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Broadcom to hand out 500 pink slips

The communications chipmaker says that 500 workers will lose their jobs as part of a round of previously announced cost-cutting measures.

Communications chipmaker Broadcom announced Monday that it plans to lay off about 500 workers as part of previously announced cost-cutting measures.

Broadcom, which makes chips for wireless networking equipment, mobile phones and other communications gear, has suffered along with the rest of the communications and semiconductor sectors during the market downturn. The company has posted several consecutive quarters of losses and seen its stock drop by more than 50 percent in the past year.

The Irvine, Calif.-based chipmaker announced last month that it planned to cut operating costs by at least 10 percent, through facility closures, layoffs and other measures. The 500 workers to be laid off represent about 15 percent of Broadcom's work force, which totals slightly above 3,000 employees.

"Our diversification model has provided us with a variety of complementary technologies, a factor that has allowed us to consolidate lines of business and reduce headcount while maintaining program areas," CEO Henry Nicholas said in a statement.

Nicholas also indicated the company would retrench somewhat in some areas. "In some of our softer markets, we have modified product road maps and timelines in a manner that will allow us to reduce current investment but maintain our competitiveness for a time when these markets improve," he said in the statement.

However, Broadcom recently expanded its focus to include servers, where the company's chip technology provides an efficient way to handle networking tasks.