IntelliSense to cease operations, blames telecom downturn

Sept. 8, 2003 — The oldest microsystems software design firm and a pioneering industry toolmaker is scheduled to close — another casualty of the telecom drought.

Corning IntelliSense Corp. will cease operations by the end of the first quarter, the company said today. About 20 of its 70 employees were laid off immediately. Most of the remaining will follow in the next several months. A small number will join the research and development team at Corning Inc., which bought IntelliSense in 2000 for about $750 million in Corning stock.

Corning spokeswoman Elizabeth Dann said the company seeks a buyer for assets of IntelliSense, which sells the IntelliSuite line of software and provides design and fabrication services at its Wilmington, Mass.-based facility. The company is working to resolve issues and contracts with current customers and industrial partners.

Dann said Corning could not keep the business going because of the ongoing troubles in the telecom industry. Corning sold most of its photonics business to Fremont, Calif.-based Avanex Corp in May.

“This is not a matter of whether these products or the work done here … is of value,” she said. “The fundamental market trends they were serving were not strong enough. … We’re very sorry to have to make this decision.”

Fariborz Maseeh left Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 to form IntelliSense. He was part of MIT’s MEMCAD group, which had been among the first to create integrated design systems for MEMS.

Ellen McDevitt, marketing and membership director for the MEMS Industry Group, said IntelliSense was a charter member of the Pittsburgh-based trade association. She said the loss does not indicate any larger woes in the MEMS industry, but the company’s products and management will be missed.

McDevitt said it’s her impression that “Corning was struggling and decided now is the time to cut their losses,” she said. “It’s more to do with an unfortunate decision by Corning to purchase IntelliSense when and how it did.”

The loss of Corning IntelliSense leaves two major design firms for MEMS: Cary, N.C.-based Coventor Inc. and MEMSCAP SA, which has offices in France and Silicon Valley.


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