National Semiconductor Showcases "Entertainment-on-Demand" at CeBIT 2002
National Pairs Geode Technology and Media Processing to Provide Streaming Video and Interactive Internet Content on Information Appliances
CeBIT - Hanover, Germany --
National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM) is demonstrating the newest and hottest streaming technologies for Information Appliances (IAs) at CeBIT 2002 (Hanover, Germany, March 13-20) in Hall 1, Stand 5c 8. Products from Philips, DT Research and Sigma Designs exhibit the streaming capabilities of National's Geode™ processors paired with media processors based on the TriMedia core or decoders from Sigma Designs. IAs will be able to deliver streaming video and interactive Internet content, a function that until now has required the high power - and high cost - of technology developed for the PC.
"The ability to deliver streaming media on our Geode platforms has enhanced the flexibility and variety of services we can deliver to our customers," said Georges Batars, marketing director of Wireless and Information Appliance, National Semiconductor Europe. "National has joined with hardware and software partners to develop ready-made solutions for consumer electronics manufacturers to bring to market."
Early generations of IAs were challenged by the inability to stream video or process graphic-intensive content. As a technology leader, National has invested in streaming media processing as a primary strategy to grow the IA market in Europe and the United States. In 2001, National licensed the TriMedia Technologies TM32A core for incorporation in future Geode processors. In early 2002, National signed an agreement with Philips Semiconductor to resell the Philips PNX-13XX media processor family based on the TriMedia core, remarked as the National Geode CS13XX. This addition to the Geode family of products, coupled with a rich set of support for popular media formats such as Windows Media and MPEG-4, provides National's customers with the ability to deliver high-end media streaming at power and price-levels that cannot be matched.
Advances in streaming media technologies are critical for each of the three IA market segments National Semiconductor supports with its Geode processors - thin clients, set-top boxes and consumer access devices.
Thin Client/Point-of-Sale terminal market
In the thin client market, corporate customers will be able to offer more graphic-intensive content for such programs as computer-based training, corporate communications and Internet content. Specific vertical market applications, such as education software curriculum or advertisements on retail point-of-sale kiosks, are better served by the ability to play graphic-intensive software plug-ins. Please visit National's booth at CeBIT to see the DT Research 535 Thin Client with streaming media capability.
Set-top box market
Advances in MPEG-4 technology are allowing true consumer-quality video and audio entertainment-on-demand to be streamed with traditional broadcast content over the existing cable and DSL broadband infrastructure to a set-top box. The video files can be stored on the hard drive of a set-top box for viewing on the television, later playback or distribution to other client devices around the house. Data in MPEG-4 format is compressed to a smaller size than other file formats, allowing it to travel over a narrower broadband space than other video files and allowing more content to be stored on hard drives for on-demand access. Cable service providers also can take advantage of the increased compression efficiency of MPEG-4 by significantly increasing the channel carrying capacity of their networks. At CeBIT, visit the Sigma Designs NetStream Console in National's booth, which demonstrates streaming MPEG-4 at varying bit-rates.
Consumer access devices
Streaming media capability for non-PC devices will help deliver a PC Internet experience to the consumer in compelling form-factors at compelling prices. Coupling this ability with WebPAD™ or future Microsoft "Mira"-enabled display devices will deliver the whole of the Internet to areas of a consumer's home and life not suitable for a PC. On consumer access devices, such as a WebPAD appliance, streaming media also gives consumers the ability to access entertainment-on-demand. CeBIT attendees may see in National's booth the Philips E-Tablet, powered by the Geode SC3200 and CS1311 devices, wirelessly streaming Windows Media technology in National's booth.
About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on the fast growing markets for wireless handsets; displays; information appliances; and information infrastructure. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $2.1 billion for its last fiscal year and has about 9,800 employees worldwide.