Foveon X3

National Semiconductor Partners With Foveon To Manufacture Breakthrough Sensor For Digital Photography

World's Most Advanced CMOS Image Sensors to Be Fabricated At National's South Portland, Maine Facility

February 11, 2002 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) announced today it will manufacture new imaging sensors in its South Portland facility that deliver twice the sharpness of any digital camera on the market.
Foveon Inc., a technology leader in high quality digital photography, created the new Foveon X3 image sensor, the world's first color image sensor that captures red, green and blue light at each and every pixel. The image sensors result in sharper images, better color, and freedom from color artifacts common in present digital cameras.

Foveon partnered with National Semiconductor, one of the company's initial investors, to develop the fabrication process for the Foveon X3 technology. National has a world-class manufacturing facility in South Portland and currently employs 600 in Maine.

"Foveon has accelerated the development of a replacement technology for charge-coupled devices (CCD) by almost two years," said Brian Halla, National Semiconductor's CEO. "We worked with Foveon as if they were an internal division to enable fast design cycle times and to speed innovation. Without question, the Foveon X3 technology is going to bring a seachange of quality and performance to digital cameras."

"National's South Portland plant was pivotal in our ability to develop the Foveon X3 technology. The company has a state-of-the-art facility and dedicated personnel that exceed the exacting standards required for making the world's most advanced CMOS image sensors," said Jim Lau, Foveon's Chief Executive Officer.

Foveon is the first and only company to use silicon color separation for designing color image sensors for digital cameras. The Foveon X3 image sensor is the first image sensor designed and in production using standard .18-micron CMOS semiconductor production line.

"Foveon X3 technology enables the immediacy and excitement of the digital photography experience with the quality that consumers have previously come to expect only from film," said Lau. "In essence, Foveon has developed a single chip solution for capturing complete color in an image. Previous methods for capturing complete color were prohibitively expensive, and were only appropriate for very high-end systems. We believe that Foveon X3 will be the preferred technology for future digital camera designs, at every price point," said Lau.

The benefits of Foveon X3 technology will be available for all classes of digital cameras, ranging from high-end professional systems to low-cost point-and-shoot cameras. For more information about Foveon, visit

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 the last fiscal year and employs about 9,800 people worldwide. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at