Hitachi s COMET Program Provides Vertically Integrated Hardware Reference Platforms for Automotive Customers, Accelerating Development of Next-Generation Telematics Systems

SAN JOSE, CA, October 21, 2002 - Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. today announced the formation of the Community Enabling Telematics (COMET™) partnership program. The new cooperative association allows Hitachi and member companies - leading software and middleware providers in the telematics market space - to make comprehensive and vertically integrated, one-box system development solutions available to system engineers designing telematics and Car Infotainment System (CIS) products. The ten industry-leading companies in the program have fine-tuned their products for automotive-grade reference platforms that use Hitachi SuperH® RISC processors and chipsets.

As a result of the COMET initiative, system engineers can now more easily evaluate multiple software and middleware products running concurrently on a single hardware platform. This helps them jump-start development projects, maximizing the resources and time needed to implement telematics and CIS products for the North American market.

Members of the COMET program
The companies participating in the COMET program include Clarity LLC; Extended Systems Inc. (NADAQ: XTND); Fonix® Corporation (OTC BB: FONX); IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM); QNX® Software Systems Ltd.; SiRF Technology, Inc.; SignalWorks, Inc.; Stonestreet One, Inc.; and Wavemakers Inc. All of the participating members have proactive working relationships with Hitachi and provide key enabling software and middleware technology such as Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), speech recognition algorithms, Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) and noise suppression software, Bluetooth™ application stacks, GPS software, chipsets and more.

"The COMET initiative is in many ways a reflection of Hitachi's confidence and commitment to the telematics and CIS market," said Tatsuo Yamamoto, vice president of CIS/Telematics business unit of Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. "The companies in the COMET program are outstanding partners. We work closely with them to ensure interoperability, maximize system performance, and help provide our customers with the best possible application experience. The COMET partners get early access to our technology and product roadmap, and can participate in our automotive-focused marketing activities.

"Hitachi may expand the COMET program in the future. As conditions warrant, we will evaluate and select other partners that can offer proven products and services needed by system engineers in the telematics design environment."

How COMET benefits system engineers
Because Hitachi and the members of the COMET program have set up and debugged key development system configurations for various telematics and CIS applications, system engineers in automotive equipment manufacturers can rapidly and accurately analyze entire solutions rather than just individual software and middleware pieces. For example, the engineers can use a reference platform to evaluate resource requirements as a congregate of middleware products running on a specific Hitachi chipset at a specific clock speed. Also, they can determine aspects such as memory size requirements, maximum application performance, real-time performance and utilization of system resources such as bus bandwidth. The program will also provide greater flexibility during evaluation processes. The engineers can use various proprietary software provided by multiple sources to evaluate system level performance. Design analysis and decision making processes that might otherwise take weeks to complete can be performed with the integrated hardware/software solutions in days.

Target hardware for the COMET program
In the first phase of the COMET initiative, the participating members have ported their respective software and middleware onto the CIS development platform (US7751R-HRP10D), which has a 240MHz SH7751R (SH-4 series) processor and an HD64404 SuperH CIS companion chip. The next phase will involve porting to the "Biscayne™" platform (US7760-HRP13E), which uses a system-on-a-chip (SoC) device (code-named "Camelot™"): the 200MHz, 360 MIPS SH7760 SuperH RISC processor.

The CIS and Biscayne/Camelot reference platforms are now being used by all major telematics/CIS OEMs for software development. In fact, some Hitachi customers are already transitioning their designs from these platforms to their production intent hardware.

Partner Quote: QNX Software Systems Ltd.
"The QNX Neutrino RTOS's fault-tolerant architecture and field-proven performance provide COMET boards with the reliability OEMs require to quickly design, test, and deploy next-generation telematics systems," said Linda Campbell, vice president of strategic alliances at QNX Software Systems. "We're very excited to play a key role in the COMET initiative and embrace its vision of providing comprehensive, yet highly integrated solutions for automotive OEMs."

For more information about the software and middleware products offered by the members of the COMET program, readers can visit the respective Web sites or contact the companies directly. For more information on the COMET program, readers can visit Hitachi Semiconductor's Web site at

Hitachi, a leading supplier of automotive system solutions, combines a cutting-edge technology based around the SuperH 32-bit RISC architecture and automotive market expertise earned over the last 15 years to deliver products that suit individual applications at a system level. The Hitachi system architecture is also supported by an established third party network, providing a reliable and flexible development environment for CIS and telematics applications. Hitachi is continuously developing new products with increased performance and advanced peripheral functions, supporting the evolution of in-vehicle computing systems.

About Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc.
Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., supports the requirements of the North American marketplace with a broad range of standard and low-power semiconductor solutions. Offering some of the industry's most popular RF and memory components, microcontrollers and microprocessors, among other semiconductor solutions, Hitachi provides chips to the world's leading device manufacturers within industrial, consumer and emerging market applications. Hitachi's substantial design engineering, research and development facilities in the United States help bring the world's best technology to U.S. customers. For more information, visit:

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, consumer electronics and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, visit:

Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company, with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2001(ended March 31, 2002) consolidated sales totaled 7,994 billion yen ($60.1 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors, including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's web site at

Editorial Contacts
Akiko Ishiyama
Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc.
(408) 456-218

COMET, Biscayne and Camelot are U.S. trademarks of Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. SuperH is a registered U.S. trademark of Hitachi, Ltd.
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