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STMicroelectronics the likely buyer of Intel's Israeli NOR facilities sources indicate

According to Reuters, sources close to Intel indicate that the chip giant is in the process of shutting down its chip manufacturing facility in Jerusalem. The same report also mentions that Intel is considering selling its flash memory manufacturing facility in Qiryat Gat, southern Israel. The buyer is said to be STMicroelectronics, one of the world's largest chip manufacturers. The prices for Intel's Qiryat Gat memory facility is estimated to be roughly $1.5 billion USD but does not include any current debt that Intel might have outstanding.

Intel's Jerusalem facility, also known as Fab 8, was the first Intel wafer fab built outisde the U.S.  It first opened in 1985.

When asked to comment, representatives from both Intel and STMicroelectronics declined to comment. STMicroelectronics is also in the business of NOR flash memory, standing at the world's fifth largest manufacturer.

Haaretz Newspaper's online arm, The Marker Online, published that Intel's flash memory business in Israel may also go to STMicroelectronics -- a company that previously stated it would like to either partner with an existing leader in memory products or purchase from a rival and resell.

Intel previously mentioned that it would not be laying off any of its employees in its NOR flash memory business.

Intel has been shutting down various areas of its business since early 2006, all while making plans and activities to open new facilities world-wide. DailyTech reported yesterday that Intel is currently in the process of opening a new 65nm chip manufacturing facility in China -- the first of its kind for the region. Intel also has a 45nm facility to enter production later this year in Arizona called Fab 32 and another Israeli facility arriving in 2008.

Even if Qiryat Gat NOR facilities are sold, Intel still has significant resources in its Haifa, Petach Tikva and Yakum design centers.

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Makes some sense...
By erwos on 1/16/2007 5:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
If they've got a pair of 45nm facilities opening up, it may be a better deal for Intel to just sell off the 65nm facility to STMicro rather than retool it for 45nm. The Israelis won't really care - hell, if Intel's still investing there, then they've really gained by diversifying out a bit and getting STMicro in the country.

I _am_ surprised they're selling the flash facility, though. That's always been something of a revenue smoother, from what I understand.

RE: Makes some sense...
By jfrjimenez on 1/16/2007 6:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
I understand if they're closing down manufacturing facilities, but what does this mean for the R&D facilities? I'd be shocked if they closed down Israel development after what they've done with Pentium-M and Conroe...

RE: Makes some sense...
By irev210 on 1/16/2007 6:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
One word-


Anyway, they are not getting rid of design team in Israel. They are just selling an old FAB.

RE: Makes some sense...
By MrDiSante on 1/16/2007 6:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed - if they close down Israeli R&D it's probably be single stupidest move (include Prescott/Netburst) Intel would have made (not sure how the grammar's supposed to work on that one).

RE: Makes some sense...
By Alexvrb on 1/16/2007 6:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they won't kill their Israeli R&D. The design efforts over there helped pull Intel's butt out of the fire.

RE: Makes some sense...
By Chillin1248 on 1/17/2007 10:20:57 AM , Rating: 3
I just want to point out some things that the newspapers here in Israel were saying:

1)- If Intel is selling anything, it is ONLY the Flash based facilities.

2)- The Jerusalem plant produces chips for the automobile industry.

3)- Intel, which has operated in Israel for more than 30 years, is building a new USD 4 billion chip plant alongside the existing one in Kiryat Gat. The new plant will be Intel's second 45 nanometre factory in the world.

4)- The US chip giant is one of Israel's largest exporters with USD 1.19 billion in exports in 2005.


RE: Makes some sense...
By Samus on 1/17/2007 8:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
right. this facility invented the pentium m line, which lead to the centrino, core, core duo, etc.

they pioneered the way to intel to move away from netburst, which, hell, has saved the company as far as i'm concerned.

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