Atmel rebuilds workforce, at full capacity

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Colorado Springs’ Atmel Corp. has recalled many of the roughly 500 workers in Colorado Springs that it let go less than two years ago.

The semiconductor manufacturer’s workforce is up to 1,700 and the plant is operating at full capacity for the first time since the fall of 2008. The company tells The Gazette it’s seeing a surge in sales of chips used in smart phones and tablet computers.

Atmel laid off 245 employees in December 2008 and 266 in April 2009. Since then, the company has spent more than $25 million to upgrade equipment in the 434,130-square-foot plant.

Atmel officials say the company’s microcontrollers are used in most of the top-rated smart phones.