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Russia's Mikron teams with ST for 180nm process

Posted: 11 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:180nm process? Russian foundry? fab partners?

JSC Mikron, one of Russia's two largest chipmakers, is pushing ahead with its partnership with STMicroelectronics NV. It plans to qualify the 0.18?m CMOS process it is importing by the end of 2007 and begin mass production next year.

Mikron, a testimony of the stagnation of Russian technical chip capability in the 1990s, now plans to leap forward four or five manufacturing generations. It is currently manufacturing using 0.8?m design rules, more or less the same level is has been at for a decade or more. With ST providing a logic and EEPROM manufacturing process, the company is continuing with a fresh start that has been going on for a couple of years.

Mikron is now part of Sitronics, a communications equipment company and consumer brand in Russia which has plants in Athens, Prague and Kiev as well as in Zelenograd. Sitronics is in turn controlled by Sistema, one of Russia's biggest corporations, said Andrei Golushko, deputy marketing director of Mikron. Sitronics has already invested $200 million in Zelenograd, added Golushko.

Mikron has a definite plan for the chips its wants to manufacture using the process.

Golushko said Mikron is involved in an e-passport project with the Russian government. It also has experience manufacturing for smartcards and SIMs found inside mobile phones. There are also plans to work on an RFID project with the Moscow Metro., which serves more than 10 million people per day.

Mikron parent Sitronics has cultivated partnerships with Gesiecka and Devrient on smart cards and with Infineon Technologies AG on chip modules and encapsulation. A joint venture with G&D called KCK was founded in 2005, began production in March 2006 and achieved 40 million euro of revenue in 2006, according to Golushko. It has a capacity of 30 million cards per year, he said.

Mikron now intends to introduce a new process generation every year, following up its 0.18?m introduction in 2007 with 130nm and 90nm in 2008 and 2009, respectively, according to Golushko.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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