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National Semiconductor Launches Solutions.National.com

New Interactive Systems Solutions Selector, Advanced WEBENCH 4.0 Design Tools, and High-Voltage Power IC Portfolio Slash New-Product Development Time

Jun 2, 2003

June 2, 2003 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) today introduced Solutions.National.com and the WEBENCH™ 4.0 tool set, the industry’s most comprehensive suite of free design tools, interactive product selectors, online information and search engine that dramatically reduce time-to-market for new products. In another industry first, National also announced that the WEBENCH 4.0 tool set now features switching regulators for high-voltage power supply designs.

“Solutions.National.com and the WEBENCH tool set enable our customers to visualize complete systems, do interactive online design, prototype and bring products to market in time frames that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago,” said Phil Gibson, vice president, Web Business and Sales Force Automation at National.

“National’s high voltage switchers and LDOs extend the WEBENCH toolset into an entirely new range of industry solutions,” said Edward Lam, vice president, Power Management, National. “Our broad portfolio of high-voltage power management products is ideal for cellular telephone base stations, central office switching equipment and automotive applications.”

“Using WEBENCH tools, I saved at least two full work days in the design and simulation of a power supply for a new cellular and global positioning system (GPS) product,” said Todd Smiley, co-founder of SignalCraft Technologies, an Alberta, Canada-based contract design house specializing in wireless systems. “With a few clicks, it allowed me to quickly compare cost/benefit scenarios and select the optimum design for my application. In addition, I used WEBENCH tools to order a prototype evaluation board, saving several more days of work.”

Solutions.National.com: A Revolution in Productivity for Analog Design
Solutions.National.com (Solutions.National.com) is an easy-to-use interactive online design support environment that slashes time needed to find the best products for an application. It features 30 color-coded block diagrams that are organized for specific applications in eight major market categories: automotive, broadband communications, displays, industrial, medical systems, personal/consumer electronics, power and wireless communications.

Design engineers can use the graphical navigation guide to access the 30 system solutions, get a list of recommended integrated circuits, perform thermal or electrical simulations online using National’s WEBENCH design tools, and order product samples for worldwide delivery in only 24 to 48 hours.

For example, an engineer designing a patient monitoring system for use in a hospital can go to Solutions.National.com to get a quick system overview. Clicking on a block in the diagram dynamically generates a selection guide showing the most appropriate National products for the application. The selection guide, powered by iPhrase technology, is completely user-configurable. Users may select products by adjusting parameters such as supply voltage, package type, pin count, price, and more than 300 electrical characteristics.

WEBENCH 4.0: New High-Voltage Product Options and Faster, More Accurate Thermal and Electrical Simulations
Introduced in 1999, National’s WEBENCH tool set was the industry’s first online interactive design environment.

WEBENCH 4.0 tools (webench.national.com) now feature solutions for switching regulators tailored for high-voltage power supply designs based on National’s LM5000 family of products. The LM5000 family combines advanced high-voltage processes, chip-scale packaging and proprietary circuitry to create the industry's first fully integrated switching regulator ICs that operate from 10 volts to more than 100 volts. These products are ideally suited for communications, industrial and automotive applications.

In addition, National’s entire catalog of Low Drop Out (LDO) regulators is now available. This expands the WEBENCH tool catalog by more than 500 new devices.  Every new LDO alternative is presented with an advisor that recommends the best thermal management compound, heat sink or fan.

Other major enhancements of the WEBENCH 4.0 tool kit include:

  • More accurate simulation capability: Extensive correlations with bench data have been performed in order to fine tune the models and assure greater accuracy.       
  • Faster design: WEBENCH 4.0 tools use industry-standard SPICE simulation models for faster, easier design configuration       
  • Carbon-copy feature: Instead of performing simulations one at a time, engineers can now apply a test suite to an entire range of solutions with a single mouse click       
  • Multilingual: WEBENCH tools offer the industry’s only instant one-click translation from English to Japanese. Soon Korean, Standard Chinese and Simplified Chinese will be available

National Semiconductor’s WEBENCH tool set is widely recognized as an innovative time saver. Worldwide, more than 44,000 registered engineers now create an average of 12,000 designs per month, saving an estimated 40 to 50 hours per design. The automated WEBENCH tool set generates sales of more than $2 million per month for National with little administrator management. In the past year use of WEBENCH tools has increased by 230 percent and continues to accelerate.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, PC and networking and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.5 billion for its most recent fiscal year. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com

Note to editors: To view high-resolution downloadable photos, visit National's photo gallery at http://www.national.com/tradeshows/webench4/photos.html