SemiSouth closure to cost California firm $60 million

STARKVILLE — The closure of a Mississippi semiconductor firm will cost a California company $60 million.

Power Integrations of San Jose, Calif., says it will write off its 2010 investment in SemiSouth, a Starkville, firm that’s closing. SemiSouth’s 90 employees will be laid off.

SemiSouth, which makes silicon carbide semiconductors, announced its closure last week. The company was founded by two Mississippi State University professors and rents space in the university’s research park. It has been highlighted as one of Mississippi’s only homegrown technology firms. MSU owns the rights to some of company technology, and a university official said last week that the school would seek to retain some of the employees.

Power Integrations CEO Balu Balakrishnan says the loss is “disappointing” but says risks are inherent in the company’s business.

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