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October 18, 2012

Calif. tech firm pulls plug on Med City facility

A California tech firm recently pulled out of Rochester, after having an development lab here since 2006.

PMC-Sierra, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor maker, recently closed down its more than 8,500-square-foot facility at 3555 Ninth St. N.W. It moved into that space in 2010 and had about 20 employees working there at that time.

10162012pmcsierraIt is not know exactly when the Med City location closed up shop or even exactly why it closed. PMC-Sierra responded to questions with a brief statement attributed to Ron May, director of corporate marketing communications.

"The PMC Rochester facility opened in 2006 and our Adaptec acquisition in 2010 facilitated ending the project for which the site was originally opened; relocation assistance to our Colorado Springs facility or severance and job search assistance was offered to all remaining engineering employees."

It is unclear how the $34 million purchase of the "channel storage" division of a company like Adaptec impacted the Rochester site. PMC-Sierra spent at least $250,000 in November 2010 to build out the Ninth Street facility. It acquired Adaptec seven months prior to that.

Prior to the 2010 move, PMC-Sierra's Med City location had previously been based at 3605 U.S. 52 North in what used to be called the IBM White Buildings.

When asked what was driving its expansion in Rochester two years ago, PMC-Sierra released this statement:

 "... A large pool of experienced and talented individuals who have the technical expertise to work on PMC’s semiconductor solutions."

It is worth noting that PMC-Sierra was collaborating with IBM at that time  on "a multi-core, multi-threaded RAID solution" at that time. The resulting maxRAID device was used in Big Blue's new System x EXA servers.

While many details are not known, it is clear that PMC-Sierra has followed in the footsteps of other technology firms like JDS Uniphase and Celestica. It has definitely pulled the plug on its presence in Rochester.


The 3605 Highway 52 North address is the IBM main site, not the white buildings. They were tenents in one of the development-end buildings until their move to the 9th St location.

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