National Semiconductor, Samurai Join Forces to Answer Call for Affordable Information Technology Solution in Brazil

Information Appliance Design Based on National's Geode Technology Meets

Government Requirements, Enabling a More Connected Society

Mar 20, 2001, 00:00 ET from National Semiconductor Corporation

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to a challenge
 from the Brazilian Government, National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:   NSM),
 the world's leading provider of information appliance (IA) technology, and
 Samurai, a leading IA design house, have developed a complete system solution
 to make Internet access available and affordable for all Brazilians.
     The system, the Samurai 2000 IA, is based upon National's industry-leading
 Geode(TM) technology.  The Samurai 2000 IA is a ready-to-build system that can
 be turned into simple Internet access devices with built-in modems, or thin
 clients for the school and enterprise environments, in a server-based
 computing model via local area network (LAN).  Using a Samurai FlashCard as a
 personal storage and identification device and with no fans, disk drive,
 floppy drive, CD-ROM drive or other moving components, the Samurai 2000 IA,
 running the open-source Linux operating system, is a turnkey solution that
 drives the device cost and power consumption down dramatically while
 delivering high performance, reliability and enriched multimedia applications
 for Web surfing.
     "This simplified design addresses all of the key requirements of this
 project, providing a complete system solution for people to get easy access to
 the Internet at homes, schools and enterprises at a low cost, but without
 compromising performance," said Sergio Campos, the government program
 coordinator at the Computer Science Department of Federal University of Minas
 Gerais (UFMG).  "Brazilian people can definitely benefit from the latest IA
 technology that National and Samurai are able to offer."
     In an effort to make Internet access more accessible and affordable to a
 vast population in the country, the Brazilian government has commissioned UFMG
 to evaluate low-cost information technology solutions on the market and to
 recommend the most optimal platform for nationwide adoption.  After reviewing
 the collaboration between National and Samurai, this university decided that
 the Samurai 2000 IA met the government requirements in terms of affordability,
 ease-of-use, deployment feasibility and reliability.  It has all the
 functionality of a PC for Internet access, but at a fraction of the cost and
 power consumption of a PC, the university concluded.
     "Offering the best performance, price and power consumption points,
 National's Geode technology has become the preferred choice to power
 information appliances that are designed to address the specific needs of the
 Brazilian market," said Rogerio Almeida, managing director of National
 Semiconductor South America.  "Working with a market leader such as Samurai
 gives us a competitive edge in the Brazilian market, and helps us make
 Internet access a reality for all Brazilians."
     "By integrating National Semiconductor's high-performance, low-power Geode
 technology into our design and development of the information appliances
 tailored to the Brazilian market, we are providing all the Brazilian people
 with a complete and radically simple IA solution at an extremely affordable
 price, very low power consumption and high reliability," said Carlos Rocha,
 chief executive officer of Samurai.  "Our unmatched design has also opened a
 way for further technological advancements in thin-client computing
     With a population reaching 170 million, the Brazilian government faces a
 huge challenge in bringing the latest information technology to its citizens.
 According to eMarketer, about 3.9 million people in Brazil have access to the
 Internet.  The government, however, is making every effort to build the
 infrastructure necessary to make affordable Internet access for all
 Brazilians.  National Semiconductor and Samurai are already working with local
 Internet services providers (ISPs), telecommunication companies, OEM
 customers, and distributors to facilitate the technology deployment.
     About Samurai
     Samurai is one of the leading Brazilian players in developing IT products
 and business models for large IT projects.  It has a long-term tradition, a
 strong management team and recognized expertise in designing unique and
 innovative product solutions for information appliances, Internet gateways,
 document tracking solutions, and specialty printers.  Samurai has played a key
 role in the design and manufacturing of the Brazilian Voting Machine, that
 allowed the Brazilian Government to implement a 100% automated election
 system, for more than 100 million citizens.  Samurai main offices are located
 in Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.  Company and product info is available at or at 5511-5097-3000.
     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 the fast growing markets for wireless
 handsets; information appliances; information infrastructure; and display,
 imaging and human interface technologies.  With headquarters in Santa Clara,
 California, National reported sales of $2.1 billion for its last fiscal year
 and has about 10,500 employees worldwide.  Additional company and product
 information is available on the World Wide Web at
     NOTE:  National Semiconductor is a register trademark and Geode is a
 trademark of National Semiconductor Corporation.  All other brand or product
 names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE National Semiconductor Corporation