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NEC gets DRAM jitters
Steep fall, 700 job cuts
NEC Electronics is to issue pink slips to 700 staff at its Roseville, California fab.
It is also rejigging production at the plant away from DRAM and into more lucrative LSI and logic devices for the communications sector. The company has scrapped its test and management facility at the plant.
NEC said the job cuts come "only after severe cost cutting failed to counter the steep decline in semiconductor sales over the past several months".
DRAM is not a great place to be in right now, but NEC appears to have blinked earlier than some of its rivals.
Right now, the DRAM market looks like a gigantic game of chicken. Everyone's waiting for the upturn - Infineon reckons it could be in the second half of the year- and everyone's hoping that it's someone else who runs first.
At least one major player, the absurdly renamed Hynix Semiconductor, looks financially weak. But major DRAM makers everywhere are cutting back on capital expenditure - even relatively strong players such as Samsung, Micron and Infineon. ®