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NatSemi's Fairchild buys Samsung wafer unit and staff

Deal worth $455 million -- and staff

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Samsung has received an unexpected injection of cash from a semiconductor company. Fairchild Semiconductor bought Samsung's high value power device wafer fabs in the South Korean peninsula for $455 million. Design staff are also included in the deal. National Semiconductor (NatSemi) bought Fairchild in conjunction with some VCs last year. While the cash involved will be very welcome to Samsung, it is likely to be a surprise to many in the chip industry. The original Fairchild spawned senior staff at Intel, NatSemi and AMD. Samsung has so far prided itself on vertical integration but vowed last week to follow President Kim's instructions and spin off non-vital units. ®

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