Intel puts Hudson project on ice, chip industry cools off

March 16, 2001 — A week after laying off 5,000 people company wide, Intel Corp. has put its multimillion dollar expansion project for its Hudson, MA, facility on indefinite hold.

Intel has also delayed for a second time the opening of a new wafer fab in Ireland, pushing the opening day back to the third-quarter of 2003. Foundations for a 50,000-square-foot structure, known as Mod 4, had already been completed in Hudson.

The new $250 million worth of construction was to be part of a $1 billion investment in the Hudson plant that Intel announced in December. Intel will still spend the other $750 million, for state-of-the-art chip-making equipment.

The 2,300 people already employed at the plant will keep their jobs, and officials there say the company continues to hire workers with specialized skills.

In other news, Compaq Computer Corp., which employs about 5,400 people in Massachusetts, said it would lay off 5,000 employees worldwide, and plus thousands more temporary and contract workers.

Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. continues to work on a $100 million expansion of its Burlington campus; the leading data storage company, EMC Corp., still plans to build major new facilities in Southborough and Westborough; and although networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. announced earlier this week that it would cut up to 8,000 jobs, the company has not publicly retreated from a plan to build 1.8 million square feet of office space in the Littleton area.

But Intel and other makers of microchips are getting hit especially hard.

On Wednesday, Texas Instruments Inc., the leading maker of the digital chips used in cell phones, shuttered a plant in Santa Cruz, Calif., and laid off 600 workers.

On Tuesday, the European chip maker ST Microelectronics cut its first-quarter earnings estimate, announced a hiring freeze, and slashed planned capital expenditures by $600 million.


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.