National Semiconductor creates semiconductor products used for moving and shaping information. The company focuses on four key areas - communications, consumer, industrial, and personal systems. National Semiconductor is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has 22,300 employees worldwide.

To capitalize on the expertise of its employees in developing new products in more productive ways, National is establishing Communities of Practice (CoPs) - groups of engineers who share knowledge, tools, design methodologies, successes and even mistakes - to develop their design engineering competence. An important tool supporting CoPs is National's internal web.

Because of the highly sensitive nature of the information, keeping it confidential is essential. By using Netscape Servers, with their advanced security features, National's engineers can use the CoPs' knowledge base without security worries.

Developed in conjunction with Congruity, a Palo Alto - based consulting firm, CoPs help break down walls and build technology competence throughout the company.

For example, a National engineer who is seeking information for a new product design can quickly tap into National's resources by clicking on "Communities of Practice."

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