The electronics industry is going through a world of hurt. NEC is no exception.
Amid a massive December quarter loss, NEC Corp has stated plans to cut more than 20,000 jobs as it seeks to save $889 million (80 billion yen) over the next two years.Now here is what really surprised me.
NEC's job cuts and earnings announcements came this morning, one day after NEC Electronics America announced it will close the six-inch wafer fab line at its manufacturing facility in Roseville, Calif, by the end of March 2010. With the action, the Roseville plant will exclusively offer 8-inch wafer production.Six inches is also called 150 mm in the business. Do you know how old 150 mm technology is? It was introduced in 1981. That is 28 years ago. The 200mm size (8 inch)was introduced in 1990 [pdf] and roughly a doubled the chip output from a production facility given the area increase. That was nineteen years ago. In 2001 the 300 mm size (12 inch) was new. That is eight years ago. So it surprised me that NEC was keeping such an old production equipment running. Normally equipment that old has been donated to a university already.
The move was not entirely unexpected. The closure is part of a broader decision by NEC Electronics America's parent company NEC to consolidate select six-inch fabrication lines worldwide as it aims to improve global manufacturing efficiency.