TOKYO - Japan's Sony Corp. plans to shut down a wafer fab in San Antonio, Texas--a move that impacts part of the company's foundry efforts, according to reports from Reuters today (March 31, 2003).
The action will also affect some 600 jobs within Sony's San Antonio's operations, although the Japanese consumer electronics giant said employees were being encouraged to apply for positions within the company, the report said. Sony Electronics employs about 20,000 people in North America.
The company informed workers on Friday of the plan to halt production at the plant by the end of September.
The fab operations had been part of Sony Semiconductor San Antonio, the U.S. silicon foundry division of chip maker Sony Electronics. The San Antonio, Tex.-based foundry operation is part of consumer-electronics giant Sony Corp. of Tokyo.
The company operated two fabs in Texas, including 5- and 6-inch plants. The fabs were acquired several years ago from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
While it's unclear which fab or fabs were shut down by Sony in the United States, it's unlikely that the company has completely bailed out of the foundry business.
Sony Electronics has been in the silicon foundry business for years. In 2001, the company opened up its fabs in Japan for foundry services (see Oct. 10, 2001 story ).