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National Semiconductor was an American semiconductor manufacturer founded in Danbury, Connecticut by Dr. Bernard J. Rothlein on May 27, 1959, when he and seven colleagues, Edward N. Clarke, Joseph J. Gruber, Milton Schneider, Robert L. Hopkins, Robert L. Hoch, Richard N. Rau and Arthur V. Siefert, left their employment at the semiconductor division of Sperry Rand Corporation. The company produced power management integrated circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key markets included wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial and test and measurement applications.
In 1968, National shifted its headquarters from Danbury, Connecticut to Santa Clara, California.
Over the years National Semiconductor acquired several companies like Fairchild Semiconductor (1987), and Cyrix (1997). However, over time National Semiconductor spun off these acquisitions. Fairchild Semiconductor became a separate company again in 1997 and the Cyrix microprocessors division was sold to VIA Technologies of Taiwan in 1999.
On April 4, 2011, Texas Instruments announced that it had agreed to buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in cash. The companies formally merged on September 23, 2011.