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 architecture." 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 www.samurai.com.br 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 www.national.com. 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.
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