Nat Semi, Legend Open Net Appliance Lab in China

National Semiconductor and Legend Holdings yesterday announced they will open a jointly run information appliance laboratory in Beijing.

National Semiconductor makes processors, and Legend Holdings is affiliated with Legend Group Holdings, China's largest PC maker and a prominent distributor of foreign-made computer-related products imported into China.

The lab will focus on research and development of personal access devices, TV set-top boxes and thin clients, according to a statement from the companies. These products, which will be available to the Chinese market in May or June, will be marketed under the Legend name and will be based on National Semiconductor's Geode, the so-called "PC-on-a-Chip" it announced last July.

The chip, called the GeodeSC1400, integrates into a single silicon chip digital video and major PC functions, including the processor, system logic, graphics, MPEG video decompression, audio, TV input/output and peripheral input/output, all of which require at least six separate chips in a conventional set-top box, according to National Semiconductor.

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