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National Semiconductor's Low-Power Chipset Enhances Color Displays, Extends Battery Life for Mobile Phones

New Solution, Introduced at SID 2003, Leverages National's Leadership in Displays and Interface Technologies

May 19, 2003

SID 2003, Baltimore, MD - May 19, 2003 - Driving the rapidly growing color display market for mobile phones, National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) today introduced a chipset that uniquely combines low power and advanced interface design for better color, contrast and battery life.  This new solution from the market leader in displays and interface technologies offers features that enable customers to differentiate products easily and cost effectively and supports all standard industry requirements.  Available for sampling late next month, this chipset will enable lighter and thinner cell phones that have longer battery life and versatile video features such as an adjustable display quality switch to save energy.

National's new chipset, to be introduced at the Society for Information Display (SID) International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition (Booth: 1410), May 20-22, is comprised of two integrated circuits, the FPD94128 controller/column driver and the FPD93140 power supply/gate driver.  Together they form a complete solution for driving amorphous silicon active matrix LCD (AMLCD) panels used in mobile phones that support full color graphics, video and still images.

"National Semiconductor's knowledge of complete cellular handset architectures allows us to take a more system-level perspective when designing display and imaging solutions," said Peter Henry, vice president of the portable power systems group, National Semiconductor.  "This new chipset is poised to be the solution of choice for mobile phone manufacturers as consumers demand no-compromise display quality for data and image-centric handsets."

Rich Features Enabled by High Integration
The chipset features an image dependant backlight controller for the reduction of backlight intensity, which translates to longer phone usage time between charges.  Typical backlight power of 150 mW swamps the power used by the display.  Detection of high contrast images can automatically cut the display lighting power by a programmable amount, potentially reducing the lighting power by 50 percent or more.  External ambient light sensors can also reduce display lighting power and enhance appearance through programmable brightness controls within the chip.

The FPD94128 features programmable color depth that allows selection of 3-bit, 9-bit, 12-bit or 18-bit color modes, which allows users to trade-off power consumption for display quality.  For example, when users are running low on battery power or want to extend usage time, they can switch then from phone display from the full 18-bit (262K color) mode to 12-bit (4K color) or 9-bit (512 color) mode.  This reduces chip power consumption by 40 percent in the 4K color mode.

Additionally, the chipset has a versatile video interface, accepting data in 18-bit RGB or 8-bit or 16-bit 4:2:2 Y'CbCr.  This allows direct connection to image sensors in camera-enabled phones using a more efficient 8-bit interface when sub-sampled Y'CbCr data is available from the sensor.  For mobile phones capable of receiving video images, the built-in Y'CbCr -RGB converter allows direct connection to the phone?s MPEG decoder.

The FPD94128 integrates: a 528 channel column driver capable of driving 64 gray levels; an Internal frame buffer (176 x 240 x 18-bit); a display refresh controller; a programmable gamma reference and a backlight intensity modulator.  Designed to work seamlessly with the FPD94128, the FPD93140 integrates a 241-channel row driver; high efficiency charge pump power supplies and a VCOM driver.  The power supply is designed to operate directly from the system Li-Ion battery that can eliminate significant efficiency losses normally encountered with other display solutions.  The chips are programmable to support any physical display matrix up to 176 x 240, including the popular 176 x 220 and 176 x 208 sizes.

Availability, Packaging and Pricing
The FPD94128/FPD93140 chipset is priced at $9.99 each in 1,000-unit quantities.  Both of the devices are offered as gold-bumped die for COG and COF applications.

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, information infrastructure 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