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Intel may delay fab projects, announce major layoffs

Posted: 06 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? fab? layoff? semiconductor? processor?

Online reports are circulating saying that Intel Corp. could delay a pair of new 300mm fab projects in Europe and the United States as part of its major cost-cutting efforts. The reports also said that the chip giant has also implemented a voluntary separation program for select employees worldwide.

As reported last week, the company is expected to announce major layoffs and to cut as many as 15,000 workers as part of a major "overhaul" at the company. Over the weekend, there have been various news reports that describe Intel's cost-cutting efforts. According to a report from Israel's Globes, Intel "is likely to fire hundreds of its 6,500 employees in Israel, and it may not stop there."

Citing Raymond James Equity Capital Markets analyst Ashok Kumar, the report from Globes also claims that Intel will "defer planned investments in new fabs, including those in Arizona and Kiryat Gat."

The details were not given in the reports, but some fab projects could get delayed in Arizona and Israel. Last year, Intel announced it plans to build a chip making facility for ICs on 300mm diameter wafers at its site in Kiryat Gat, Israel. Intel said construction of Fab 28, Intel's second 45nm factory, would be able to produce microprocessors on 45nm manufacturing processes in the second half of 2008.

In July of 2005, Intel also announced plans to invest more than $3 billion to build another 300mm fab, dubbed Fab 32 in Chandler, Arizona.

Besides the fab projects, Intel's Malaysian unit is also expected to be downsized in its second and so-called "voluntary separation scheme (VSS)," according to The Star in Malaysia. In July, Intel implemented its first VSS. This impacted about 1,000 workers worldwide, including some 200 in Malaysia, according to the report. The second VSS could involve between 1,000 and 2,000 employees in Malaysia

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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