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Encyclopedia > Crusoe

Crusoe is a family of x86-compatible microprocessors from Transmeta. They use a software abstraction layer, or virtual machine, known as the Code Morphing Software (CMS), running on a VLIW hardware "core". CMS is the only application written for the native VLIW architecture, and translates the incoming x86 instruction stream into VLIW instructions. The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Microprocessors, including an Intel 80486DX2 and an Intel 80386 A microprocessor (abbreviated as µP or uP) is an electronic computer central processing unit (CPU) made from miniaturized transistors and other circuit elements on a single semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) (aka microchip or just chip). ... Transmeta (NASDAQ: TMTA) was founded in 1995 by Dave Ditzel as a US-based corporation that designed VLIW code morphing microprocessors. ... In general terms, a virtual machine in computer science is software that creates an environment between the computer platform and the end user in which the end user can operate software. ... A very long instruction word or VLIW CPU architectures implement a form of instruction level parallelism. ...


In theory, it's possible for CMS to be modified to handle other instruction streams (i.e. to emulate other microprocessors), but this is not likely to happen anytime soon, since it is probable that the current hardware has been optimized for x86.


The addition of an abstraction layer between the x86 instruction stream and the hardware means that the hardware architecture can change without breaking x86-compatibility, just by modifying CMS. For example, the second-generation Crusoe has a 256-bit-wide VLIW core versus 128-bit in the first generation.


Crusoe performs in software some of the functionality traditionally implemented in hardware (e.g. instruction re-ordering), resulting in simpler hardware with fewer transistors. The relative simplicity of the hardware means that Crusoe consumes less power (and therefore generates less heat) than other x86-compatible microprocessors running at the same frequency. Through hole transistors (tape measure marked in centimeters) The transistor is a solid state semiconductor device which can be used for amplification, switching, voltage stabilisation, signal modulation and many other functions. ...


There is some controversy over the performance of Crusoe relative to other x86-compatible microprocessors. The overhead associated with the software abstraction layer is supposed to be absorbed by run-time optimisations that CMS is able to make to the x86 instruction stream, but this is only true for code sequences which are repeated many times (and maybe not even then). Benchmark scores for Crusoe are generally lower than for comparable AMD or Intel processors, but it may be that the subjective user experience of Crusoe performance is 'good enough', particularly in the small mobile computers ("subnotebooks") in which Crusoe has been most widely used. A benchmark is a point of reference for a measurement. ... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) (founded 1968) is a US-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ...



The name is taken from Robinson Crusoe novel. Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719 and sometimes regarded as the first novel in English. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Robinson Crusoe : A Podcast Reading of the Novel from Candlelight Stories (1860 words)
Crusoe also begins struggle with religious thoughts and wonders whether some sort of divine providence is behind his being the sole survivor of the shipwreck.
Crusoe continues to be amazed at the strength of Friday's character and his incredible loyalty.
Crusoe uses every bit of his cunning and skill to defend himself and Friday while never ceasing to maintain his hope of rescue.
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