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National Semiconductor Continues to 'Get the Lead Out;' All of Company's Products to Be Sold Lead-Free

National Now Shipping Over Half Its Devices in Lead-Free Packages

Initiative Is Part of Global Effort to Protect Environment, Replace More Than Five Tons of Lead Per Year

May 31, 2005

May 31, 2005 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) announced today that it will achieve 100 percent lead-free production by the end of June 2006.  As a result, all of the company’s integrated circuits (ICs will be sold in lead-free packages. 

The aggressive initiative is part of an industry-leading effort to make more environmentally neutral electronic components, protect the environment and facilitate recycling.  In addition to eliminating lead, National has also significantly reduced bromine and antimony-based flame-retardants from its packaging processes. 

In April 2004, National announced its intention to offer lead-free packages for its complete line of ICs, and its product portfolio of 15,000 analog and mixed-signal ICs is currently available in lead-free packages.  At the end of June 2006, when National’s entire product offering will be sold lead-free (unless deemed exempt), the company will be fully compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive enacted by the European Parliament.  However, National’s lead reduction goals are substantially more aggressive than those in countries where the company does business.

Lead was formerly used in the plating finish of copper leadframe-based packages. It was also used in the solder balls of array packages such as Micro SMD, PBGA and FBGA packages. National has replaced the lead in leadframe packages with a matte tin finish, in the solder balls with a tin-silver-copper alloy for micro SMD, and tin-silver for PBGA and FBGA packages. Once this aggressive program is fully implemented, National expects to replace approximately five tons of lead used per year.

“As a leader in lead-free packaging technology, National is extending its effort to make innovative high-performance products that are environmentally friendly and easier to recycle,” said Kamal Aggarwal, executive vice president, Central Technology Manufacturing Group at National.

Packaging is a critical part of the semiconductor manufacturing process. National’s advanced package technologies enable its customers to build cell phones, displays, laptop computers, and many other electronic products that are small, thin, lightweight and have long-lasting battery life. 

National has led the market in packaging innovations for years with the introduction of revolutionary micro SMD and LLP® leadless leadframe packaging technologies.  Today, about one-seventh of all chip scale packages manufactured worldwide is provided by National.

National: A Leader in the Global Effort to Create Lead-free Electronic Products
In 2000, National began an intensive multi-step program to reduce and eliminate lead in its semiconductor packages.  In addition to lead, National is also eliminating halogen compounds such as bromine and antimony used in flame retardants used in mold compounds and organic substrates.

National produces more than five billion chips per year and packages them in more than 70 different types of packages.  The company operates wafer fabrication facilities in Arlington, Texas; Greenock, Scotland, and South Portland, Maine. The plants manufacture six- and eight-inch diameter wafers of silicon that contain hundreds or thousands of microchips.

The wafers are shipped to National facilities in Melaka, Malaysia; Singapore and Suzhou, China where they are cut, tested, and assembled in plastic packages and lead-free packages.

National ships integrated circuits directly from its Global Distribution Center in Singapore to more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Approximately 90,000 other customers buy National chips through a global network of distributors.

Information about chemical composition and banned substance compliance (BSC) is available on National’s website at http://www.national.com/quality/green


For more information about National’s lead-free products, please go to: http://www.national.com/packaging/leadfree/


Information on National’s halogen-free initiative and timeline can be found at http://www.national.com/quality/green/halogen_free.html
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About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-performance analog devices and subsystems.  National's leading-edge products 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 laptops.  The company's analog products are also optimized for numerous applications in a variety of electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial and test and measurement.  Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.98 billion for fiscal 2004, which ended May 30, 2004.  Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com
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