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National Semiconductor Introduces Industry’s First 3-Gbps SerDes for Professional and Broadcast Video Applications

Breakthrough Devices Deliver Best Jitter Performance and Support New SMPTE 424M Specification

Apr 16, 2007

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS CONVENTION, LAS VEGAS — April 16, 2007 — National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM), a leading supplier of high-performance analog signal-path products, today introduced a 3-Gbps (3G) multi-rate serial digital interface (SDI) serializer and deserializer to complement National’s expanding portfolio of best-in-class professional and broadcast video products. Leveraging the company’s analog expertise, National’s team of engineers achieved a breakthrough in performance to enable the industry’s lowest output jitter SDI serializer (50 ps) and highest input jitter tolerance deserializer (0.6 units interval). Additionally, the 3G chipset revolutionizes the way professional video system designers interface SDI serializers and deserializers with host field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). National also today introduced a separate 3G SDI chipset, including equalizer, reclocker and cable driver.

The highly-integrated chipset consists of the LMH0340 3G serializer with integrated cable driver and LMH0341 deserializer with reclocked serial loop-through. The products provide 3-Gbps transmit and receive functions for a wide range of broadcast video production and processing applications, including production switchers, digital video recorders, camcorders, video format converters and video editing equipment. The chipset is the first discrete SDI serializer and deserializer to support the new Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 424M specification for uncompressed serial transmission of 1080p high-definition (HD) broadcast video signals up to 60 frames per second. National will demonstrate its 3G SDI serializer and deserializer at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas from April 16-19 at Booth N5117.

The chipset’s architecture uses a proprietary technique to reduce the parallel bus between the serializer and FPGA from a 20-bit single-ended interface to a 5-bit low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) interface. This breakthrough simplifies board layout by reducing the number of traces between the serializer, deserializer and FPGA. In addition, the chipset’s LVDS reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI), while the narrow parallel bus enables a single low-cost FPGA to support a greater number of high-speed video channels.

“National’s SDI serializers and deserializers combined with the first 65nm, low-cost FPGAs, provide a compelling triple-rate SDI solution for broadcast equipment manufacturers,” said Todd Scott, senior director of Altera’s broadcast business unit. “System designers can now take advantage of the increased video quality of 1080p on the just-announced Cyclone® III FPGA family in addition to the SERDES integrated Stratix® IIGX family.”

“We’re delighted to collaborate on the LMH0340/341 Spartan-3E-based evaluation platform,” said Paolo Masini, senior manager of Broadcast Vertical Marketing at Xilinx. “National’s new family of SDI serializers and deserializers are the perfect complement to our Spartan-3E family of FPGAs. This combination offers a very high performance and competitively priced solution for high speed broadcast connectivity requirements.”

National is the only analog semiconductor supplier to offer a complete portfolio of products for 3G SDI applications, including serializer (LMH0340), deserializer (LMH0341), equalizer (LMH0344), reclocker (LMH0346) and cable driver (LMH0302). All National 3G SDI products have pin-compatible HD versions, allowing designers to complete a single design and populate boards according to the required maximum data rate standard, such as SD, HD or 3G.

Key Features – LMH0340 3G HD/SD Serializer/Driver
Offered in a small 48-pin LLP® package, National’s LMH0340 3G multi-rate SDI serializer supports 270-Mbps, 1.485-Gbps and 2.97-Gbps data rates, enabling transmission of digital video broadcasting-asynchronous serial interface (DVB-ASI), standard-definition (SMPTE 259M), high-definition (SMPTE 292M) and the new 3G SDI standard (SMPTE 424M) for uncompressed serial transmission of 1080p50/60 signals over a single link of coaxial cable. The integrated SMPTE-compliant cable driver reduces system chip count, conserves board area and lowers power consumption. At 3G and HD rates, it delivers the industry’s lowest output jitter of 50 ps, without the use of an external voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). The serializer and driver consume 437 mW of power from typical supply voltages, delivering a 40 percent power reduction over existing HD solutions requiring a serializer and external driver.

Key Features – LMH0341 3G HD/SD Reclocking Deserializer
Offered in a small 48-pin LLP package 60 percent smaller than competitive HD products, National’s LMH0341 is the companion deserializer to the LMH0340 supporting DVB-ASI at 270-Mbps and SDI for SD, HD and 3-Gbps data rates. The LMH0341 features an integrated reclocker that provides a wide input jitter tolerance of 0.6 unit intervals (UI), allowing the product to receive and deserialize signals with more than 60 percent of the signal’s “eye” closed. The reclocked loop-through feature includes an integrated cable driver that automatically adjusts the output slew rate compliant to the incoming data rate. Similar to the LMH0340, it requires no external VCO. At 2.97-Gbps, typical power consumption is 445 mW, approximately half that of competitive devices operating at HD rates.

In addition to National’s chipset for 3G multi-rate operation, the company also offers two chipsets for HD/SD operation and one for SD-only operation. These chipsets include the LMH0040 serializer and LMH0041 deserializer for full-featured HD/SD operation, LMH0050 and LMH0051 for reduced cost HD/SD operation, and the LMH0070 and LMH0071 for SD-only operation.

About National’s Interface Portfolio
National Semiconductor, the LVDS and CML technology innovator and market leader, offers a wide range of interconnect solutions that transfer high-speed digital signals using world-class analog technology. These solutions help system designers develop high-performance applications in a variety of markets, including communication and industrial systems. The products feature high reliability, low power and low noise, as well as dramatic systems savings in cable and connector costs. National Semiconductor is the world’s largest supplier of high-speed LVDS products, according to Databean’s 2005 Analog IC Market Share survey. For more information on National’s interface products, visit http://www.national.com/appinfo/interface/
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Pricing and Availability
All four SDI chipsets will begin sampling in Q3 2007. The LMH0340 costs $37, the LMH0341 costs $40, the LMH0040 costs $28.50, the LMH0041 costs $31, the LMH0050 costs $25, the LMH0051 costs $25, the LMH0070 costs $18 and the LMH0071 costs $19, each in quantities of 100. For more information on National’s serializers and deserializers or to order samples, visit http://www.national.com/appinfo/interface/sdidt.html
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Note to editors: To view a high-resolution downloadable photo of this product, visit National's photo gallery.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-value analog devices and subsystems. National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key analog markets include wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $2.16 billion for fiscal 2006, which ended May 28, 2006.  Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com
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