A Transformed Fairchild Returns to Silicon Valley

Fairchild Semiconductor, a major force in giving Silicon Valley its name, has endured an exile of sorts in Maine since 1997. Now the chip maker has returned to its home turf, with a product line that has changed dramatically.

“We’ve probably exited 90 percent of our businesses,” says Mark Thompson, Fairchild’s chief executive, who recently shifted the company’s headquarters to San Jose, CA.

Not that the remaining products are exactly household words, except in households of electrical engineers. They still have esoteric names like MOSFETs, flip flops, latches, solid-state relays and interleaved PFC controllers.

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