IBM found semiconductor for the development of microelectronics in Russia

IBM found semiconductor for the development of microelectronics in RussiaRUSNANO, the Skolkovo Fund, Rostelecom, the Russian Venture Company and IBM to create a non-profit partnership for the development and commercialization of microelectronics with layout pattern from 90 to 22 nanometers, Kommersant newspaper reports. State and partnership members’ investment in the project could reach $ 1 B.

RUSNANO, the Russian Venture Company, the Skolkovo fund, Rostelecom and IBM will sign a memorandum of understanding in June, 22 within the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which involves the creation of an electronic technology center (ETC).

The ETC is to get IBM's know-how on manufacturing and developing of 90 nanometers microelectronics, Kommersant’s source close to IBM reported. In addition, the corporation will create a cloud platform that provides online access to Computer Aided Design tools for the microelectronics market participants. Rostelecom will provide telecommunications infrastructure for the project, will ensure the protection of personal data and collect payments from ETC customers.

About $ 7 M will be spent on purchasing of IBM’s technology and creation of the cloud platform, said the former vice-president of Sual-holding Joseph Bakaleinik. These funds will be received from both members of ETC and its own revenues. The technologies introduced by IBM will make it possible to start earning immediately: there are pre-orders for the design of chips from some commercial structures - Mr. Bakaleinik said.

According to the manufacturer of microelectronics Sitronics, the world market for semiconductors totaled $ 227.1 B in 2009, more than half of which is for the Asia-Pacific region, and for Russia - only 0.44% ($ 900 M).

Joseph Bakaleinik says that they used nanotechnology center at the University at Albany (New York, engaged in the development of semiconductors) which was founded in 2001 as the prototype. The investments attracted to the University development totaled $ 14 B since that time. Evgeny Babayan is engaged in the development of the ETC project. He is the son of the Soviet computer Elbrus developer Boris Babayan. Mr. Babayan is the co-founder of ITFY, LLC, which will also sign the memorandum and run the ETC. IBM will provide not only the transfer of technologies to the center, but also help in sales of microchips, said Evgeny Babayan.

The creation of the ETC will be held in two stages. The first stage will develop an ecosystem for the design of microchips. These are the specialized chips design stages. No one is going to organize the mass production - says Mr. Bakaleinik. The second stage of the CET creation will begin approximately in five or six years. Designing work should start in the CET by this time, as well as the engineering and manufacturing of a pilot line of 45-22 nanometers chips and that has been already discussed with IBM. This work will require an investment of $ 800 M to $ 1 B from the partnership and the participants, as well as from the State, says Mr. Bakaleinik.

Every production has its own rules of design. It is unclear why we need the development of this center? - the manager of a Russian microelectronic company says. A source from a major smartphones manufacturer believes that the ETC is of value only as a scientific institution. However, the Managing Director of RUSNANO infrastructure projects Evgeny Evdokimov sees a demand for the center of electronic technologies production.

Our portfolio has over a dozen of companies that want to be engaged in the designing and development of microelectronic products. They will need a set of tools provided by IBM’s cloud services - says Evgeny Evdokimov. - The resulting prototype of chip will be accepted by any factory.