Toshiba is to close three of its six discrete chip-making facilities in Japan and slash output of some of its chips by Christmas.
Tosh claims that demand for PCs and TVs has slid in Europe and the United States and no one wants discrete chips at the moment. The three plants are scheduled to be closed in the first half of the fiscal year starting in April 2012, in a bid to slash costs.
Not only is demand weak, but Tosh has been hit by the price of the Yen which makes it really uneconomic to trade overseas. "There is the high yen, cutbacks by domestic setmakers, especially Sony and Panasonic, and PC sales are weak around the world," a company spokesman said. Toshiba relied heavily on Nokia for sales of its mobile phone chips and that outfit had not been doing so well either.
It is not the only one mothballing its chip-making facilities. Toyota is going to temporarily halt production of analog chips and image sensors at its Oita plant, discrete chips at its Himeji plant, and photonic chips at its Kita Kyushu plant for the next few months.