One Year Ago: NatSemi eyes Intel with $1b fab

This story first published August 7, 1997

National Semiconductor underlined its challenge to Intel yesterday by opening a $1 billion fabrication facility. The chip maker recently said it will purchase fab-less processor designer Cyrix in a move it hopes will make it a force in sub-$500 PCs.

The Portland, Maine, US facility will cost $932 million and produce 0.25-micron devices. NatSemi will spend another $100 million expanding its Santa Clara, California wafer facility. The plant will progress to 0.25- and even 0.18-micron wafers. The expansion is scheduled for completion by the end of May 1998.

The firm sees the facilities producing highly integrated processors that will drive down the cost of systems.

"Our new fab ... enables National to put systems on a chip," said CEO Brian Halla.