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National Semiconductor Finalists Named in Three Categories of EDN Magazine’s 16th Annual Innovation of the Year Awards

VIP50 Process Design Team Selected for Innovator of the Year Category

VIP50 Amplifiers and LM5005 Buck Regulator Make Finals in Product Categories

Feb 3, 2006

February 3, 2006 – EDN Magazine selected three National Semiconductor entries from a field of hundreds as finalists for this year’s EDN Innovator/Innovation Awards. Instituted in 1990, EDN’s Innovation Awards honor the people, products and technologies that have shaped the semiconductor industry over the past year.

In the analog category, EDN chose National’s products based on its VIP50 process technology. National Semiconductor is the first company to develop a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) BiCMOS process optimized for precision amplifier products. This proprietary process dramatically improves the performance of the company’s next-generation precision and low-power, low-voltage operational amplifiers. The first six operational amplifiers built on this new process feature significant improvements in accuracy, low power consumption and voltage noise for industrial, medical and automotive applications.  These improvements, combined with the products’ small size, also make them well-suited for portable applications.

The team of design engineers responsible for the VIP50 technology is a finalist in the Innovator of the Year category. Six full product development teams, test, product and application engineers, and marketing management from Santa Clara, Calif., Delft, The Netherlands, and Arlington, Texas, spent more than two years developing the VIP50 process and products. To enable excellent precision performance in a wide variety of small form factor packages, the team had to develop new test and packaging technologies. 

National's LM5005 buck regulator is a finalist in the contest's power management IC category.  The LM5005, introduced last September, is the industry's first 75V, 2.5A, integrated buck regulator, and features an innovative emulated current-mode control method with a pulse-width modulation (PWM) switching frequency up to 500 kHz. One of the latest additions to National's high-voltage LM5000 family, the LM5005, steps down an input voltage from 7V to 75V to produce a regulated 2.5A power supply, adjustable from 1.225V to 65V.  It is optimized systems requiring conversion from high input voltages, such as telecom, automotive and industrial power supply applications.

Selection Criteria
Nominees for the Innovator of the Year category must have demonstrated innovation that resulted in a significant advance in technology or product development during the past 12 months. Nominees within the Innovations of the Year categories must also demonstrate innovation that resulted in a significant advance in technology or product development and  have shipped in volume in the 2005 calendar year.

In the next few weeks, EDN's worldwide audience of electronics engineers and engineering managers will use an online ballot to select the ultimate winners from among these finalists. EDN's editorial staff and the EDN Editorial Advisory Board also take part in determining the final winners. To review each of the nominees, visit http://www.edn.com/index.asp?layout=InnovationAwards&year=2005. The deadline for voting is February 28, 2006. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 3, 2006, in San Jose.

About EDN/Reed Business Information
Known as the “Voice of the engineer,” EDN, based in Waltham, Mass., serves the vital information needs of design engineers and engineering managers worldwide. The EDN franchise includes EDN, EDN Europe, EDN Asia, EDN Australia, EDN China, EDN Japan and EDN.com.

EDN is published by Reed Business Information (www.reedbusiness/us.com), the largest business-to-business publisher in the United States and a member of the Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE: RUK and ENL), a world-leading publisher and information provider operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business industry sectors. 

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-performance analog devices and subsystems. National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key markets include wireless handsets, displays, PCs and laptops. The company's analog products are also optimized for numerous applications in a variety of electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.98 billion for fiscal 2004, which ended May 30, 2004. Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com
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