Chip maker National Semiconductor Corp. said fiscal second-quarter profit was down 63% from the same period last year, when the chip market reached a peak. The company earned $29.5 million, or 21 cents a share, for the three months ended Nov. 24, compared with $79.8 million, or 57 cents, in the year-ago quarter. But the Santa Clara-based company said sales and orders were up sharply from the first quarter. The computer chip market has begun to recover from a slump after last year's rapid growth. National Semiconductor's stock closed up $1.75 at $27.50 on the NYSE. For the first six months of the year, the company lost $178.1 million, or $1.29 a share, contrasted with earnings of $153.3 million, or $1.16, last year.