Wed, Mar

National Semiconductor's Products to be Lead-Free in 2006

National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) announced today that it will achieve 100 percent lead-free production by the end of June 2006.

SANTA CLARA, CA — 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 initiative is part of an 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.

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 produces more than five billion chips per year and packages them in more than 70 different types of packages.

Information about chemical composition and banned substance compliance (BSC) is available on National's website at www.national.com/quality/green. For more information about National's lead-free products, please go to: www.national.com/packaging/leadfree.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor creates high-performance analog devices and subsystems. National's products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National markets to companies that make 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 nearly $2 billion for fiscal year 2004.

Source: CSRwire