TI goes shopping in Japan

Texas Instruments has bought up two ailing chip factories in Japan. The chip maker has been on the sniff for cheap factories and wanted to make a few acquisitions during the "financial downturn" which may or may not be behind us.

It has now said it snapped up a pair of fabs previously operated by Spansion Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, as did its parent company, plain old Spansion. The parent company announced back in May that it had emerged from the process a leaner, meaner machine.

The Japanese outfit is getting leaner too, if more toothless, it appears. TI said that an eight-inch (200-millimeter) wafer fab it had snaffled up will continue to operate in Japan, while the equipment from a second 12-inch (300mm) fab, will be shipped to an existing TI site in Richardson, Texas, from its current location in Aizu-Wakamatsu.

The company said it will be able to offer some jobs to the current Spansion workers in Japan.

Last year, TI also snaffled up production equipment from a 12-inch fab owned by Qimonda on the cheap after that outfit filed for bankruptcy.