Transmeta pushes Linux in China
By Matthew Broersma, Special to CNETAsia
Monday, June 16 2003 8:57 AM
Transmeta has signed on Chinese computer maker Chinese 2000 Holdings to develop and market
low-cost Linux-based devices such as notebooks, PCs and set-top boxes.
Transmeta, a manufacturer of low-power, Intel-compatible chips, says its chips consume
less power than Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processors--with similar performance. But
Transmeta has struggled to win contracts with major PC makers. The company said it hopes a
growing interest in Linux in the Asia-Pacific region will boost demand for
Chinese 2000 Holdings will develop products based on Midori Linux--Transmeta's own
Linux distribution for mobile devices. In exchange, Transmeta said it has taken an equity
ownership in Chinese 2000 Holdings and the two companies have made a profit-sharing
arrangement for revenue from the sale of Midori Linux services and support. The companies
are aiming products at China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Interest in Linux has grown in Asia-Pacific countries because, unlike a lot of other
software, its intellectual property is not owned by U.S. multinational corporations. Linux
is distributed under an open-source license that broadly allows anyone to modify and
redistribute the code, as long as the modifications are shared with the developer
The Chinese government is backing a home-grown Linux system called Red Flag, while in
Thailand, HP is selling a low-cost "people's notebook" running on Linux.
Because of Linux's stability, some electronics makers are already using it to power
high-end consumer electronics devices, one the best-known being the TiVo digital video
"Transmeta's unique combination of microprocessor, system-level and Linux
expertise, coupled with Chinese 2000 Holdings' experience in the Asian markets, make a
formidable partnership," Transmeta Chief Executive Matthew R. Perry said in a
statement. "Together, we offer our customers a comprehensive approach to Linux-based
ZDNet UK's Matthew Broersma reported from London.
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