National Semiconductor unveils ‘human touch’

The China Post staff

Building on its strength in wireless communications technology, National Semiconductor yesterday pledged to work with its partners in Taiwan, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), and direct its product development to focus on the “human touch.”

“Consumers are asking for an easier interface,” said Ozy Wong, director of business development, sales and marketing. Wong, stresses that National Semiconductor is a consumer oriented company, and as such is aiming to be ahead of the competition when it comes to satisfying customer needs. “National wants to give consumers greater functionality to improve their lifestyle,” said Wong. In addition, National Semiconductor is very focused on the Asian market, forecasting major growth for product sales, particularly in Taiwan, mainland China and South Korea.

“Asia is the place at the moment,” said Wong, “and Taiwan will be as important as any other area in Asia,” he said.

Santa Clara, California-based National Semiconductor is a leading supplier of high technology integrated circuits. National supplies chips for cellphones, DVDs, set-top boxes, medical equipment, desktop and notebook computers, plus thousands of other electronic devices.

National being 70 percent an analog company, according to Wong, wants to focus on the huge market opportunities presented by the convergence of voice and data services. “We see more and more that analog is going to be the fun part of this whole revolution, said Wong, “The human touch, the sight, sound, smell is all analog, and that’s what National is trying to focus on,” he continued. National is very aware that consumers are constantly looking to get more out their electronic devices, as well as gain access to technology that is easier to use and cheaper to buy.

“We aim to position ourselves with the right technology at the right time,” said Wong.

The combination of the acquisition in February of San Diego, California-based innoCOMM wireless, together with existing partnerships with companies such as TSMC, National hopes will fulfill these objectives. By acquiring innoCOMM, a developer of chipsets for wireless networking applications, National hopes to extend its global reach and support the company’s thrust into new information and communications-based markets. “InnoCOMM’s Bluetooth (wireless) radio transceiver, combined with National’s Bluetooth baseband technology, will quickly lead to a complete single-chip Bluetooth solution,” said William Stacy, vice president of National’s Wireless Group.

National is aiming for a two-chip solution by the third quarter of 2001, with single-chip applications likely to appear in about 12 months time.