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Chip Designer to Restructure

Chip design company MIPS Technologies Thursday said it will have to restructure its business in order to make sure the rest of the year is not a loss.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm, which competes with British-owned ARM Holdings , said it will fire about 60 employees and contractors or approximately one-third of the company's workforce.

MIPS said its goal is to return to profitability by the fiscal quarter ending in December 2003.

"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," MIPS CFO Casey Eichler said in a statement. "We determined that the cost of maintaining our investment in custom development is not justified given the current and projected market demand for these products."

As part of the restructuring plan, the company plans the company said it will cease further internal development of custom processor cores as soon as the last batch of its ongoing projects are wrapped up sometime by the end of September.

Instead, MIPS says it will look more like a gun-for-hire focusing on "developing high-performance synthesizable processor cores, architectural innovations, and complete solutions."

"We expect these strong actions to enable a renewed resource focus on our strengths and to help us to build the company from a profitable base," MIPS chairman and CEO John Bourgoin said.

The company, which takes its name from the acronym for million instructions per second, works with partners on designing in 32- and 64-bit embedded RISC systems in things like video games, laser printers, set-top boxes, and PDAs. MIPS then licenses its intellectual property to semiconductor companies, ASIC developers and system OEMs. The company's customer base includes chip makers such as Toshiba, Broadcom, LSI Logic, and Texas Instruments, as well as electronics device makers including Hewlett-Packard, CASIO, and Motorola.