Intel to cut hundreds of jobs in Chandler - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Intel to cut hundreds of jobs in Chandler

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Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:10 am | Updated: 3:01 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Intel Corp. will cut "a few hundred" jobs at its chip-manufacturing campus in south Chandler as part of a corporate downsizing announced last week.

The company said it would slash up to 6,000 jobs worldwide and close older manufacturing plants in Oregon and California.

On Tuesday, Chandler employees were told they could be affected by those moves although no Chandler plants will be closed, said Intel spokeswoman Dawn Jones.

She said no decision has been made yet on the exact number of jobs to be eliminated in Chandler.

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"It will take a few months to identify specific positions," she said.

The cuts are part of an across-the-board review of the company's manufacturing capacity in light of the economic slowdown, she said.

"Some of the older factories were on our long-term road map (for closure)," she said. "The current economic conditions sped up that process."

Because Intel's three chip-fabricating plants, or fabs, at Dobson and Ocotillo roads are more modern, they will not be closed. But they are producing more chips than needed in the current market, resulting in the need to trim positions at those factories, Jones said.

Intel's research and development campus at Rural Road and Chandler Boulevard is not yet affected by the cutbacks, she said.

The Ocotillo fabs use some of the most up-to-date semiconductor manufacturing methods in the world. Fab 32, the newest in Intel's system, was opened in 2007, and Fab 12 was updated with state-of-the-art equipment in 2005. Fab 22, the third at the complex, was opened in 2001.

Fabs 12 and 32 are capable of processing 300-millimeter-diameter silicon wafers, the largest size used in semiconductor manufacturing. Fab 22 is equipped to handle smaller 200-millimeter wafers, which was state-of-the-art when the factory was built.

Using larger wafers is more efficient because more of the tiny chips can be etched on them.

The Ocotillo fabs produce microprocessors, which are the "brains" of personal computers, laptops and notebooks. Sales of those and other electronic devices are slumping as the economy slows.

Earlier this month Intel reported a 90 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, and Chief Executive Paul Otellini reportedly told employees the company could post its first loss in 22 years in the first quarter of this year.

The plants planned for closure are in Hillsboro, Ore., and Santa Clara, Calif., where the company maintains its headquarters. Also Intel said it will close three assembly-test facilities in Malaysia and the Philippines.

The company did not disclose how much money it expects to save.

Intel employs about 10,000 people in Chandler and nearly 84,000 worldwide.

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