You may (or may not) know National Semiconductor, but they're an enormous industry player and chip-maker in the Valley, and apparently they just had their best ever year of business in their 47-year history. So good, in fact, they apparently bought each of their 8,500 employees an iPod to say thanks. (For those not counting, that's over 2.2m in iPods.) Now maybe we're a little jaded about the fact that that they issued a press release to let people know just how "grateful" they really were for 2005's successes -- or maybe we're just a little bitter our bosses didn't get us portable audio players last holiday season. But we know one thing for sure, and that's that tingle of vexation that Gil Amelio must be feeling right now -- he having once led both Apple and National back in the day -- with both companies more over-the-top successful than ever. before.

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National Semi has record year, pulls iPod PR stunt