Romania seeks investment, new wafer fabs Romania seeks investment, new wafer fabs Peter Dunn Marblehead, MA — Despite economic difficulties and a spotty technology base, Romanian institutes and companies are engaged in semiconductor development work, and are seeking international development partners. Since the breakup of the Soviet Bloc, privatization of state-owned enterprises has begun, and the economy is moving slowly to a free-market footing. The focal point of Romania`s current microelectronic activities, according to U.S. consultant Bob Sanford of Innovative Concepts (Marblehead, MA), is the National Institute for R&D in Microtechnologies. The IMT interacts with two manufacturing enterprises, Microelectronica s.a. and Baneasa s.a., all located at the Baneasa Industrial Park, outside of Bucharest. The Institute, which is supervised by the Ministry of Research and Technology, aims to foster innovation internally and through international cooperation, to provide postgraduate education at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels, to perform multi-disciplinary research, and to interact with the semiconductor industry, said Sanford. A major focus area is power semiconductors, including integration of microcontrollers and nonvolatile memory for “Super SmartPower” devices, assembly and packaging techniques for power ICs, and improvement of power device designs, characterization, and fabrication processes. Microelectronica s.a. produces a number of trailing-edge semiconductors using older tools made in Russia and East Germany. The company is being privatized and is open to investment bids from abroad. It hopes to supply custom devices for niche or specialty markets; management is very interested in a package that would provide a six-inch or eight-inch production line or equipment, with partial or total repayment via product. Banasea, which produces discretes and linear ICs, exports one-third of its electronic products to the U.S., and another third to Western Europe, demonstrating an ability to generate hard- currency revenue. Parties interested in discussing opportunities in Romania may contact Sanford by phone at (+1) 781-631-0729, fax (+1) 781-631-5924, or e-mail: Intersan@aol.com.