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Chipset Enables Microsoft

National Semiconductor Corp. has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to create the chip set technology for an entirely new class of consumer devices. Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative is designed to provide consumers customizable information on a host of familiar items they use every day. National's complete solution including baseband processing and radio frequency capabilities are key technologies in new SPOT-enabled devices. At the heart of the solution are two custom integrated circuits. One is a custom baseband processor with digital signal processing (DSP) accelerators built on an industry-standard ARM7 core. The other is a custom-designed radio chip. The first devices equipped with SPOT will be wristwatches from leading sports and fashion watch manufacturers. Each SPOT-enabled watch has a unique built-in personalized reception code that allows the user to receive up-to-date Web-based information such as stock quotes, sports scores, weather, traffic and other customizable messages. The complete solution consists of seven chips contained on a system board that measures only 34 mm x 30 mm x 2 mm. The ARM7 processor core and radio chipset use an advanced 0.18µ CMOS process. The ARM7 core features a unique 256-bit identification register that has been laser etched onto each die. This laser programming allows each die to be individualized so that SPOT device users receive their own personalized Web-based data. The remaining chips of the SPOT solution include the LM2797, LP3983, LP3985 and LP3987 power management chips and the LPV321 op amp. For more information, contact Mike Brozda at NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORP., Santa Clara, CA. (800) 272-9959.


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