Belarusian microelectronics tends to strengthen its presence on world markets
Today scientists work at many industrial enterprises of Belarus. Scientific and production centers function at Minsk automobile, tractor, and motor plants. However, if somebody would like to define the specific weight of those specialists at the enterprise, who possess an academic degree or rank, Minsk Association “Integral” would have been outside competence. This is explainable. “Integral” is one of the most knowledge-intensive enterprises. Integral microcircuits are made here, as well as semiconductor devices and diversified production on their basis. One of the last developments is the control instrument for the most important biological parameters of the patient. It is expected that medical institutions will make a solid order for these products, complying with the international standards. Meanwhile, there are only several microcircuits in the device, which are located on the thinnest silicon crystal. It is possible to see their structure only with the help of a microscope.
Miniaturization process becomes more impetuous in the world. Owing to this, electronics penetrates to diverse spheres wider: from space hardware to household appliances. However, only highly developed states possess the finest technologies of microcircuits’ production. Belarus is among them.
“Integral” today consists of four projection centers and six industrial enterprises in Minsk, Brest, and Pinsk,” Dmitry Vecher explains, the first Deputy General Director of the association. “We produce the widest range of microcircuits (almost one and a half of items), more than 500 types of semiconductor devices, 150 types of consumer goods, and 60 types of different devices: liquid-crystal displays for computers, telephones, electronic clock, electric power meters, cash miniregisters.
It is remarkable that this sophisticated equipment for microcircuits’ production was made in Minsk, in the scientific-production association “Planar.” None of the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe can boast of such a powerful complex for development and production of microelectronic devices. Belarusian microelectronics has perfectly recommended itself in extreme exploitation conditions on orbital stations “Mir” and International Space Station, and on the multiuse space vehicle “Buran.” To underline commercial success of the enterprise, “Integral” states such facts: Minsk microcircuits are used in each second calculator, in each second electronic clock, made in the world.
Knowing that, it is difficult to believe that Belarus started creating a microelectronic branch from scratch 45 years ago. During this period in the country not only all-powerful research and production complex was created, which area exceeds 200 thousand square meters, but a solid scientific school in the sphere of microelectronics. They are factory workers and researchers of several branch and academic scientific institutes, working hand in hand, of Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. Cooperation with such famous brands as Motorola and LG allowed drawing up the world level.
Development of this big research and production complex in many ways defines perspectives of other branches of industry. For example, “Integral” microcircuits and semiconductor devices are widely used by Belarusian television plants. Annually in the research and production complex almost 100 new integral microcircuits and semiconductor devices are made, almost 20 types of electronic products on their basis. Nearly 70 per cent of all products are exported to Russia and the USA, South-East Asia, FRG, and Great Britain.
Today “Integral” masters the next higher technological boundary.
“We are putting into operation submicron production of integral microcircuits with parameters of 0,5–0,35 micrometer,” Dmitry Vecher explains. “The technological equipment checkout is being completed, as well as optimization of necessary quality parameters. In the near future, the first lot of new science-intensive products, in demand on the national and foreign markets, will be issued. Business-plan is developed in parallel. Its objective is production of tinier devices with parameters of 0.18 micrometer.
To make this step, “Integral” will have to attract approximately 250 million US Dollars of investments. This is one of the biggest projects in Belarusian industry. It is being realized within the frames of the state program of innovation development. This is one more guarantee that Belarusian microelectronics will be improved in compliance with the most progressive world tendencies.