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National?s Industry-Leading Analog and RF Product Portfolio Combines with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Expertise from Algorex for 2.5-Generation and 3-Generation Wireless Systems

Dec 16, 1999

December 16, 1999?National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase San Francisco-based Algorex, Inc., an industry-recognized provider of high-performance Digital Signal Processing (DSP) products, architecture and software for wireless and wired broadband communications systems. National paid $21.5 million for outstanding shares of stock and options of Algorex, a company with locations in San Francisco, California, and Iselin, New Jersey.

Algorex intellectual property and expertise in wireless physical layer system design and DSP algorithms and software will enhance National?s capability to provide complete chipset solutions for the fast-growing cellular phone and wireless Information Appliance markets.

"National envisions a world where personal and business information is accessible anywhere, anytime through a plethora of user-friendly Information Appliances," said Brian Halla, CEO of National Semiconductor. "With this acquisition, National now has all the advanced wireless technologies in place to enable our customers to execute on this vision."

"This is a perfect complement of skills," said William Stacy, vice president of National?s Wireless Group. "National is a leading supplier of RF and power management products for the cellular communications market. With our mixed-signal expertise, and the DSP algorithm and digital communication expertise of Algorex, we can offer complete and extremely competitive solutions for the industry?s next generation of wireless standards."

The chief technology officer of Algorex, Dr. Ahmad Bahai, is recognized throughout the industry as a leading expert on wireless systems and technologies. Before joining National, he headed the Advanced Wireless Technology Group at Bell Laboratories, and is the author of the recently published book Multicarrier Digital Communications?Theory and Applications of OFDM. The Algorex organization has extensive background in high performance DSP architectures for wireless systems through partnerships and R&D work for major semiconductor companies, infrastructure manufacturers and wireless service providers.

"We have been assembling this team and these capabilities since 1996 with exactly this vision in mind?enabling complete wireless solutions for advanced voice and data," said Dr. Bahai. "The strengths of Algorex and National are very complementary, and create a perfect alliance to ensure a dominant presence in the 2.5-generation and 3-generation wireless chipset market."

Wireless technologies are exploding in popularity throughout the globe, with an estimated 600 million cellular subscribers by 2000, a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent, according to market research firm ARC. By 2004, 65 percent of cellular terminals sold will be "data centric" or "smartphone" devices that will access the Internet and provide users with music, photos, video other information-intensive functions (Ovum Research). These devices will use 2.5-generation and 3-generation cellular standards.

Today, National Semiconductor is the number one supplier of high performance phase-locked loop (PLL) circuits for the wireless market. The company is also a leading supplier of integrated circuits for digital enhanced cordless telephones (DECT), GSM and IS-95 CDMA cellular handset and basestation systems.

About Algorex

Algorex is a provider of IP-intensive products and services for the wireless telecommunications industry, with expertise in third generation systems conforming to ARIB/ETSI W-CDMA, CDMA2000, and GSM-EDGE standards. With R& D centers in New Jersey and San Francisco, Algorex develops, integrates and supports complete communications designs, DSP embedded software, real-time multiple-access protocol software and DSP architecture and development tools. The company?s Algoware ™ software is a family of advanced digital communications physical layer templates used to develop and optimize baseband systems for new wireless communications protocols.

About National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor provides system-on-a-chip solutions for the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of the-art digital technology, the company's chips lead many sectors of the personal computer, communications, and consumer markets. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $2 billion for its last fiscal year and currently has about 11,000 employees worldwide. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com.

Guide to abbreviations:

  • ARIB: Association for Radio Industry and Business
  • CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access
  • W CDMA: Wideband Code Division Multiple Access
  • DSP: Digital Signal Processing
  • EDGE: Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution
  • ETSI: European Telecommunications Standards Institute
  • GSM: Global System for Mobile Telecommunication
  • IS: Interim Specification
  • RF: Radio Frequency
  • OFDM: Orthogonal Frequency Domain Multiplexing