U.S. semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. has announced plans to phase out production at an Idaho factory and cut up to 2,000 jobs amid a slump in demand for memory chips. Micron said due to "deteriorating economic conditions and decreased demand" it was ending production of 200 millimeter dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, chips at its facility in Boise, Idaho.
"This action will reduce employment at Micron's Idaho sites by approximately 500 employees in the near term and as many as 2,000 positions by the end of the company's fiscal year (in August)," Micron said.
"We remained hopeful that the demand for these products would stabilize in the marketplace and start to improve as we moved into the spring," Micron chairman and chief executive Steve Appleton said. "Unfortunately, a better environment has not materialized."
Micron said that it will continue to operate a 300mm chip research and development facility at the Boise site and employ some 5,000 people in Idaho, its headquarters.
It said it expects restructuring charges of about $50 million and eventual annual cost savings of about $150 million.
The new job cuts are in addition to a reduction of about 15% of Micron's then-23,500-strong workforce announced in October.
Micron's announcement came as a competitor, Flash Spansion, announced it was cutting 3,000 jobs, about 35% of its global workforce.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009