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NVIDIA borrows Transmeta technology for tablet processor

NVIDIA is said to be working on a new SoC solution for the growing tablet market, which unlike the current Tegra family will be capable of executing x86 code and compete with Intel Atom. It will do so with technology from Transmeta to simulate x86 instructions.

According to analysts, NVIDIA will enter the processor market with its own x86 license to complete on future markets. If this will happen remains to be seen, but rumors are going around that NVIDIA is at least trying to break into x86 (an have been for years).

According to Bloomberg  NVIDIA has started developing a new System-on-a-chip for tablets that will build on technology developed by microprocessor developer Transmeta that closed its doors in 2009.

transmeta_crusoe2
Transmeta Crusoe was the first to use CMS (Code Morphing Software) - Picture courtesy of mynikko.com

The technology uses a software layer to make the circuit capable of handling x86 code and handle the specific instructions developed for the platform that Intel owns the licensing rights for. This would be a way for NVIDIA to get around the licensing, even if emulated solutions rarely are very efficient.

It's still a bit to go and very uncertain if NVIDIA's Transmeta-related SoC will make it to market, but by aiming for the less demanding tablet market it will have a greater chance of success.

The informatino is of course unconfirmed, but keeps the "NVIDIA and x86" rumors alive a bit longer.

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