SAN FRANCISCOFlash memory specialist Spansion Inc. will close its fab in Austin, Texas, for two weeks during the fourth quarter in anticipation of a weak holiday season and deteriorating macroeconomics, the company said Tuesday (Dec. 9).
Spansion (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is not alone among chip makers who plan to furlough manufacturing facilities as the result of the economy and general chip industry downturn.
"This decision is consistent with other chip manufacturers and reflects the overall impact that the worldwide financial crisis has had on the demand for semiconductors in the Flash memory industry," the company said in a statement.
Texas Instruments Inc. is shutting down its fabs by up to 3 weeks in late December and early 2009, said Ron Slaymaker, vice president and manager of investor relations for TI. On average, the company sees fab utilization rates hitting the mid-40 percent range in the fourth quarter, compared to the mid-60 percent range in the third quarter.
TI's sales could fall another 10.8 percent in Q1 of 2009, which is below normal seasonality of down about 4 percent.