It's not about Transmeta, it's all about VIA
VIA's little engine that could, it's C7 and Eden very low power CPU technology has been a small but persistent thorn in Intel's side for years. Recent models of the VIA cpu technology are achieving performance that is in line with Intel's Atom announcement, at lower costs. VIA also have been making inroads in the set top box market, possibly the biggest new consumer market on the horizon.
Who better to complement the Bay Area behemoth than someone with real experience in battling VIA on the micro-power "computer-in-a-CD-footprint" front? These two announcements (Atom and Ditzel) show Intel's turning away from simply fighting AMD over the mainstream chip market and looking to new greener (in more ways than one) fields.
As a long-time VIA mini-ITX user, I have been waiting for this to come from Intel. It will certainly heat up the very low power battle, and, given that VIA has JUST entered into the sub-100nM fabrication foray, could trigger some additional partnerships or mergers on that side of the chip war. Indeed, with AMD licking its woulds from the core battles gone wrong, AMD is not in a position to buy VIA or vice-versa, leaving Intel free to attack here with confidence.
Things will be interesting in this arena for the next year or two. Keep tuned...