National Semiconductor

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National Semiconductor (NYSENSM) is a semiconductor manufacturer, specializing in analog devices and subsystems, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, USA. The products of National Semiconductor include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key markets include wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications.




National Semiconductor[2] was founded in Danbury, Connecticut by Dr. Bernard J Rothlein on May 27, 1959, when he and seven colleagues had left their employment at the semiconductor division of Sperry Rand Corporation.

The founding of the new company was followed by Sperry Rand filing a lawsuit against National Semiconductor for patent infringement.[3] By 1965, as it was reaching the courts, the preliminaries of the lawsuit had caused the stock value of National to be depressed. The depressed stock values allowed Peter J Sprague[4] to invest heavily in the company with Sprague's family funds. Sprague also relied on further financial backing from a pair of west coast investment firms and a New York underwriter to take control as the Chairman of National Semiconductor. At that time Sprague was 27 years old. Jeffrey S Young characterised the era as the beginning of venture capitalism.[5]

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