Renesas Cutting 2,500 Workers in Japan

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Japanese chip maker Renesas Technology is cutting 2,500 temporary workers at factories in Japan as part of a reorganization that will see it close old production lines and shake-up top management, the company said Friday.

The company said it plans to end cproduction on lines that use silicon wafers that are 5 inches in diameter. Most of the production will be consolidated on lines that use 6-inch wafers during the coming fiscal year, which begins in April. Newer lines that accept 8-inch wafers will be expanded.

By using larger wafers the company will be able to realize lower costs per chip because production becomes more efficient as the wafer size increases.

Changes will also be made at the top level of its management. Current Chairman and CEO Satoru Ito will retire at the end of March and be replaced by current President and COO Katsuhiro Tsukamoto. Yasushi Akao, a current director, will become president at the same time.

Renesas is a joint venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric and specializes in making chips for use in devices such as LCD panels, smart cards, radio systems and consumer electronics devices.

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