Palm V designer plays with Transmeta's Crusoe chip

Palm V designer plays with Transmeta's Crusoe chip

The Silicon Valley firm that designed the Palm V has developed a wireless Internet appliance based on Transmeta's Crusoe microprocessor, Transmeta's chief executive officer has revealed.

CEO David Ditzel showed slides of the prototype device, designed by Ideo Product Development, during a presentation sponsored by Microprocessor Report. The "Web slate", as he called it, is about the size of a paperback book, has a wireless Internet connection and, like the Palm, uses handwriting recognition to input data.

The device also features a high-resolution, eight-inch screen for viewing Web pages and DVD movies, a small camera for on-the-road videoconferencing, a global positioning system for navigation, and embedded speakers for playing digital music files, according to information on Ideo's Web site.

The Web slate was designed to be more portable than a laptop and offers a larger viewing screen than a personal digital assistant (PDA), Ideo said. Transmeta commissioned the design to show off the versatility of its new chip. That means Ideo probably won't offer the Web slate commercially, but other manufacturers may sell something similar.

According to Ditzel, Internet appliances based on Transmeta's low-power chip could go on sale shortly before midyear.

"The second half of the year is going to be a very busy time," Ditzel said. "We can't answer all the phone calls" [from companies who want to use the Crusoe processor in products], he

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