Texas Instruments, or TI, says it will close two facilities in the Dallas area.
Most people know Texas Instruments for its calculators. But the North Texas-based company also makes semiconductors – otherwise known as computer chips – and has done so for 50 years.
Melissa Repko is a reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She says the closure of plants in Dallas and Sherman reflects a shift in the way the company makes chips, rather than a reduction in demand for the products. Texas Instruments also recently announced it beat earnings expectations during last quarter.
“They’re basically changing the size of the ‘wafers’ they produce,” Repko says.
The plants TI is closing are the only remaining producers of 150-millimeter wafers. Wafers are cut apart to create individual computer chips. The company has moved to producing 300-millimeter wafers that are more cost-effective because each wafer can be cut into more individual chips.
The North Texas plants each employ around 500 people, and TI says it hopes to transfer most of that workforce to other facilities, as the two factories shut down gradually over the next few years.
The company is building a new factory in Richardson, which will make the larger silicon wafers it needs. Repko says Wall Street is optimistic about TI’s future.
“They generally seem to think that this shift to larger wafers makes sense, and is a more efficient strategy,” Repko says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.