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> National Semiconductor adds industry’s highest performance operational amplifier products to new WEBENCH online design environment (National Semiconductor)

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December 15, 2003 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced its Amplifiers Made Simple(sm) tool, the industry’s first online design tool created to speed the selection, design and testing of many types of operational amplifiers for medical, scientific, industrial and automotive applications.

The Amplifiers Made Simple tool uses a powerful component selection tool (developed by National engineers) to rapidly and accurately search among the company’s portfolio of analog amplifier products - each with hundreds of different electrical characteristics. The tool lets users select from standard topologies and enter system requirements. It then searches among National’s products to recommend the most appropriate op amps for the solution and creates a customized circuit. As with all the tools in National’s WEBENCH™ design environment, the Amplifiers Made Simple tool is available free of charge at www.national.com.

“Today, designers may use the Amplifiers Made Simple tool to design with 60 National op amps in 4 different applications to create more than 450 circuits.” said Phil Gibson, vice president, Web Business. “Over the coming year, we plan to expand this capability to include the entire National offering of 420 op amps in 30 applications, and more than 4,000 potential circuit designs.”

“National’s new Amplifiers Made Simple design tool is a breakthrough that extends WEBENCH tool capabilities into an entirely new range of solutions, dramatically simplifying product design with amplifiers,” said Erroll Dietz, product line director, Amplifier Products Group at National. “In a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, an engineer can now accomplish what used to take hours of work and years of knowledge. The result is the best possible design.”

"Using the Amplifiers Made Simple design tool, I was able to exercise several op amp circuits and compare devices very quickly,” said Robert Burnham, Advanced System Architecture, Visteon Corporation. “As it expands, this has the potential to solve some real problems and become a valuable design tool."

National’s Unique Portfolio of Operational Amplifiers
National offers a complete portfolio of op amps ranging from building-block chips to application specific standard products (ASSPs), including precision, high-speed, low-power and low-voltage amplifiers. The company has a long history of innovations in the op amp market, including the first low-voltage op amp (the LM324), the “Amp in a Mic (LMV1014)” and the world’s fastest laser diode driver.

National also has led the market in op amp packaging innovations with the introduction of revolutionary Silicon Dust™ and micro SMD packaging technologies. In addition, National’s patented VIP10 process technology enables it to create the industry’s broadest suite of high performance op amps available today. The Amplifiers Made Simple tool enables an engineer to instantly sort through this vast array of products, specifications and package types to select the ideal part for an application.

The Global Market for Amplifier Products
Analog operational amplifiers are one of the key building blocks of practically all electronic systems. They convert and condition real-word analog information into signals that can be read and understood by digital systems. National is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of amplifiers and comparators, with a 12.9 percent market share of a $2 billion global market, according to research firm iSuppli. National is the number one supplier of low-power op amps. The company is also the fastest-growing amplifier provider among the top five, with a 7.6 percent increase in market share between 2001 and 2002. National ships more than 500 million operational amplifiers per year.

Amplifiers Made Simple: A Seamless Suite of Online Tools and Resources
The Amplifiers Made Simple tool eliminates the need for a design engineer to perform tedious hand calculations. The tool offers instant access to the latest SPICE models, parametric data and package information, and lets designers simultaneously compare the performance of multiple devices. Overnight delivery within 24 hours is available on all of National’s products with WEBENCH design tool capability.

The Amplifiers Made Simple tool is designed to work seamlessly with National’s other WEBENCH tools, including the recently announced interactive product selector Solutions.National.com and online distance learning facility, Analog University. To try National’s WEBENCH design tool for amplifiers, go to http://amplifiers.national.com

Over the past four years, National has achieved several other online design tool breakthroughs for analog products, including WEBENCH tools for wireless and power. Today, 60,000 visitors to the National site have registered to use the WEBENCH toolset. Those users create 14,000 designs per month currently using these tools. Usage of National’s WEBENCH tool set continues to double every year.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high performance analog devices and subsystems. National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, imaging sensors and data conversion solutions. National's key markets include wireless handsets, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.67 billion for fiscal 2003, which ended May 25, 2003. Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com.

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