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Texas semiconductor manufacturer Freescale is cutting jobs across the company as part of a strategy to reduce costs during a sluggish year.

While a Freescale representative declined to provide details on the cuts, a source tells The Register that up to 10 per cent of Freescale's workforce was eliminated yesterday, including several middle managers. Freescale is also reportedly killing several projects in its networks group.

In April, Freescale reported Q1 sales of $1.36bn, a 12 per cent slide from $1.53bn the previous year. Freescale blamed the figure on a sales drop in its wireless and mobile business, which reported net sales of $364m in the first quarter 2007, compared to $506m the same quarter last year.

The chipmaker, formerly owned by Motorola, was a publicly traded company until it was purchased by a consortium of private equity groups for $17.6bn cash in December.

The company makes semiconductors for a wide range of products, including Motorola cell phones, Sony electronics, Logitech keyboards and mice, Cisco routers, various automotive dealers and Whirlpool appliances.

Before the restructuring, Freescale claimed 24,000 employees working worldwide, with 5,400 at the company's Austin headquarters. ®

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