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Fairchild to buy chipmaker Intersil's power business

The semiconductor company says it will buy Intersil's discrete power business for about $338 million in cash.

Fairchild Semiconductor said Monday that it will buy chipmaker Intersil's discrete power business for about $338 million in cash.

The deal bolsters Fairchild's discrete power business. Discrete components--electronic devices built as a single unit, as opposed to as an integrated circuit--are used for communications applications.

Buying Intersil puts Fairchild's discrete business on pace to hit $1 billion in annual revenue, said Kirk Pond, CEO of Fairchild. Intersil's discrete power operations are profitable with more than $200 million in annual sales, Pond said.

"With this acquisition, we will have quadrupled our discrete business in less than four years," Pond said in a statement.

Intersil's manufacturing plant for 8-inch silicon wafers is one of the most efficient in the industry, Pond said. Adding that capacity means Fairchild won't have to increase capital spending to expand its discrete and power analog business, he added.

Fairchild expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2001.