NEC trims operations at U.S. fab, lays off 700

The semiconductor arm of Japanese electronics manufacturer NEC Corp. announced Friday it would reduce operations at one of its U.S. fabrication facilities and lay off 700 employees from a number of its business units.

NEC Electronics Inc., which operates a site in Roseville, California, said it would close its chip assembly and test operations at the facility in response to a severe downturn in semiconductor demand. About 100 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the paring down, the company said in a statement issued Friday.

Another 600 employees from other sectors of the Roseville plant will also be laid off as part of Friday’s cost-cutting measures. Within 45 to 60 days, the company said it will reduce the workforce on its “m line,” an advanced semiconductor fabrication facility that produces a range of devices.

The plant employed 1,600 workers before the layoffs.

NEC said it would shift focus at the Roseville facility to manufacturing system LSI and logic devices, away from DRAM (dynamic random access memory), as demand from the growing communications market outpaces the electronics and PC markets.

The company will also reduce its output at the plant across the board. The site typically produced 39,000 six-inch wafers per month, according to an NEC spokesperson. That output will be reduced to 25,000 per month.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based NEC Electronics can be reached at