Leixlip, Ireland - Despite the fact that it published pretty good financial results last week, chip maker Intel has been telling its Irish staff that there is little demand for the products they are making.
Staff at the Leixlip plant have been told at briefings that demand for new products is not materialising 'as quickly as expected'. Obviously they are a bit worried that the briefings indicate that Intel might want to reduce activity at the plant and fire its staff.
Apparently Intel executives also warned them that plants in Arizona and Israel were ahead of Ireland in terms of competitiveness and requirements on costs, skills and capacity as locations for future production lines. More than 500 jobs are understood to be on the line.
Already some of the Irish workers who have been leaking like a sieve to the local press believe the so-called '1270' production line of more advanced processors may now be delayed in Ireland or relocated elsewhere. Older production lines of products produced by the company’s Fab 10 and Fab 14 facilities at Leixlip will be wound down over time and may not be replaced until later or at all, the muttering workers say.
Intel is not saying anything about its Irish operations or if any job cuts are likely. However a spokesman did say that demand and capacity was 'continually changing and under review'. The outfit said that no decisions would be made until the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.
Apparently there would be 'multiple changes in the timeline' for the 1270 line - something that physicists the world over would be interested in, not to mention followers of Star Trek and Dr Who.
Intel makes loss because of Europe