing the "leakage" of electrical current in computer chips. In addition, the companies say Japanese chipmaker NEC took an approximately 2% stake in money-losing Transmeta in December.
Transmeta, which makes low-power chips and associated software for laptops, tablet PCs, and other computing devices, last fall introduced technology called LongRun2 to address an industrywide problem caused by the leakage of electric current in chips that happens as chip components shrink to miniscule sizes. The leakage can cause computers to overheat, degrade their performance, and reduce manufacturers' percentage of usable chips in a batch. NEC Electronics says it has licensed LongRun2 for use in chips made with 90-, 65-, and 45-nanometer processes. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
Leakage is becoming a "colossal problem," says John Heinlein, director of strategic-partner initiatives at Transmeta. "As [NEC] moves into these smaller geometries, they--like everyone else in the industry--are up against transistor leakage."
News source: InformationWeek