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Century Embedded Technologies Selected by National Semiconductor as Technical Partner for Linux™ Set-Top Box Tools 

Partnership promotes open-source Linux™ solutions for set-top boxes based on National Semiconductor's Geode processor family 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 11, 2001 - Century Embedded Technologies and National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) announced today that Century Embedded Technologies, a division of Century Software, will act as a Technical Partner for open-source software technologies for the National® Geode™ SP1SC10 set-top box reference platform.

Century Embedded Technologies, a recognized leader and developer of open-source software projects for the Linux™ operating system, will provide all technical support for National's set-top box original equipment manufacturers, distribution partners, development partners, and customers. This includes software ports to popular embedded Linux™ distributions, on-going driver and application development based on international video standards, and the design of tools and development environments used to create set-top box applications and customized user interfaces. Century will also maintain open-source projects based on National's set-top box hardware and software technologies.

Century has developed WebMedia, a plugin-based application framework that includes an integrated web browser, HTML-based menu system, application manager, and a variety of plugins used to control all facets of the set-top box. WebMedia, when combined with open-source drivers from National, form a complete top-to-bottom Linux™ software solution for next-generation set-top boxes.

"There has been a great deal of interest from the Linux™ developer community in National's set-top box solution," said Dave Pedersen, set-top box business unit director at National Semiconductor. "Linux™ software is touted as an ideal solution for the next generation set-top box products. To best serve these developers, we have entered into this technical partnership with Century Software to ensure that the best tools and highest level of technical support is available."

"A whole new dynamic has been created in set-top box technology by combining National's engineering prowess in multimedia processor development with Century's skills as a software developer and integrator," said Gregory Haerr, founder and CEO of Century Software. "The Geode processor's x86 architecture is unique in the set-top box arena and provides the ideal power and performance for a Linux™-based system."

Next-generation set-top boxes will be the delivery point for new entertainment programs and services soon to be offered in the home. They will combine Internet access, browsing, streaming media playback, DVD, video-on-demand, email, shopping, DTV/HDTV, home networking, and a host of other features into a single, unified system. According to Strategy Analytics, interactive digital television is expected to reach 625 million viewers by 2005. Forrester Research reports that 50% of European households will have access to interactive DTV by 2005, and that set-top boxes will be a gateway to more than $269 billion in online orders - and will influence another $378 billion in offline sales.

"Century's experience with a variety of Linux™ distributions and our background as developers of open-source projects such as Microwindows™ and ViewML™ make us the ideal Technical Partner for National," said Haerr. "Our engineering staff includes experts in the fields of embedded environments, advanced video technologies, networking, kernel development, graphical user interfaces and the Internet. As television, cable, and satellite operators continue their move into digital broadcasting, new opportunities will appear for interactive programming. Linux™ support for set-top boxes will continue to grow in the software community, and Century will play a key role in developing and coordinating dozens of new open-source set-top box projects based on National Semiconductor's Geode™ multimedia processor."

About Century Embedded Technologies
Century Embedded Technologies, a division of Century Software, Inc., is a leading developer of core applications technologies for the worldwide embedded Linux™ applications market. These technologies include graphical windowing system development and runtime environments, customized Internet browsers and HTML viewers, and embedded multimedia technologies. These core technologies are designed specifically to enable chip manufacturers, hardware board vendors, and their customers to build embedded applications on most popular microprocessor architectures. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at embedded.centurysoftware.com. 

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Contact:

Dave Tubbs
Director of Video Strategies
Century Embedded Technologies
Tel: +1.801.268.3088
FAX: +1.801.268.277
davet@censoft.com 


Century Software, Century Embedded Technologies, Microwindows, and ViewML are trademarks or registered trademarks of Century Software, Inc. National Semiconductor is a registered trademark and Geode is a trademark of National Semiconductor Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other trade names or marks are the properties of their respective owners.

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