Russia Market Status Report: Semiconductors, HB-LED, PV

Russia Market Status Report: Semiconductors, HB-LED, PV


Mikron Merges with RTI and Continues to Invest

The “inside” merge between Mikron and RTI, both belonging to Systema will strengthen the position of both. RTI manufactures high-end complex microelectronics for communication, safety and defense, whereas Mikron is heading for consumer goods. The merger promises concerted R&D spending and critical mass manufacturing. Production launch of 200mm project (0.09 um CMOS EEPROM) at Mikron is scheduled for November 2011. Plans for shrinking to 65-45 nanometers declared by Mikron ahead of the crisis are less concrete. “It is too early to discuss the timeline, but it’s clear that we need another fab. It will be located in the special economic zone of Zelenograd,” says Mr. Gennady Krasnikov.

Krasnikov has become the head of new R&D Centre based on the Molecular Electronics R&D Institute, which has always been a part of Mikron. The R&D Centre will develop 65-45 nm technologies and focus in developing SiGe technology for the new 300 mm fab. According to Krasnikov, Mikron will also expand functionality of the integral microchips, develop technologies in power electronics and memory store. He mentioned that mass-storage devices could be used in SIM-cards, electric light meter and housing and public utilities sensor units. Meanwhile, Krasnikov will preserve his top position at the Sitronics Microelectronics Division, which overlooks the Mikron division. Mikhail Birukov who came to Mikron a half a year earlier from his own company that consulted Lukoil will become his successor at the fab. Sitronics representatives specified that the company sees Mikhail Birukov as not only running the fab, but also charged with making it a commercial success.

Angstrem-T Project Now Financed

At the meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Vnesheconombank (VEB) headed by Vladimir Putin, the decision was taken to open financing line to ANGSTREM-T project based on equipment purchased from AMD. Following usual procedure, the meeting protocol with the above information will be spread out to the press within two weeks after the decision is made.

VEB is the Russian government institution for funding strategic projects aimed at the country economy and industry development. It was stressed that this direction should be strengthened in the coming years. VEB must play a more active role in the investment policy, be a powerful financial engine of projects designed to change the structure of the Russian economy, increasing its resistance to any external shocks. One of its special priorities is supporting high-tech and infrastructure programs and projects that create new, quality jobs.

“I note that now VEB actively promotes a deep modernization of the domestic economy. Thus, the volume of its loan portfolio as of the Development Bank has increased in comparison with the beginning of 2009, more than 80%. And above all this growth has been attained at the expense of lending to key industrial enterprises, high tech, transportation, and major buildings and facilities - for example, in electronics, infrastructure, transport engineering,” said Putin in his speech at the meeting.

Crocus Technologies Invests US$ 300 million into 65nm MRAM

On May 17, 2011 Crocus Technology, a leading developer of MRAM technology, announced that they have closed an agreement to create an MRAM manufacturing company, with a combined investment totaling $300 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Crocus and RUSNANO will form Crocus Nano Electronics (CNE), to build an advanced MRAM facility in Russia, capable of manufacturing medium- to high-density MRAM products based on Crocus’ Thermally Assisted SwitchingTM (TAS) MRAM technology at 90nm and 65nm lithographies.

RUSNANO’s total investment commitment to the deal is 3.8 billion rubles which is around 90M Euro for today. Approximately $125 million will be invested in the first round for setting up CNE’s MRAM facility in Russia. In addition, RUSNANO, along with Crocus’ existing investors CDC Innovation, FCPR Ventech Capital, IDInvest Partners, NanoDimension, and Sofinnova Venture Partners, will make an equity investment of $55 million into Crocus. An additional $120 million is slated to be deployed in subsequent years to increase production capability of the MRAM facility. Further investment to support upgrades to 45nm and finer lithographic processing is also incorporated into this agreement.

Crocus Nano Electronics, which will establish in Russia production of magnetoresistive memory, has named Boris Omarov to its top post, CEO. The new company is a joint undertaking between RUSNANO and French company Crocus Technology.

