Very nicely written article. I am not very surprised. From some time it was evident that National is trying really hard to maintain the market, it was evident that some big giant will buy it. But I feel sorry because the brand National Semi had been there for long.
The first data books I bought with my own money (as opposed to hand me downs) were the 1980 NS Linear Databook and Linear Apps Handbook. I bought them in London, and coming from the databook desert of Zimbabwe, they were like gold. I still have them and they are well thumbed. National had some great ICs in those days.
For all the bleating about creating a bigger stronger company, complementary product lines, etc, I think something is going to be lost here....
What you're missing is that these guys are just a pain in the ass!! If they want volunteers to delete them off the sub's list, I'll put my hand up. (but they'll just create a new ID and do it again). Maybe you should get your cutlass out, Toeknee....
Nice nostalgic piece Brian, and I also really enjoyed Paul Rako's article and still more Bob Widlar stories that I had not previously heard.
Regarding the empty shell of the former Motorola SPS 56th Street facility in Phoenix -- I've got a better one for you: the former Motorola SPS Broadway facility in Mesa, which was torn down several years ago and new buildings and new corporate tenants are now in its place. Looking at it now, it's hard to believe there was once a semiconductor fab there...gone without a trace.
But the semiconductor industry here survived the breakup and downsizing of Motorola SPS into ON and Freescale, and of course there will still be plenty of semiconductor industry -- and hopefully most of the existing jobs -- in Silicon Valley after the dust settles on TI's acquisition of National.
Not an end of an era, but the beginning of a new and wondrous error. The big wigs say all you need is two or three competitors in an industry to have a functioning free market. 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.
Brian....great story! And Paul, who says engineers don't have a sense of humor. My own story, from National Semiconductor and Silicon Valley.
When I was a kid, Lawrence Expressway was a two-lane road and had a creek beside it.
My first summer job out of high school was at National testing diodes. Most went out at lunch and smoked pot, but I was afraid that one of those diodes would be in some space flight and would fail because I was stoned. Best encouragement to go to college! Ahh 1969, the summer of love!