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PowerWise Interface Open-Standard Specification

06 October 2003

Santa Clara, Calif. AND Cambridge, UK – October 6, 2003 – National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) and ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)] today released PowerWise™ Interface (PWI) technology, jointly promoted as an open standard interface for system power management. PWI technology enables rapid deployment of advanced power management solutions in handheld electronic devices by providing an open, industry-wide standard for the interconnect between digital processors and power management integrated circuits.

Today's portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, handheld gaming consoles and portable media players offer a host of new benefits for consumers. However, these benefits place a significant strain on the power budget. Designers now face the dilemma of having to reduce the power consumption of digital processors while simultaneously maximizing battery life. This dilemma has led to the development of more advanced power management solutions that dynamically reduce power consumption based on the application software workload and environmental conditions. PWI technology provides the hardware interconnect standard for universal deployment of such solutions.

"PWI technology represents National's commitment to provide the most innovative and advanced power management solutions to the portable electronics market," said Peter Henry, vice president of portable power systems, National Semiconductor. "The adoption of an industry standard for system power solutions will propel the continued growth of the mobile phone and handheld markets."

Leaders in the mobile industry have welcomed the move toward standardization.
"Intel recognizes the importance of energy management in cellular systems and endorses open industry standards. National's PWI is complementary to Intel's Wireless SpeedStep technology – together they can lead to significant reductions in power consumption for cellular and handheld products," said Duane Mills, Senior Principal Engineer in Intel's PCA Components Group.

"Samsung applauds the efforts of National Semiconductor and ARM in releasing the PowerWise Interface open standard," said Mr. HS Seo, senior engineer of Mobile Communication Division in Samsung Electronics. "PWI technology is a cutting-edge power management solution and we expect the PWI specification to offer great savings in battery life."

"PWI technology is the result of collaboration between ARM and National Semiconductor and includes significant contributions from key mobile phone, semiconductor and power management IC vendors across the industry. PWI reflects our continued commitment to provide the most advanced power management technologies and solutions," said Oliver Gunasekara, director of Wireless, ARM. "The development of a common interface is an important step in simplifying the design process and will significantly accelerate the deployment and adoption of innovative power management technologies."

About PowerWise Interface
The PowerWise Interface specification defines a 2-wire serial interface connecting the integrated power controller of a SoC (system-on-chip) processor system with a PMIC (power management integrated circuit) voltage regulation system that enables system designers to dynamically adjust the supply and threshold voltages on digital processors. The PWI specification defines the required functionality in the PWI-slave: the operating states, the physical interface, the register set, the command set, and the data communication protocol for messaging between the PWI-master and the PWI-slave. The PWI command set includes PMIC operating state control, register read, register write and voltage adjust commands. The specification additionally provides provision for user-defined registers in the PWI-slave.

Availability
The PWI specification is available immediately from National Semiconductor and ARM for adoption on a royalty-free and license-free basis. Companies interested in adopting the specification can do so by submitting an adopter's agreement. The agreement can be downloaded at: www.pwistandard.org .

PWI specification-compliant power management integrated circuits will be available to the market in the first half of 2004 from multiple vendors. National and ARM are collaborating on the development of PWI specification-compliant on-chip power controller IP that will be licensed immediately and available for delivery in first half of 2004. National Semiconductor will also launch PWI specification-compliant external power management integrated circuits in the first half of 2004. At the same time, ARM will license Intelligent Energy Manager™ (IEM) technology to their semiconductor partners and manufacturers to provide operating system-driven software management of designs using PWI-compliant components.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California , National reported sales of $1.67 billion for its most recent fiscal year. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com .


About ARM
ARM is the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals, and system-on-chip (SoC) designs to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. ARM's microprocessor cores are rapidly becoming a volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer and embedded solutions.


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National Semiconductor is a registered trademark and PowerWise is a trademark of National Semiconductor Corporation. All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

ARM is registered trademark of ARM Limited. Intelligent Energy Manager is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; and ARM Belgium N.V.

 





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