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National Semiconductor Debuts Ethernet Made Easy Online Design Tool for Development Engineers

ETHERNET.NATIONAL.COM Site Leads Designers From Instruction, Selection, Design and Review to Samples and Evaluation Platforms

Nov 15, 2004

November 15, 2004 – National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today introduced its Ethernet Made Easy online design tool.  The ETHERNET.NATIONAL.COM site is the semiconductor industry's first Web environment for designers developing Ethernet solutions for traditional broad market networking applications and connected devices.  The Web tool leads a designer from instruction, selection, design and review to samples and purchase of evaluation platforms.

The free site provides educational basics about Ethernet connectivity and enables designers to select a component, create and validate a design, and order samples from National's broad range of high-performance, low-power, feature-rich MacPHYTER™, DsPHYTER™ and GigPHYTER™ product lines.  The Web tool reduces the time, effort and expense of Ethernet development and allows designers to shorten design cycles. 

"National has created a comprehensive support tool that makes developing Ethernet products painless,” said Rick Smith, senior area technical manager for Future Electronics.  “Our customers no longer have to tediously search the Internet for information on device drivers and application notes.  Everything a designer may need is available in the Ethernet Made Easy online design tool, including solutions for embedded interfaces and online schematic review."

Capabilities of Ethernet Made Easy Web Site
The Ethernet Made Easy online design tool contains a tutorial, product information, and online design review and application support.   All elements of the tool are arranged in an easy, step-by-step sequence, which greatly simplifies the selection and design-in process.  By visiting ETHERNET.NATIONAL.COM, designers are able to create an application and have the board-level design evaluated quickly, cutting
design time from weeks to just a few days.

“The tool is definitely a quick and easy way for engineers to select the right product for the application,” said James Rooks, field applications engineer for Arrow Electronics.  “The online review process is an added benefit, providing less experienced engineers with the seasoned technical review the design may need.”

The Web site tutorial explains the basics for designers new to Ethernet connectivity development.  Once an engineer selects the speed and integration level required, the best product for the specific application is presented.  Online resources are provided along with the recommended product to help the designer complete their design.  These resources include reference designs based on leading microcontroller manufacturers such as IBM, Freescale and Renesas.  Other resources available include product data sheets, application notes, IBIS models, OrCAD symbols and one of the broadest suites of drivers available.  Finally, the design is reviewed in just 48 hours by a member of National’s online application support center to determine if the board-level design is robust and will be easy to manufacture.

“National Semiconductor continues to raise the bar with high-value, design-oriented Web portal tools.  There is no better example of this than the new Ethernet Made Easy online design tool,” said Cary Eskow, director of technical programs for Avnet, Inc.  “In today’s time-to-market environment, National’s portal and nationwide distribution team combine to bring high-performance solutions to market - faster.”

National’s Ethernet Made Easy online design tool is located at http://ethernet.national.com.  Upcoming enhancements will include: driver implementation help; product information including transformers, oscillators, and crystals from National’s partners; OrCAD schematic source files of reference designs; and an online register tool to aid in troubleshooting and configuration.

National’s Ethernet Connectivity Products
National offers a broad portfolio of high-performance, low-power and feature-rich Ethernet products for the enterprise, consumer and embedded markets.  These include 10/100 and 10/100/1000 physical layers and 10/100 integrated controllers.  National’s 10/100 physical layers are among the smallest and lowest power products available today.  The 10/100 integrated controllers have extensive software support and provide ultra-low CPU utilization, which makes them particularly suitable for a wide range of consumer and embedded applications.  National’s 10/100/1000 products provide low power and advanced features including cable length detection to aid in network troubleshooting.

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