Texas Instruments Inc. plans to announce that at least 2,000 workers will be laid off in response to falling demand for its semiconductor products in a slowing economy, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The layoffs may be a sign that the chip maker's troubles have gotten even worse since it warned seven weeks ago that sales would tumble 20 percent, from $3.03 billion in the fourth quarter to $2.4 billion in the first quarter. After that announcement, the company began a voluntary retirement program, announced a hiring freeze and cut discretionary spending, but avoided immediate layoffs. 

The company said last month it would close a plant in Santa Cruz, Calif., eliminating 600 jobs. 

A spokeswoman for the company, which is scheduled to report its first-quarter financial results Tuesday, declined comment on the layoff reports. 

``All I can say is that, other than the cost reductions already announced, there is nothing to announce,'' spokeswoman Donna Coletti told the Journal. 

Several Texas Instruments managers said the number of layoffs from its global work force of 42,400 would depend on how many people accepted the voluntary retirement offer, which expired Monday. 

The company's stock has tumbled 63 percent from its 52-week high of $90 last June. 

Texas Instruments has 25,100 workers in the Americas, 10,200 in Asia and 3,000 in Europe. Its main chips, called digital signal processors, are used in wireless phones, digital audio players, broadband network gear and other products.