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'Boldly Go' in NASA-sponsored Space Elevator Challenge

    SAN JOSE, Calif., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ZiLOG(R), Inc.,
 (Nasdaq:   ZILG) a leading provider of integrated microcontrollers (MCUs) and
 universal remote control solutions, today announced that it is providing a
 range of its award-winning 8-bit microcontroller solutions and development
 tools to support a team of 30 innovative students from the University of
 British Columbia (UBC) in their bid to win the 2006 NASA Beam Power
 Challenge space elevator design competition.
     The $400,000 NASA-backed competition, part of the larger "Space
 Elevator:2010" project organized by the Spaceward Foundation, is now in its
 second year. The project aims to develop a space elevator prototype robot
 that will be the basis for a commercial space elevator, which would
 eventually provide transport to and from space at around five per cent of
 the cost of current methods (i.e., the Space Shuttle). ZiLOG is lending its
 full support to the UBC's "Team Snowstar" in its bid to win the challenge
 by supplying its eZ80Acclaim!(R), Z8 Encore! MC(TM) and Z8 Encore!(R) 8-bit
 MCU solutions and development kits, plus consultation and technical
     Team Snowstar is competing against 19 other teams from around the world
 in the 2006 Space Elevator Games, which will be held at NASA's Ames
 Research Center in Mountain View, CA, in August. Teams entering the
 challenge must provide an autonomous, intelligent space elevator robot to
 climb the cable. It must be powered wirelessly from a ground-based power
 beaming station. Teams must also design and build a power beaming mechanism
 to power the climber. Although no team met the prize requirements of the
 2005 Challenge, Team Snowstar's machine was among the most successful and
 was named "Most Likely To Win" in 2006.
     The MCUs provided by ZiLOG illustrate the versatility of the company's
 portfolio of products, with each performing a differing but equally
 critical function within the Snowstar project. The eZ80Acclaim! MCU, for
 example, will act as the central controller for the robotic vehicle and
 will provide the main communications interface to the ground to complete
 the beam control feedback loop. MCUs from the Z8 Encore! family will
 control subsystems and monitor the photovoltaic cell array, which powers
 the unit. Finally, a microcontroller from the recently-launched Z8 Encore!
 MC family will work to control the brushless DC motor that will be used to
 efficiently climb up the cable. ZiLOG is also supplying Team Snowstar with
 application development kits, including include evaluation boards,
 debuggers and ZiLOG's ZDS II Integrated Development Environment, which
 includes C Compiler.
     Commenting on ZiLOG's sponsorship of UBC Snowstar, ZiLOG chairman and
 CEO Jim Thorburn said: "ZiLOG has a long history of commitment to, and
 support for, educational endeavors and innovative projects -- from design
 contests to the Hubble telescope. To provide our MCUs and development tools
 to Team Snowstar for such an exciting project has really caught the
 imagination of the team here at ZiLOG and shows the multiple applications
 that our product portfolio is ideally suited for. We wish the team every
 success and look forward to supporting them further in future."
     "The support that ZiLOG is providing has been very important to us,"
 added Steven Jones, Leader of Team Snowstar. "Our team required a very
 reliable solution that would be quick to implement and ZiLOG was able to
 provide it. The high performance and low footprint of the ZiLOG
 microcontrollers allow us to meet the demanding requirements of the
 competition. In addition, the wide range of development kits supplied by
 ZiLOG are very comprehensive and provide an easy to use development
 environment, enabling us to complete our system on the bench before our
 PCBs are made. Our system has a diverse range of requirements and the ZiLOG
 product line up has solutions for every type of problem that we will face."
     ZiLOG's involvement with Team Snowstar also drew praise from Ben
 Shelef, Founder of the Spaceward Foundation. "We are pleased to see ZiLOG
 as a sponsor for one of the university teams competing in our 2006 Space
 Elevator Games," said Shelef. "As an educational non-profit organization,
 we share their view that educating the next generation of engineers and
 scientists is one of the best ways to keep America at the forefront of
 emerging technologies."
     The Space Elevator Concept*
     -- The Space Elevator is a thin ribbon, with a cross-section area
 roughly half that of a pencil, extending from a ship-borne anchor to a
 counterweight well beyond geo-synchronous orbit.
     -- The ribbon is kept taut due to the rotation of the earth (and that
 of the counterweight around the earth). At its bottom, it pulls up on the
 anchor with a force of about 20 tons.
     -- Electric vehicles, called climbers, ascend the ribbon using
 electricity generated by solar panels and a ground based booster light
     -- In addition to lifting payloads from earth to orbit, the elevator
 can also release them directly into lunar-injection or earth-escape
     -- The baseline system weighs about 1500 tons (including counterweight)
 and can carry up to 15 ton payloads, easily one per day.
     -- The ribbon is 62,000 miles long, about three feet wide, and is
 thinner than a sheet of paper. It is made out of a carbon nanotube
 composite material.
     -- The climbers travel at a steady 200 kilometers per hour (120 MPH),
 do not undergo accelerations and vibrations, can carry large and fragile
 payloads, and have no propellant stored onboard.
     -- Orbital debris is avoided by moving the anchor ship, and the ribbon
 itself is made resilient to local space debris damage.
     -- The elevator can increase its own payload capacity by adding ribbon
 layers to itself. There is no limit on how large a Space Elevator can be.
     *Courtesy of the Spaceward Foundation
     Further information:
     1.  To find out more about ZiLOG's portfolio of MCUs and development tools
         and software, log onto
     2.  Further information on Team Snowstar can be found at
     3.  For more on the Space Elevator Challenge, check out
     4.  You can find out more about the Spaceward Foundation at
     About ZiLOG, Inc.
     ZiLOG, Inc. Founded in 1974, ZiLOG won international acclaim for
 designing one of the first architectures in the microprocessors and
 microcontrollers industry. Today, ZiLOG is a leading global supplier of
 8-bit micro logic devices. It designs, manufactures and markets a broad
 portfolio of devices for embedded control and communication applications
 used in consumer electronics, home appliances, security systems, point of
 sales terminals, personal computer peripherals, as well as industrial and
 automotive applications. ZiLOG is headquartered in San Jose, California,
 and employs approximately 500 people worldwide with sales offices
 throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
     For more information about ZiLOG and its products, visit the Company's
 website at: ZiLOG, eZ80Acclaim, Z8 Encore! and Z8 Encore! MC
 are trademarks or registered trademarks of ZiLOG, Inc. in the United States
 and in other countries.


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