Saturday, April 09, 2011

End of the line for National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor was founded in 1959 by 8 people who had departed Sperry Rand, which action produced a patent infringement lawsuit, which lawsuit lowered stock value, which produced a change in leadership at National. Fast forward about 50 years and, on April 4, 2011, Texas Instruments [TI] bought National Semiconductor.

See Brian Fuller's piece Requiem for an era.

Within the article:

We move on because of the same creative destruction that companies like National feasted on in their youth; we move on because the Valley will always be the cradle of innovation. After the silicon guys came the systems guys; now, the software guys—Google. Facebook. Twitter. They all stand on the shoulders of National Semiconductor and other Silicon Valley pioneers.

One commenter wrote:

So when we get down to three semi companies, will the remaining "three engineers" come up with the same amount of ideas and inventions as the 100 or so that use to work in the field. I foresee greater profits due to higher prices, higher barrier costs to enter the simi market, and less innovation. what a great trade off.

Within wikipedia on National:

Among Sporck's cost control efforts was his attraction towards low-cost labour and outsourcing of labour. National Semiconductor was among the pioneers in the semiconductor industry to invest in facilities to perform final manufacturing operations of integrated circuits in developing countries, especially in Southeast Asia.

National Semiconductor's manufacturing improvements under Sporck (in collaboration with Lamond) had not been enabled by emphasis on process innovation but on improving and standardising processes already established by other companies like Fairchild and Texas Instruments. As well as, by frequent raiding to hire from Fairchild's pool of talents.


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