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Chip designer lays off 60 workers

In an effort to reach profitability, MIPS Technologies will cut its work force and abandon its business for custom developing processors.

Chip creator MIPS Technologies plans to cut about one third of its staff, part of a restructuring plan announced Thursday.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based chip designer, which creates and licenses processors and related technologies, said it would eliminate 60 full-time and contract employees in an attempt to return to profitability by the end of this year.

MIPS chips are used in a broad range of products such as set top boxes, PDAs (personal digital assistants), networking gear and smart cards. Many chipmakers, such as Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola, Philips Electronics and Toshiba, have at least one MIPS license.

But the company said it must tighten its belt, due to the current economic environment and a string of quarterly losses in its 2003 fiscal year. Along with cutting jobs, the company plans to reduce other expenses and abandon its business for custom developing processors.

Under that business, MIPS created special processor cores for some customers. It expects to wrap up these projects by the end of September.

"The aggressive expense reductions we are implementing today should return us to profitability and better position us to sustain that profitability in the long term," Casey Eichler, MIPS chief financial officer, said in a statement.

MIPS, which was once part of computer maker SGI, said it would continue developing its standard processors and related technologies.