The company was founded in 1956 as Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation. Throughout most of the 1950s and 1960s Fairchild was second only to Texas Instruments in the manufacturing of cutting edge electronics. In 1976 the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (or VES) was released. It was the first home video game console to utilize a microprocessor and ROM cartridges. The VES later became known as the Fairchild Channel F. The company was then bought by National Semiconductor in 1987. In 1996 the company was restarted under CEO Kirk Pond when it split off from National Semiconductor.