Compaq rejects Transmeta’s Crusoe

Compaq Computer Corp confirmed Tuesday that it has abandoned plans to include Transmeta Corp.’s low-power Crusoe processor in its Armada laptop line.

The news came as the second disappointment in a week for Transmeta, which began its initial public offer (IPO) on Monday; seven days ago, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp. cancelled its plans to ship the Crusoe processor in its ThinkPad 240 model laptop computers.

Officials for Houston-based Compaq said the company is no longer considering using the Crusoe processor in its Armada notebook computers. Crusoe, which officials for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Transmeta claim can run complicated operating systems such as Windows 2000 while consuming as little as one watt of power, did not meet Compaq’s standards, a Compaq source said.

IBM officials made little comment concerning the reasons for the company’s decision, outside of the fact that Big Blue would continue to look for low-power performance options for its laptop systems.

IBM, which last June began publicly testing the Crusoe processor in only three ThinkPads, never really committed to Transmeta, according to officials. IBM’s plan for Crusoe was to showcase the Crusoe-powered ThinkPads to its corporate customers and make its decision based on customer response.

Hewlett-Packard, which has been considering the Crusoe processor for its portable computers, has also been less than satisfied with the performance and battery-saving potential of Crusoe, according to sources close to Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP.

HP’s corporate customers are more comfortable with processors manufactured by Santa Clara-based Intel than with chips from competing companies such as Transmeta, a source said.

Both Intel and Austin, Tex.-based Advanced Micro Devices currently ship mobile processors that operate in the low-power range.