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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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