Micron to cut staff by 15 percent

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Micron and Intel plan to shut down their joint production of NAND flash memory from a Boise, Idaho, facility, and Micron plans to lay off about 15 percent of its workforce in another sign that the economic meltdown is taking its toll on some tech companies.

The moves are a result of a combination of lowered customer demand and product oversupply in the market, Micron said in a statement.

Intel and Micron, through their IM Flash Technologies joint venture, were supplying NAND flash memory from Micron's Boise facility. The shutdown will reduce the joint venture's NAND flash production by about 35,000 wafers, in the factory using 200-millimeter manufacturing lines, per month. IM Flash Technologies also has a facility in Lehi, Utah, which has 300-millimeter manufacturing lines.

Micron's 15 percent workforce reduction will occur over the next two years and will primarily affect people who work in the Boise facility. According to Micron's Web site, the company has 22,600 employees worldwide.

Companies in the NAND flash market have struggled all year due to oversupply that has kept prices low. Despite the oversupply, some vendors including Hynix and Samsung have continued to build new factories that make NAND flash products, further exacerbating the problem.

Micron expects that expenses related to the restructuring will reach about US$60 million. In a statement, the company's chairman and CEO said that Micron is in a strong position relative to competitors but that it is not immune to the difficult global economic conditions affecting the market.

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