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Geode Solution Enables e-Mail PostBox™ and e-Mail Express™ to Reach the Market

Oct 5, 1999

October 5, 1999 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced that VTech Industries, LLC has selected the National® Geode™ NSC1028, a customized RISC processor from National's Semicustom Products group, to power its latest information appliance offerings. The e-Mail Express™ and e-Mail PostBox™ are low-cost, easy-to-use information appliances that offer one-touch operation for sending and receiving email from any standard telephone jack.

National Semiconductor designed the Geode NSC1028 processor specifically for VTech's new email appliances. The system-on-a-chip integrates a powerful 16-bit RISC processor, keyboard and printer ports, LCD display controller and speech synthesis circuitry into a single piece of silicon. This custom integrated processor represents the first step in a partnership between VTech and National to bring attractively priced, easy-to-use information appliances to the consumer market.

"VTech's new email terminals perfectly articulate National's vision of easy-to-use, single function information appliances," said Andy Chorlton, director of marketing for National's Semicustom Products group. "The technology provided by National's Semicustom division was key in enabling the form factor and cost which allowed VTech to create such compelling products."

VTech's e-Mail Express is a portable, hand-held device weighing less than seven ounces, while the e-Mail PostBox features a full size keyboard, larger screen, parallel printer port and support for up to five individual mailboxes. These appliances offer several advantages over traditional PCs, including instant-on capability, portability, ease-of-use and lower cost. They both feature one-touch operation for sending and receiving email messages, a security function that allows parents to monitor and restrict their children's email activities, and an email filter that blocks unwanted spam and junk email.

"National's ability to excute on the processor technology was key to us getting these email appliances to market so quickly," said Jude Dieterman, vice president of VTech Industries, LLC. "Our shared information appliance strategies enabled us to develop these ideal consumer applications and offer them at an extremely compelling price point."

The e-Mail Express is priced at $79.99 and the e-Mail PostBox is priced at $99.99. VTech also provides email service to both of these information appliances for less than $10 per month. VTech's products can be ordered directly through its Web site, vtechworld.com, or by calling 1-888-GO-VTECH. National's Semicustom Products division leverages the company's broad base of "proven in silicon" intellectual property to design high-value custom information appliance solutions for key customers and partners, with a focus on enabling information appliances in National's target market segments - set-top boxes, thin clients and personal access devices.

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.
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National Semiconductor is a registered trademark and Geode is a trademark of National Semiconductor Corporation. e-Mail PostBox and e-Mail Express are trademarks of VTech Industries, LLC, the US subsidiary of VTech Holdings Limited. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.