Transmeta sues Intel for patent infringement

Intel has infringed on Transmeta patents with basically all its processors since the Pentium 3, according to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Transmeta yesterday. The plaintiff, which is known for its low-power very long instruction word (VLIW) Crusoe and Efficeon processors, claims Intel is violating 10 Transmeta patents pertaining to processor architectures and power-efficient designs. Transmeta seeks not only an injunction to bar Intel from selling Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core, and Core 2 processors, but also monetary damages and royalties on infringing products.

The guys over at Ars Technica have taken a look at Transmeta's patents and found the ones upon which Intel is claimed to have infringed. The patents cover "adaptive power control," x86 address translation, instruction scheduling, and possibly even any implementation of the MMX instruction set. As Ars says, if the lawsuit doesn't go Intel's way, the company might find it cheaper to just buy out Transmeta than to settle or pay damages and royalties.

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