Pioneer closes UK design site

Pioneer closes UK design site
Richard Ball Pioneer has closed its digital design centre in Bristol which employed 35 staff. The Bristol centre was part of Pioneer’s strategy to develop ICs for multimedia products such as digital audio receivers and set-top boxes. “It was closed because all research and design is being done in Japan, not spread across Europe and Japan,” said Dawn Parker, administration co-ordinator at Pioneer’s UK headquarters in Slough. Pioneer originally bought the design centre from Brooktree, which is now part of Rockwell Semiconductor. Of the 35 staff employed at Pioneer’s Bristol site, “a lot had already got jobs before the closure,” said Parker. “We only made three people redundant.” At least six of the designers have since found employment in Bristol by the new UK subsidiary of Oak Technology. With some 25 staff, half of which are IC designers, Oak’s centre will focus on chips for digital TV. The group has been joined by the staff of Odeum, the Hyundai subsidiary acquired by Oak in April. Odeum designs chipsets for satellite and cable set-top boxes. The Odeum acquisition and the setting up of a UK design centre are part of Oak’s plans to expand a product line which until now has been dependent on optical storage devices.


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