Greenock to be hit in wafer shift

National Semiconductor's fab in Greenock, Scotland, which was rescued from closure in the 1990s by a change in company strategy, is to be hit with job cuts as the firm shifts its focus to plants that run larger, more-efficient wafers

National Semiconductor has said it will cut 200 jobs and sell off equipment at plants in Arlington, Texas and at Greenock in Scotland. Although some cuts will be made at its flagship plant in South Portland, Maine, layoffs will be concentrated on the Scottish and Texan plants, which both have 150mm wafer production. The Maine plant operates a 200mm fab line, although Arlington recently ramped up a 200mm line. The job cuts in Texas are likely to be focused on 150mm production.

"Our future growth will be driven by higher-performance, energy-efficient analogue products, more and more of which will be produced on 200mm wafer technology," said Brian Halla, National's chairman and CEO. "This action today aligns our manufacturing capability with our future needs."

The company has approximately 420 people working on the analogue fab at Greenock. Around 460 are based at Arlington and more than 500 are based in South Portland.

Close to 1,200 jobs at another 150mm fab in Scotland are under threat: Freescale Semiconductor put up for sale its plant in East Kilbride last year and is likely to shut down production if it cannot find a buyer.

Image: Nationals fab at Greenock, Scotland

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