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Giants Hitachi and Mitsubishi yesterday announced they would shut down facilities in the US, as the worldwide drop in semiconductor sales took a further toll. Hitachi said in a statement that it was making 650 staff redundant at a fab in Texas and announced it would also merge its US semiconductor and micro systems business. It blamed the worldwide glut in DRAM as the reason for the closure. Two months ago, rumours surfaced in Japan that Hitachi was to exit the DRAM business in the early part of next year. Hitachi denied those rumours at the time. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi also announced that it would shut an assembly and test plant in Durham, North Carolina, on the 6th of November, with the loss of around 250 jobs. It too said it would restructure its business in the US, merging its semiconductor unit with its electronic device group. It said it had taken the action to ensure that it remained competitive in the semiconductor market. ®

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