Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CEO Interview: Mark Thompson, Fairchild Semiconductor

While David Packard’s garage holds mythic status among entrepreneurs, it was Fairchild Semiconductor that first put the silicon in Silicon Valley. Founded 50 years ago by the famous Traitorous Eight, Fairchild gave the world the planar transistor, which broke the “numbers barrier” for interconnects, making the IC possible—not to mention the whole semiconductor industry. They then contributed Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore to help build it up and Gene Kleiner to help finance it.

Today Fairchild is the #1 global supplier of power analog, power discrete and optoelectronic components that optimize system power. Fairchild’s CEO Mark Thompson has become a leading advocate of “green technology,” developing products that converge applications into smaller, lighter, more efficient devices while consuming less power. Thompson is aware of the implications of energy savings on both the device and political levels. Portable Design talked with him recently about both.

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