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"Asset light" Motorola will close more chip fabs and lose another 9,400 staff to save a $1 billion a year.

"The greatest impact of these actions is in the Semiconductor Products segment," said the company in its Q4 guidance.

Moto wouldn't say which fabs would be closed. The company has suggested that it will spin-off its loss-making chip business, and a fabless, or at least fab-light division would make it a more attractive buy. Deals have been inked with Chartered and TSMC to fab Moto silicon.

CEO Chris Galvin said he expected Motorola to break even in the second half of next year, and with sales 5 to 10 per cent lower this year than in 2000. "Personal Communications", which includes handsets, remains the only division to see increased margins, albeit on weaker demand, in the most recent quarter. ®

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