Crocus is currently working on choosing the site for their new facility in Russia, and their first priority is the territory of Zelenograd Special Economic Zone. They are also making evaluation of companies who could work on setting up the facility. The following companies are under consideration: CH2N, Fluor, M+W, Faeth, WIT, Fab Finder. Boris Omarov confirmed that Crocus will participate in SEMICON Russia and speak at the   Semiconductor Forum.

RUSNANO Finances Production of Vacuum Units for Micro- and Nanoelectronics 

RUSNANO has made its first co-investment in a project to expand production of ESTO-Vacuum automated vacuum units (ESTO-Vacuum is located in Zelenograd). The project has a total budget of one billion rubles. RUSNANO will co-invest 198.5 million rubles in the project. ESTO-Vacuum expects to reach design capacity of 60 units per year in 2016. ESTO-Vacuum produces equipment used mainly in pilot and small-batch production of electronics, micro- and nanoelectromechanical devices and quartz microresonators. The units also have applications in electron-beam and magnetron deposition, ion and plasma etch chemistry, and PVD and CVD deposition to form functional coverings.

“The project company produces equipment that combines several high-vacuum chambers, capable to fulfill various operations sequentially. Those processes can be technologically very complex. Domestic products in this segment are going to be serious competitors to imported counterparts. ESTO-Vacuum’s share of the market will grow,” said RUSNANO managing director Konstantin Demetriou.

The ESTO-Vacuum units execute mixed technological processes to create intricate, multicomponent structures, for example, lasers and light-emitting diodes of arsenide and nitride gallium and indium phosphide. The equipment is suitable to many other applications: moisture sensors using nanopipes, magnetic sensors using alternating nanometer layers of magnetic and nonmagnetic materials, strain-gauge sensors in which monosulphide samarium is less than 100 nanometers thick, and a host of other uses.

RUSNANO Co-invests in the Development of Electronic Components for MEMS

American company SiTime Corporation, an industry leader in development of MEMS-based high-performance oscillators and silicon timing solutions, is RUSNANO’s partner in the endeavor. The project has a total budget of $22 million of which RUSNANO finances up to $15 million. The allocated resources will be directed toward expanding SiTime’s research base, broadening the geography of its sales, and establishing a development center in Russia.  Under the terms of the investment agreement, SiTime will establish a new subdivision in Russia where it will design the next generation of MEMS-based oscillators. The company currently has R&D centers in California and Ukraine. The products that SiTime designs are produced at plants in the U.S. and Taiwan. There are no plans to build proprietary production capacity under the project.

SiTime specializes in clock generators used in data transmission equipment. Most systems of this kind employ quartz resonators, which are produced and assembled individually using mechanical means. Quartz resonators are the only component that cannot be integrated into a CMOS chip — the generators are too large and require installation in their own ceramic packaging. SiTime has resolved that problem with MEMS-nanoresonators; they can be integrated into any system-in-package or multi-chip-module CMOS crystal. SiTime products are stable at high temperatures; their digit frequency control is precise; they have long service lives and consume little energy.

The RUSNANO-SiTime project will sell infrastructure solutions for telecommunications, computing equipment, navigation systems, sensor networks for environmental control, and many other applications requiring precise frequency generators. The global market for synchronization devices — including resonators, generators, and synchronizing chips — is estimated at $5 billion. The Russian market for oscillators is put at $80 million.

Large Area Coating

RUSNANO Finalizes Investment in Plastic Logic

RUSNANO and Plastic Logic (Moscow, Russia and Mountain View, California) announced they have finalized details of RUSNANO’s investment in the company, which is the global leader in the emerging field of plastic electronics. The investment project, which will total $700 million, includes building the world’s largest volume production factory for Plastic Logic’s next-generation plastic displays in Zelenograd, and aims to establish a commercial plastic electronics industry in Russia.

Plastic Logic has received an initial investment package of $300 million: Under the final agreement, RUSNANO is providing an initial investment of $150 million into the equity of Plastic Logic. Plastic Logic’s lead investor, Oak Investment Partners, a multi-stage venture capital firm, is investing an additional $50 million as part of the project investment plan. In addition to the equity investments, RUSNANO will provide partial guarantees for debt financing in the amount of $100 million. Over the next few years, additional equity and debt will be raised totaling approximately $400 million.

