National Semiconductor Introduces Single-Chip Solution For Personal Access Device Market
"WebPAD™-on-a-Chip" Will Enable Affordable, Full-Function Portable and Tethered LCD Based WebPAD Devices
Santa Clara, CA --
National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) expanded its leadership in the personal access device market with the introduction of the National® Geode™ SC3200 processor. A "WebPAD™-on-a-chip," this new solution integrates the specific functionality needed to develop an Internet personal access device. The processor's integrated architecture simplifies system design and increases reliability by reducing the number of total system components, the number of traces on the main board and the system's overall power requirements - enabling manufacturers to lower their system costs and shorten their time-to-market.
The Geode SC3200 processor is the newest addition to National's family of Geode integrated processors for the information appliance market. Each of these processors incorporates specific functionality that meets the technical requirements of National's three primary market segments -set-top boxes, thin clients and personal access devices. These single-chip processors are optimized for the information appliance market, providing low power consumption, optimal performance, and the industry-standard x86 multimedia capability. These x86-based products are ideal for Internet access because most of the search engines, plug-ins and applets on the Internet are based on the x86 architecture. Together, these features help National's customers lower overall system costs and speed time to market.
"With companies like Virgin, Viewsonic, Proview and IBM providing devices based on our WebPAD™ platform, some customers can get personal access devices at extremely low costs - or in some cases, no cost at all. These types of products are positioned to emerge as the first widely-adopted consumer information appliances," said Malcolm Humphrey, business unit director for National's information appliance division. "The introduction of National's Geode SC3200 processor will greatly benefit this market, enabling manufacturers to quickly develop and bring to market highly-optimized Internet appliances."
Personal access devices offer consumers a simple, intuitive means of accessing the Internet and communicating via email without the cost, complexity and hassles often associated with personal computers. While they are extremely attractive to first-time Internet and email users, these devices also provide current PC users with a quicker, more convenient means of accessing the wealth of information and services available on the Internet. These "instant-on" devices automatically connect to the Web when powered up, allowing users to be on the Internet in less than a minute.
Personal access devices will soon be available to consumers in retail outlets across the country. They also present an attractive value proposition to Internet service providers, cable operators, e-businesses and other companies seeking to expand their Internet subscriber base, promote their online services or increase their brand awareness. These companies may subsidize the cost of the hardware in order to provide the devices to their customers for a nominal fee, using them as marketing vehicles to promote their brands and services.
National as PAD Partner of Choice
The Geode SC3200 will be the heart of future personal access devices based on the Geode WebPAD platform, which National introduced at the Comdex tradeshow in 1998. In leveraging our processor, wireless and analog expertise to create the WebPAD device, National Semiconductor is championing next-generation Internet access solutions designed to bring information to people -- anytime, anywhere. To help its customers bring their products to market quickly, National offers its customers a choice of products from a broad and deep network of partners along the entire information appliance value delivery chain.
"National Semiconductor continues to innovate its WebPAD solutions for the growing Internet appliance market. Be and our development partners are benefiting from its effort," said Jean-Louis Gass? CEO of Be Incorporated. "Its new single-chip solution will help streamline efforts for device manufacturers and consumer electronics companies to deliver new products that consumers want, such as wireless access to information and entertainment."
Geode SC3200 Features
The Geode SC3200 processor offers the optimal balance between cost, performance and power consumption for personal access devices, enabling manufacturers to build affordable, full function devices that feature long battery life - a key consideration for portable devices. The power dissipation of the chip is less than two watts under typical operating conditions. The SC3200 includes a Geode GX1 32-bit processor, a TFT video processor with a hardware video accelerator, three USB ports, Core Logic and Super I/O functionality. The SC3200 combines advanced CPU performance with MMX™ support, fully accelerated 2D graphics, a memory controller with 64-bit SDRAM interface and PCI bus and display controllers.
Pricing and Availability
The Geode SC3200 processor is priced at less than $50 for high volume applications. It is currently sampling with customers.
About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor provides system-on-a-chip solutions for the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of the-art digital technology, the company's chips lead many sectors of the personal computer, communications, and consumer markets. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $2.1 billion for its last fiscal year and has about 10,500 employees worldwide.