TI Home > News Releases

News Releases

National Semiconductor and Be Incorporated Team to Grow Internet Appliance Market

Companies Jointly Developing Information Appliance Reference Platforms Based on Be's Stinger Technology and National's Geode™ WebPAD™ Design

Nov 16, 1999

November 16, 1999 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) and Be Incorporated (Nasdaq:BEOS) today announced joint efforts to co-develop a series of production-ready reference platforms for the Internet appliance market based on the National® Geode™ WebPAD™ manufacturing kit. The objective is to provide consumers with a compelling Internet experience for media-rich Internet and entertainment appliances, based on Be's foundational software technology, code-named Stinger, and National's Geode WebPAD reference platform. National and Be are engaged in collaborative efforts, although no formal agreement exists between the two companies at this time. These activities range from joint sales and market development to cooperative marketing campaigns.

"Our joint offering will be a truly innovative pairing of hardware and software," commented Jean-Louis Gass? Be's chairman and chief executive officer. "National Semiconductor is already a leading enabler of Internet appliance platforms, and our Stinger technology will bring unrivaled Internet and media handling capabilities to its ; Geode WebPAD platform. This will enable device manufacturers and consumer electronics companies entering the emerging Internet appliance space to deliver a superior product that will meet the needs of their most demanding customers."

National's Geode WebPAD reference platform presents an attractive value proposition to Internet service providers, cable operators, e-Commerce businesses and other companies seeking to expand the Internet subscriber base, promote online services or increase brand awareness. The WebPAD design offers a simple, intuitive means of accessing the Internet without the cost, complexity and hassles often associated with personal computers.

"Our partnership with Be will significantly expand the applications available for our ; Geode WebPAD platform," said Mike Polacek, vice president of National's Information Appliance group. "Be's expertise in video, audio and other high-bandwidth content will be a great value to customers who are developing entertainment-centric Internet appliances using our Geode WebPAD design."

Be's Stinger Internet Appliance Platform
Be has developed a system foundation and architecture for the emerging Internet appliance segment. At the basis of Internet appliances lies a critical need for exceptional media handling, unfaltering stability, and broad application flexibility. BeOS has won critical acclaim in these areas and the company is extending this core technology for this emerging class of devices. Building on the strength of BeOS, and teaming with key companies such as National, Be's new application system foundation is intended to offer a complete development and application platform for a wide range of Internet appliances. Be plans to formally introduce this new platform, code-named Stinger, in the first quarter of 2000.

National's Geode WebPAD Platform
National's Geode WebPAD platform is a reference design for a wireless personal access device that is optimized for Internet browsing. Weighing less than three pounds, 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 500 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.

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 Be Incorporated
Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software platforms that enable rich media and web experiences for personal computers and Internet appliances. Be's headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, with offices in Paris and Tokyo. It is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the web at http://www.be.com

Be Incorporated Forward Looking Statements
The statements contained in this Press Release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" including without limitation plans for product development and release, future availability and performance of Internet appliances and third party applications, market penetration and market acceptance of BeOS including those intended for the Internet appliances market, and the benefit of such products to customers, appliance manufacturers and developers. Actual events or results may differ materially as a result of risks facing Be Incorporated or actual results differing from the assumptions underlying such statements. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to product development, continued availability of third party BeOS applications, our ability to establish and maintain strategic relationships, the competition and market acceptance of BeOS especially for the Internet appliances market, and our ability to meet customer and developer demands. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the "Risk Factors" and other cautionary statements included in Be Incorporated's prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 on July 20, 1999 (Commission File No. 333- 77855), and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.