The Zelenograd factory, scheduled for production starting in 2013/2014, will have the capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of units of next-generation plastic electronics displays per month. Plastic Logic said it plans to employee 300-plus at the new Zelenograd facility

Growing LED Market, Technology and Manufacturing

Israeli Technology ALOX™ to be Used in the City of Vladimir for LED Substrate Production Project 

Agreements for rent of facilities and equipment in Vladimir were signed between project company MCLR (SEMI Member) and TOCHMASH, a subsidiary of nuclear fuel company TVEL. According to the documents, the Russian-Israeli company will manufacture LED circuit boards using patented Israeli technology ALOXT™ at a production complex in Vladimir that belongs to TOCHMASH. Co-investors in the project are RUSNANO and a venture fund established with the participation of Russian Venture Company and Israeli company Micro Components Ltd., the developer of the technology. The venture fund is managed by Innovative Solutions. The total budget of the project is 868 rubles. RUSNANO will co-finance 120 million rubles. Production of the LED substrates will get underway in the first half of 2012.

"We chose the Vladimir site for a number of reasons. First, the TOCHMASH facility is a well-equipped base for modernization and the addition of some new equipment. Second, the company has highly-qualified employees. Third, TOCHMASH management and the Vladimir Oblast administration were enthusiastic about placing cutting-edge high-tech production on their territory and are providing support," recounted RUSNANO senior investment manager Vasily Kostyanovsky.

"By placing manufacturing in Vladimir, we shall be able to organize production of the LED substrates quickly and efficiently and resolve logistics issues thanks to the city’s convenient location and developed transportation infrastructure," MCLR General director Shimon Neftin said: "In 2012, we plan to produce goods worth about 70 million rubles, and by 2014 we’ll produce more than one billion rubles worth of goods."

OPTOGAN New E27 Bulb

The Optogan Group releases its first original domestic LED lamp on the Russian market. The E27 bulb was designed in cooperation with the design studio art.lebedev to replace the 60W incandescent bulb. Made of state-of-the-art technology and consisting of German-Russian components, the E27 lamp has features on par with the best of world standards. The new light source is significantly less expensive than its European counterparts. Optogan´s E27 has solved the problem of light fluctuations - fluctuations which adversely affects human health when working long-term under artificial lighting. E27 provides a smooth, warm white light which has a positive effect on a person's well-being. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent lamps, it does not contain dangerous substances such as mercury or lead.

Optogan is a leader in LED technologies with innovative, cost efficient, high quality lighting modules. Since 2005 Optogan has been developing and producing LED light crystals in Germany based on the patented Nobel Prize technology epimaxxTM. The company focuses on energy efficient and environment friendly general lighting. The international team of LED professionals and experts clearly differentiate themselves through their strong customer orientation. The Optogan Group, with its 300 employees, has plants in Landshut (Germany), Dortmund (Germany), Helsinki (Finland) and St. Petersburg (Russia).

RUSNANO is entering a project to expand the production of sapphire and sapphire wafers for LEDs

RUSNANO has invested in Monocrystal Ltd. to increase the industrial production of single-crystal sapphire and sapphire substrates for LEDs and high-frequency integrated circuits, as well as silver-and aluminum composite pastes for the metallization of silicon solar cells. The volume of investments in the project will be RUSNANO 1.18 billion rubles (28M Euro). As part of the project the three types of products will be produced:

  • Sapphire single crystal cylinders
  • Sapphire substrates
  • Silver-aluminum and composite pastes for the metallization of silicon solar cells.

In 2010, the share of Monocrystal in the production of sapphire on the world market amounted to about 25%, and on the market of aluminum pastes for solar power, about 15%.

"We are pleased to partner with such a large and reputable company as Monocrystal Ltd.,”says RUSNANO managing director Sergey Polikarpov.  “Technology with respect to which the project's output, allows us to achieve the unique characteristics of the consumer, which provides the company with orders from such famous manufacturers of LED products as Epistar, LG, Seoul Optodevice, Optogan and others. We hope that the investment in the project will strengthen RUSNANO domestic industry to manufacture electronic products, will accelerate the development of LED technology in Russia, as well as allow "single crystals" to take even stronger position on foreign markets. "  The investment in the project will strengthen Russian domestic industry to manufacture electronic products, will accelerate the development of LED technology in Russia, as well as allow "Monocrystal" to take even stronger position on foreign markets.”

