A Memory Chip for Every Person in the World

Atmel's Total Serial Memory Production Eclipses World Population Later This Month

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Atmel(R) Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML). At approximately 3:30 p.m. PST on March 24th, Atmel will reach a 12-year production volume of 6.4 billion serial EEPROM and serial Flash chips, a number, according to United Nations' estimates, currently equaling the world's population.

"This probably isn't the first semiconductor product to reach this staggering number, but it is certainly impressive that a single company can reach such a volume within a relatively short time," said Alan Niebel, CEO of Web-Feet Research, Monterey, CA, who focuses on the non-volatile memory market. "Atmel has consistently outrun its competitors in serial memory sales in the last four years. Their products are in everything."

Serial memories are used in a wide variety of applications for storing data in consumer entertainment products, home appliances, cordless and mobile phones, local area networks, personal computers and peripherals, medical systems, cars, office automation equipment, industrial machines and smart identification cards.

The ubiquity of serial memories in electronic products results from their simplicity and because they're essential to nearly every kind of electronic design. Unlike some other kinds of memory chips, serial memories retain data when power is shut off. Because of their amazingly broad application, it is almost certain that whoever reads this, owns or uses at least one of these tiny Atmel memory chips as they do other kinds of integrated circuits we're more familiar with like microprocessors and DRAMs.

With a share of the serial memory market of about 34%, according to Web- Feet Research, and a monthly output exceeding 100 million units, Atmel annually produces as many of these chips as the current population of China and uses enough gold bonding wire to nearly traverse the US.

"For over twelve years the Serial clock has been ticking, counting how many Serials we sold," said Paul Suciu, managing director for Serial Interface Products with Atmel. "A few years ago, we set a goal to exceed the explosive growth of the human population with our production and exceed the number of people in the world! On March 24th at 3:30 p.m. 2005 we will reach that goal. We can say that there is an Atmel Serial for every person on the planet!"

It took Atmel nearly twelve years to deliver the number of serial memory chips equivalent to the world's population. At forecasted production levels, it is estimated the company will reach a volume of approximately twice the world's population in another five years.

Atmel serial memory devices evolved from its electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) technology expertise and the market's need for small, low pin-count, specialized interfaces, and secured memory content when power is off. The company's innovation, variety of packaging types and range of density offerings has helped it maintain market leadership.

About Atmel

Atmel is a worldwide leader in semiconductor design and manufacturing. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(SM).

NOTE: Atmel(R), logo and combinations thereof, and others, are registered trademarks, and Everywhere You Are(SM) and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

  Atmel corporate information may be retrieved at: 
http://www.atmel.com/ .

  Atmel Press Contacts:

   Ford Kanzler, Manager of Corporate Press Relations - USA and Asia
   Phone: +1-408-436-4343, Email: 
Email Contact

   Veronique Sablereau, Corporate Communications Manager - Europe
   Phone: +33 1 30 60 70 68, Fax: + 49 7131 67-2423,
Email Contact

CONTACT: Ford Kanzler, Manager of Corporate Press Relations - USA and
Asia, +1-408-436-4343, or Email Contact, or Veronique Sablereau,
Corporate Communications Manager - Europe, +33 1 30 60 70 68, or fax,
+ 49 7131 67-2423, or Email Contact, both of Atmel

Web site: http://www.atmel.com/

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