NETANYA, Israel Intel Israel is planning to close at least part of its manufacturing operations in Jerusalem, according to local reports, which also suggest the chip company may shed workers at the plant over the coming months.
Israeli newspaper The Marker has suggested the fab in Jerusalem might be contracted out or closed.
Intel Jerusalem currently employs around 600 workers. Last year, Intel announced its intent to cut 10 percent of its worldwide workforce. Further details regarding the Israel based activity are expected to be announced by Intel next week.
It is anticipated that Intel will not cut 10 percent of its Israeli workforce since it is recruiting heavily for workers for its new Kiryat Gat fab, in which the company is expected to invest around $4 billion.
Fab 28 in Kiryat Gat, which will make devices on a 45-nm process and use 300mm wafers, is expected to come on line during the second half of 2008. It received a grant of $525 million from the Israeli government, given under initiatives to encourage capital investments in the country's high technology sector.
The fab in Jerusalem, Fab 8, manufactures logic products, ROM products and flash devices. The products include motor controllers and ABS for the automotive industry, alongside support components for PCs and laptops, communication controllers and other devices. The Jerusalem fab also develops Mechanical Electro Optical Micro Systems, (MEOMS), and wireless components intended to be integrated into Intelís platforms.
Intel has been operating in Israel since 1974. It has five development centers (Haifa, Yakum, Jerusalem, Petach Tikva and Yokneam) and two production plants (Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem). Intel Israel employs around 7,000 people directly, as well as several thousand external employees.