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Intel ‘just talking’ about old LG Wales fab

Why isn't it 'just talking' to Alpha Queensferry?

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Chip giant Intel is in talks with Hyundai over a mothballed Welsh memory factory which used to belong to LG Semicon, it confirmed today. But that doesn't mean Intel is about to rescue the memory fab and its former workers from their plight, a representative said. He confirmed that Intel was in talks about this factory with its Korean owners but stressed that was part of an "ongoing" attempt to increase capacity worldwide. Earlier this year, Intel took over a former Rockwell fab in order to boost its Flash production. There is currently a worldwide shortage of Flash memory, a lucrative component in many electronic gadgets. It is unlikely that the former LG Semicon fab would be suitable for converting into a microprocessor production centre, and it is unclear that if Intel's talks with Hyundai are fruitful, whether it would receive grants from the Welsh government, in a similar fashion to LG. LG Semicon was acquired by Hyundai early last year after the South Korean government brokered a merger. While Intel is talking about fabs, we suggest it look at the former Alpha fab in Queensferry, Scotland. This was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II to huge fanfare maybe nine years back. The local authority paid for a multimillion motorway spur to go straight to the fab, and taxpayers there are still having to foot the bill for its maintenance. When the old DEC (now Compaq) closed it down, we are reliably informed that AMD seriously considered acquiring the Queensferry plant, but lack of liquidity at the time ruled that out. The fab, we are reliably informed by an Alpha geezer, is currently manned by a small band of security guards, who wait, forlornly, for the motorway spur to be filled with traffic headed their way. Or else Motorola is still using the 150mm technology. We wouldn't know, being in London. ®

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