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March 19, 1998


Cheap Trick

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National Semiconductor is promising a less than
Rs 28,000 multimedia PC. And Intel is not inside.

The extremely price sensitive and super-growth PC market in India is witnessing a keen battle. And National Semiconductor has just announced plans that may radically upset the odds.

Having acquired Cyrix Corporation in July, the company is now sharpening focus on Intel dominated India. National Semiconductor has revealed that it is in talks with branded and unbranded players to bring out a sub-Rs 28,000 PC with multimedia capabilities for the entry-level segment. It would be using Media GX, the Cyrix CPU.

National Semiconductor Country Manager Jayant Bhat has said the company will seek to "provide value and price-point advantage by working with Indian branded and unbranded system integrators. We will help them configure the systems".

It is understood that the company is now in talks with HCL, Zenith and Unicorp.

The $3-billion National Semiconductor, acquired Cyrix Corporation, a leading supplier of microprocessors to the personal computer industry in July.

Bhat has also said that his company is confident of helping Indian players bring out a Rs 25,000 PC later.

Cyrix, which did not have a presence in India earlier, will now be using National Semiconductor to engineer its growth in the country. For now, ACI is the only distributor for Cyrix CPUs.

Bhat has claimed that Media GX would capture 30 per cent of entry-level market in the next six months. As of now, Intel has an overwhelming share of the Indian CPU market.

He, however, did not disclose the price of the CPU but said that National Semiconductor looks at the CPU more as an industrial product and hence would speak only about the cost of the end product.

Over 10,000 systems based on Cyrix CPUs for the entry-level and midrange segment, like Media GX and the 686 range, have already been configured and sold to customers.

Bhat said that the entry-level segment in India is using Intel's midrange chips for lack of alternatives and claimed that National Semiconductor would create a market where none existed before.

"We will flood the market," he said. Bhat revealed that the PC market in India this year is expected to touch 85 million with the Indian branded and the unbranded segment constituting 25 and 50 per cent respectively.


- Compiled from the Indian media

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