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National Semiconductor Ramps Production of Cyrix Processors on 0.25-micron Process in Maine

State-of-the-art facility yields high speeds, reduced die sizes for Cyrix M II™ and MediaGX™ processors

Santa Clara, California -- August 25, 1998 -- National Semiconductor® Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced it has achieved a major milestone in production of the Cyrix M II™ and MediaGX™ processors on its state-of-the-art 0.25-micron process technology at the company's South Portland, Maine manufacturing facility. The company has begun shipping samples to customers and expects to begin shipping production units from the South Portland fab by September 1998, with 75 percent of its manufacturing volume expected to be sourced from this facility in the fourth calendar quarter of this year.

"This is a significant step for National toward controlling our own destiny," said Brian Halla, president and CEO of National Semiconductor. "We set this goal for the company when National and Cyrix merged last year, and we have hit the goal on schedule. Now, we can focus all of our efforts on ramping capacity and bringing up new Cyrix-designed processors in our own fab. That should give customers significant advantages through dedicated manufacturing capacity, improved time-to-market, and cost savings."

Early this year National began transferring 0.25-micron process technology, optimized for the Cyrix processor designs, from the company's Santa Clara, California research and development fab to the advanced manufacturing facility in Maine. National has already seen shrinks of its 0.25-micron process to produce 0.22-micron geometries.

"Initial yields from the Maine facility are unprecedented in Cyrix’s history for results this early in the ramp of transferring an x86 processor from R&D to volume production," said Kevin C. McDonough, senior vice president and co-general manager of the Cyrix Group. "The combined National/Cyrix engineering and manufacturing teams have done an outstanding job," he added.

The products that are produced at the South Portland, Maine fab are shipped to National’s Singapore facility for final testing and assembly. The company has also made substantial investments in Singapore to streamline the backend test and assembly process. According to Kamal Aggarwal, executive vice president of National's Central Technology and Manufacturing Group, "The combined operation will enable us to reduce our total manufacturing cycle time by 50 percent, allowing us to deliver unsurpassed customer service."

The center point of the process today is yielding Cyrix M II™-300 and -333 processors as well as MediaGX™ 233 and 266MHz processors, with higher speed grades expected later in the year. By moving to the 0.25-micron process, National also significantly reduced both processors’ die size by 25 to 40 percent over the previous version. Significant cost savings result because more processors can be produced on each wafer.

National Semiconductor Corporation
National Semiconductor Corporation produces system-on-a-chip silicon solutions for the information highway, based on its leadership in analog and mixed signal technologies. National is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and focuses on the communications, personal systems, and consumer markets. National has annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion and 13,000 employees worldwide, including 450 at Cyrix. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com. For more information about Cyrix visit their website at www.cyrix.com.

Cyrix is a registered trademark and MediaGX™ is a trademark of Cyrix Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Semiconductor Corporation. National Semiconductor is a registered trademark of National Semiconductor Corporation. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

 
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