Intel to cut 675 jobs at US chip plant

Intel next year plans to let go 675 manufacturing employees at its Fab 17 plant in the US, where it manufactures StrongArm microprocessors, PCI bridge and networking products as well as Alpha microprocessors and chipsets.

The staffing reduction is part of Intel's continued effort to streamline manufacturing facilities by reducing overhead costs and increasing efficiency, Intel said in a bulletin sent to employees this week.

Manufacturing job cuts at the plant, which employs about 1600 people, will not affect the plant's design and development groups, Intel said.

There will be no change in the plant's manufacturing, according to company spokesman Bill Calder, and it will continue to produce the same product mix. As to how the loss of Fab 17 employees may effect production levels, Intel has no comment, Calder said.

Over the past year, reducing its count of manufacturing employees has been part of Intel's efforts to create more cost-effective manufacturing sites, he said.

"We think we can operate with fewer people, lower costs and provide lower costs to the customer," Calder said. The semiconductor and microprocessor markets have changed dramatically over the past year and with increasing competition, Intel is streamlining its manufacturing sites, he said.

The job cuts are part of an ongoing process to improve efficiency and lower operating costs in all of Intel's manufacturing plants and are not specific to the Fab 17 plant, Calder said.