Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the National Semiconductor Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Security-Colombian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman holding a long sheet of paper with a globe on each side of her. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President ( Charlie Sporck ) and Secretary and is over 35 years old.
National Semiconductor started by making silicon mesa transistors for industrial and military uses. The company grew quickly after 1967 under CEO Charlie Sporck and new management, moving headquarters from Danbury, Connecticut, to Santa Clara, California in the heart of today's Silicon Valley.
About National Semiconductor Corporation from Company Press Releases:
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on the fast growing markets for wireless handsets; information infrastructure; and display and imaging technologies. National has a rich portfolio of intellectual property along with the system expertise to leverage its analog technologies to develop highly integrated products for a broad range of applications. Our chips power mobile and cordless phones, wired and wireless local area networks, advanced displays and imaging applications, desktop, portable and thin-client computers, and a host of other types of electronic devices.
National's strong base of analog and mixed analog and digital technologies enables it to provide optimum system solutions by evolving and integrating its basic building block circuits into standard chipsets tailored for specific applications to highly integrated full system solutions. Most of our products are no bigger than a thumbnail, yet contain a cityscape of circuit lines hundreds of times finer than a human hair.
National has manufacturing sites around the globe. Its wafer fabrication facilities are located in Arlington, Texas; South Portland, Maine; and Greenock, Scotland. Test and assembly sites are in Melaka, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, information infrastructure and a broad range of portable applications. Our chips power mobile and cordless phones, local area networks, and a host of other types of electronic devices that bring people The Sight and Sound of Information.
We support worldwide mobile phone standards, including GSM, CDMA and also the DECT cordless standard. Here again, our analog and mixed-signal expertise is the underlying element that makes it possible to offer our customers complete wireless solutions for products in both the global mobile phone and cordless phone markets. Key contributions include our PLLatinum™ family of phase-locked loop frequency synthesizers, as well as highly efficient power management, interface, radio transceiver and audio products. And, for base stations, our powerful new LVDS (low voltage differential signaling) technology will be used in the third generation of cellular communications base stations.
Displays, Imaging and Human Interface Keyword: thin. Today's mobile users demand ultra thin, lightweight flat displays and touch sensitive screens with uncompromising brightness, color and sharpness. Our analog and mixed signal components are critical to making these innovations a reality. National's drivers and buffers bring bright images to the screen in monitors, as well as displays for laptops, notebooks, handheld PDAs, games, camcorders, digital cameras and telephones. Working with Samsung Electronics we created a new de facto standard for next generation flat-panel displays using our new RSDS (reduced swing differential signal) technology to improve performance while substantially reducing power consumption, weight and costs.
1959 Company founded in Danbury, CT
1967 Charles E. Sporck named President and CEO
1968 Moved to Silicon Valley Became first manufacturer to use offshore assembly/test Introduced first linear amplifier, entering analog market through integrated circuitry
1970 Introduced TTL Logic Introduced industry's first standard high reliability line for military/aerospace
1971 Became the world's fourth largest semiconductor supplier
1972 Added Consumer Products Division
1974 Added Memory Products Division Introduced (along with Texas Instruments) the first all-IC calculator
1977 Salt Lake site produced first 4 - inch wafer
1981 Became first billion dollar semiconductor seller in U.S.; third largest globally
1986 Opened trade relations with China; became first U.S. semiconductor manufacturer with local office
1987 Acquired Fairchild Semiconductor
1992 Gilbert F. Amelio named President and CEO Opened North American Customer Support Center
1993 Created Innovative Products Division Ranked first among U.S. semiconductor manufacturers by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry
1994 Opened Beijing office
1995 Opened Research Lab in Santa Clara Significantly expanded manufacturing facilities in South Portland, ME and Arlington, TX Opened Customer Response Center in Europe Opened Customer Response Center in Southeast Asia
1996 Gilbert F. Amelio resigned to become Apple CEO Brian L. Halla, formerly Executive VP with LSI Logic, named Chairman, President and CEO
1997 Sold the family logic, memory and discrete businesses as Fairchild Semiconductor. Acquired MediaMatics, the leading supplier of PC MPEG technology Acquired Cyrix Corporation, a leading supplier of high-performance and high-integration microprocessors to the PC industry
1998 Acquired advanced digital audio technology from Gulbransen Corporation Acquired ComCore Semiconductor, a leading designer of advanced digital signal processing solutions for high-speed networking and broadband communications Introduced the industry's first single-chip scanner solution
1999 Exited the PC processor business to sharpen focus on integrated solutions for the Information Appliance market. Introduced Geode SC 1400 prototype processor, the world's first Information Appliance on a Chip, as the first member of the Geode family of solutions for the Information Appliance market.
2000 Introduced industry's first 10/100/1000 Megabit per second Ethernet transceiver First commercial Geode™ WebPAD™ devices introduced Entered digital imaging market and announced high-performance CMOS image sensors Formed technology partnership with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) Acquired Vivid Semiconductor, a leading supplier of flat panel display drivers
2001 Announced, with IBM, new technology for the joint development of home gateways. National acquired Wireless Solutions AB, and InnoCOMM Wireless. Announced a complete Bluetooth™ solution for wireless communications.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.