TI Home > News Releases

News Releases


Nov 29, 1999

November 29, 1999 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) and digital imaging company Xirlink, Inc. today announced the formation of a strategic alliance aimed at integrating small form factor digital camera technology into National's industry-leading information appliance designs. Initially, this partnership is targeting the National® Geode™ WebPAD™ platform, a complete hardware and software reference design for a personal Internet access device.

National's next generation Geode WebPAD platform design will be able to capture real-time video or still photos, making the device suitable for video conferencing, video email or simply sharing photos over the Web. It can support VGA resolution (640 x 480) and up to 30 frames per second for full motion, full color video in a small, portable, wireless Internet platform. Full-featured performance can be realized when broadband data is available in the home.

"National predicts a huge potential market for personal Internet access devices, and the addition of video capabilities to these appliances will make them even more indispensable to users," said James Colgan, marketing manager for National's Personal Access Device business unit. "Xirlink's expertise in digital imaging technology brings tremendous user value to the WebPAD platform."

Xirlink's small form factor digital camera, which debuted at Fall COMDEX '99 in Las Vegas, benefits from National Semiconductor's CMOS image sensor technology. The result is a video platform that can easily be integrated into consumer devices, providing excellent video quality, superior low light performance, and low cost.

"This new partnership with National Semiconductor is a significant and valuable development for our company," said Tim Martin, Director of Strategic Marketing at Xirlink, Inc. "Our combined knowledge bases will result in major product advancements in the information appliance market. Weexpect to create functionality for portable Internet devices that people have only previously dreamed about," he continued.

National and Xirlink both expect a wide variety of uses for video capability in personal Internet access devices. Businesspeople, individuals, friends and family members will be able to videoconference over the Web, send video email, monitor remote sites by video, as well as capture and share digital still photos.

Weighing less than three pounds, National's Geode WebPAD reference platform is optimized for Internet browsing. The WebPAD tablet is about the size of a standard 8?x11-inch paper notebook and features a simple touch-screen that encourages user interaction. Its wireless design lets users, within a range of up to 300 feet from the tablet's base station, surf the Internet, participate in e-Commerce and send email. The WebPAD reference design is based on National's highly integrated Geode™ GXLV processor, a low-power x86-based chip that integrates sound, graphics, memory control and the PCI interface. Geode WebPAD solutions based on the x86 architecture provide consumers with a no-compromise Internet experience, because most popular software plug-in modules for the Internet are supported.

National Semiconductor first introduced its Geode WebPAD technology concept at Fall COMDEX '98. Since then, National has been working with key partners to expand the platform's offerings and develop the infrastructure needed to bring these devices to market. The first products based on National's Geode WebPAD design are expected to be available by the end of 1999.

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.

About Xirlink, Inc.
Incorporated in 1993, Xirlink, Inc. is a dynamically growing multimedia company that is quickly becoming a leader in developing PC compatible digital imaging products. Xirlink designs, manufactures and markets PC and digital still cameras and are dedicated to providing individual and corporate users with quality Internet-ready device solutions at affordable prices. Xirlink's products bring life to the Internet by enabling people to communicate more effectively for work or play. Xirlink is located in the heart of high-tech development, the Silicon Valley. For more information, contact Xirlink Corporate Headquarters, 2210 O'Toole Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131. http://www.xirlink.com.