Toshiba slashes chip line up -

It is the night of the long knives at Toshiba as the world's No.2 maker of flash memory has announced that it will purge its semiconductor lineup of 3,000 chips by the end of this business year.

Tosh makes about 6,000 chips and it thinks that cutting the numbers will boost efficiency.

According to the Nikkei Business Daily, Tosh will be looking at the production lineup of chips used in automobiles and electronic.

The big idea is to narrow the range of products designed for each group of customers and increase the types of chips that let costumers add necessary functions by rewriting the software.

Things have not been going well for Toshiba lately. On August 10 it warned that profits in its chip business could fall short of expectations, citing weak PC sales, faltering US and European economies and a higher yen.

It will still be pocketing $716 million of operating profit for its semiconductor business in the  April-September period, which is not to be sneezed at.

However its chip business posted an operating profit of 1.6 billion yen for the April-June quarter, down more than 90 percent from a year earlier.