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National Semiconductor Opens Its First Major Manufacturing Facility in China

Assembly and Test Facility in Suzhou Industrial Park Expands National’s Ability to Deliver Best-in-Class Analog Technology to China and Worldwide Customers

Oct 15, 2004

October 15, 2004 – National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today celebrated the grand opening of its first manufacturing plant in China, an assembly and test facility in Suzhou Industrial Park.  Located outside Shanghai, National’s newest plant represents 400 high-tech jobs for the local economy. 

National is now shipping products from its Suzhou facility to customers in China and around the world.  For National’s customers in China and other regions, the plant also reinforces National’s commitment to deliver best-in-class analog technology for an expanding range of consumer devices, including mobile phones, displays, large screen LCD-TVs, automobiles, notebooks and PCs.

“This is a great strategic opportunity for National to build its business in China and integrate our manufacturing operations into the world’s fastest-growing semiconductor market,” said Brian L. Halla, National’s chairman, president and CEO.  “We are also pleased that, with the help of  local government and business leaders, we are able to deliver a world-class manufacturing facility in Suzhou Industrial Park in such a short time.”

The half-million square-foot plant allows National to expand its capacity for assembling and testing semiconductors complementing existing assembly and test plants in Malaysia and Singapore.

The Suzhou plant is the most visible symbol of National’s growing presence in China.  But the company’s investment in China --- the world’s fastest growing electronics super market and manufacturing base --- dates back to 1994, when the company established an office in Beijing.  Since the mid-1990s, National has opened sales offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen to accommodate the growing demand for analog chips from Chinese customers, including Foxconn, Huawei, Haier, and many others.

While focused on sales, the company is also investing in design and university partnerships in China. In September 2003, National unveiled a joint analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit (IC) laboratory with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, south of Shanghai.  The laboratory has more than 20 professors and students working on analog and mixed-signal IC designs with a focus on power management.  Power management ICs are increasingly important components for electronic devices --- such as camera cell phones --- that require extremely high power efficiency to handle a host of features that are integrated into smaller and smaller consumer packages.

National intends to invest $200 million in the facility. After a ground-breaking ceremony in November 2002, construction began in earnest in January 2003. Fifteen months later, with construction complete, the company started hiring its first operation employees.  Suzhou shipped its first finished products to customers in July 2004. 

“We launched this project with a few picks and shovels and site surveys 26 months ago on a bare plot of land.  Today, those many months of work are paying dividends, enabling us to ship the world’s most sophisticated analog technology to National’s customers around the world.  This is a landmark achievement for National Semiconductor, our employees, and the proud people of Suzhou,” Halla said.

The site includes three buildings on 52,000 square meters (or 550,000 square feet) and is located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Shanghai.  National acquired a total land plot of 146,000 square meters (36 acres), which is sufficient to expand on the site when more capacity is required.

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, and data conversion solutions. National's key markets include wireless handsets, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. 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.