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When Xilinx Inc. began to see demand for its semiconductors dry up in the spring of 2001, Kris Chellam knew one thing: He could have seen this one coming. “The telecom and networking companies that buy our programmable logic systems over-forecasted their demand and overbuilt their inventories,” says Chellam, the CFO of the San Jose, Calif.-based semiconductor company. “When demand didn’t live up to their forecasts, our orders slacked off materially.

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