First Commercially Available National Geode WebPAD Devices Showcased At CeBIT 2000
Santa Clara, CA --
National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) is demonstrating a selection of the first commercially-available Internet appliances based on the portable National® Geode™ WebPAD™ reference platform at CeBIT 2000 in Hannover this week (Hall 13, C52). These customized Geode WebPAD-based devices are now being produced by various manufacturers around the world, targeting a range of different markets and applications.
The Geode WebPAD device is an attractively priced, wireless tablet about the size of a magazine, enabling users to surf the net and access email with the same portability and convenience as a cordless telephone. Featuring a full-color, interactive touchscreen, built-in software, and complete multimedia functionality, each new WebPAD device at CeBit offers a no-compromise Internet experience, while eliminating the high cost and complexity associated with the traditional PC.
Building on the National flexible reference platform, powered by the industry-leading Geode™ GXLV integrated processor - designed to power next-generation information appliances - various WebPAD-based products are now being produced by manufacturers around the world. On display at National's booth are designs from Acer, Boundless, Qubit, RS Cordless Technology, Samsung, Screen Media, Tatung and Vestel. Many of these devices will be marketed directly by the manufacturers, while others will be brought to market by third parties, such as web content companies and Internet service providers.
The wide variety of shapes, sizes and technical specifications of these WebPAD incarnations demonstrates the potential of the National design to be optimized for a wide range of consumer and enterprise applications. These applications include using the WebPAD device as a web-phone, a web-camera, a video-conferencing device, a thin client, or even a control pad for the "intelligent home."
Each of the WebPAD devices demonstrated at CeBIT has been customized to incorporate alternative web browsers, operating systems - such as Windows CE, QNX and Linux, peripheral hardware and wireless technologies. The wireless technologies used include DECT' (already the standard for digital cordless phones) and 802.11 wireless LAN (ideal for running on corporate networks). There will even be a number of tethered (i.e. non-wireless) WebPAD solutions designed for applications where portability is not required.
Future WebPAD products already under development will incorporate additional advanced features such as handwriting and voice recognition, GSM-based mobile communications, and Bluetooth connectivity.
National has also announced that it will be unveiling the latest version of the WebPAD reference platform, providing interested third parties with a complete production-ready design. First shown at CeBIT last year, this reference platform is at the forefront of National's mission to take computing beyond the PC. The successful transition from a conceptual design into such a broad range of consumer products represents a significant milestone for the rapidly emerging market for information appliances.
"We are delighted to be able to show all of these exciting new appliances based on the National Geode WebPAD platform", said Detlev Kunz, vice president and general manager, Europe for National Semiconductor. "Many people are reluctant to use or purchase PCs, but still want to use the Internet or send email. By working with trendsetting information appliance manufacturers in this way, we are taking information access beyond the confines of the PC and setting new standards in low-cost, user-friendly devices."
National Semiconductor Corporation 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 billion for its last fiscal year and has about 10,500 employees worldwide.