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Intel slices chip workers in New Mexico

As SIA confirms industry sales falling short

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Intel is to cease production of obsolete 200mm wafers at its New Mexico outpost – meaning obsolete workers will also be dumped.

The firm will ditch around 1,000 of the 5,000 workers at its Rio Rancho plant when it switches the plant entirely over to production of the newer 300mm technology by the end of August, the Associated Press reports.

Workers on the 200mm lines will be offered severance or the opportunity to apply for other jobs with the company. But by its nature, 300mm wafer production requires fewer bodies – with newer, less human hungry, manufacturing kit producing more chip real estate being produced per wafer.

Intel’s cuts came the day after the Semiconductor Industry Association released figures pointing to something of a silicon glut in the first quarter. Worldwide chip sales in March were $20.3bn, up just 3.2 per cent on the year, and just 1 per cent higher than the previous month. For the quarter, sales came in at $61bn, down 6.5 per cent on the previous year’s figure.

“Sales for the year to date are running slightly ahead of last year’s record level, but well short of the 10 percent growth projected in the forecast issued by SIA last November,” said SIA prez George Scalise.®

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