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Intel to close Cambridge research centre

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Exclusive and updated Intel is to close its UK research centre in Cambridge, The Register understands, just three and a half years after it was first opened. The move is part of the streamlining of the company outlined by CEO Paul Otellini earlier this year.

The lab was the first research centre Intel established outside the US, and is one of four such facilities run by the company. Intel by policy won't say how many people are affected by the closure, but we do know that it was initially intended to employ 20 to 25 Intel scientists, and provide facilities for an equal number of external researchers, mainly from Cambridge University.

However, its small size, relative to Intel's other university partnerships in the US means that its running costs are relatively high, making it a prime target during cutbacks.

Staff will be offered either a "redeployment package" or a "separation package", under which they would either apply for a new job within the company, or leave immediately.

Intel has historically had strong links with the university. In 1998 Gordon Moore, co-founder of the company and he of the Law, donated $12.5m to the institution to fund a library.

Ian White, chair of Cambridge University's School of Technology has said the kind of work being done in the lab was "likely to lead to disruptive advances", and has praised the research approach of asking "impossible" questions.

The University of Cambridge said that it was sorry to hear about the cuts Intel was making, particularly the closure of the lab, but said that it would maintain its relationship with the company.

It said in a statement: “Our relationship with Intel has been and remains a highly successful one. While the closure of the Cambridge research lab is unfortunate, our researchers will continue to work with theirs to explore new networking, platform and development technologies to support innovation in distributed applications.” ®

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