Newest Associate Russia SEMI member is GS Nanotech

GS Nanotech, subsidiary of General Satellite, the Russian manufacturer of digital receivers and STBs, laid the first stone in the basement of its 5th production site in Gusev, located in Kaliningrad (former Konigsberg) area, Russia's enclave. The building will be used by the Centre of research and Production in Microelectronics, and GS Nano has announced it will begin production at the new facility as early as Q1 2012. Investment in the new microelectronics centre will reach $12 billion (>$400 milllion) until 2015. The Governor of Kaliningrad said the Centre will become the core of Technopolis Gusev in near future.

Activities include the development of all types of STBs along with the relevant software; the development of control systems middleware (CSMW) for operator functioning; the production of radio electronic equipment for surface mount and three-dimensional wiring, including metal and plastic elements; Participation in large scale digital broadcast projects as a system integrator.

Taking into account the pace of satellite TV development in Russia and the fast approaching switch of broadcasting to a digital format - planned for 2015 - a decision was taken to establish a state of the art high-automated digital production factory in Gousev, a town in the Kaliningrad Region, Russia. The factory will be capable of covering the demand for digital set-top boxes of both consumers in the Russian Federation, as well as in the other European States. The factory was put into operation on autumn 2009.

It was the first step towards the implementation of the “Territory of Scientific and Technological Development – Technopolis Gousev” investment project. The immediate result of the project will include the creation of a complete set of social infrastructure along with the entire production cycle for the manufacture of high-tech electronics based solely on domestic innovations. The “Territory of Scientific and Technological Development − Technopolis Gousev” serves as a model of the innovative development of small-town Russia, upon which the future prosperity of our country will depend.

PV Market Status in Russia/FSU

Nitol’s Polysilicon Project Recognized as the Most Successful Project of the Year

Nitol’s project of a large-scale polysilicon production in Russia has been recognized as the most successful investment project. “Investment Аngel”, an international investment award, was presented to the company in Moscow. The award is established by the International Organization of Creditors. Nitol is currently completing construction of a unique in Russia polysilicon production facility as part of an industrial cluster for high-tech materials to be located in Usolye-Sibirskoye, in the Irkutsk region; the project is carried out in partnership with RUSNANO (the State Corporation of Nanotechnologies), Sberbank and The Eurasian Development Bank (EABR).

The project budget totals $ 600 million. The pilot polysilicon production line has been operational since 2008 and the main production facility has yielded products. The new production facility provides a resource base for further development of microelectronics in Russia and enables advance of a new industry in Russia – solar energy. The project contributes to implementation of the targets, set by the Russian Government to increase the share of renewable energy in the total electric power production and enhance the energy efficiency. “Nitol’s project pertains to the sphere of high technologies that ranks among the priority targets of the national economy, set by the President of the Russian Federation,” said president of the International Organization of Creditors Catherine Kapustina.

“We appreciate the high recognition of Nitol’s role in modernization of the Russian economy - said CEO of Nitol Solar Dmitry Kotenko. - It is symbolic that the prize was awarded on the following day after we received the first polysilicon from our main production facility.”   The basic task of the award is to create an unbiased picture of the direct investment market both in the international economic environment in general and in individual interstate partnerships.

Nitol Solar Company Appoints Valery Rostokin as CEO of Nitol Solar

Valery Rostokin was appointed CEO of Nitol Solar. “I am excited to head one of the leading innovative companies in Russia, which contributes to development of the global renewable energy industry. At present, the primary target set by our shareholders is the rapid ramp up in polysilicon production volumes as well as fulfilling the company's obligations in the supply contracts with our long term customers”, said Valery Rostokin.  One of the company founders, Mr. Dmitriy Kotenko, formerly the CEO, will continue his involvement in the company as a Member of the Board of Directors and Strategic Development Advisor. Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Kotenko stated: “Valery Rostokin is a highly professional and versatile executive with experience of solving ambitious development tasks. He will lead the team of top managers in transforming the company into a key player in the global PV market.”


October 5, 2011