NEW YORK Regimes may come and go but microelectronics research continues unabated in the land of the czars. The vast underreporting of that research has been a bane to Russian scientists seeking collaboration with the west since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but two upcoming conferences suggest they are coming into their own and may be on par with the rest of the world's research community.
The first Russian conference on quantum informatics will be held in October in Zvenigorod, about 30 miles outside Moscow. It will be chaired by quantum researcher Kamil A. Valiev, director of the Institute of Physics and Technology (Moscow), and will consider such futuristic subjects as solid-state quantum computers, liquid quantum computers and quantum cryptography.
Valiev is editor-in-chief of Russian Microelectronics, a bimonthly journal that covers the physics and technologies of VLSI and ULSI microelectronics and nanoelectronics. Recent issues suggest its status, with papers on such topics as "All-nMOS Quasi-adiabatic Dynamic Logic," "VLSI Multilevel Metallization Technology Using Polyimide Insulation," and "Luminescent Properties of ZnO Films." Formerly named Mikroelektronika, the 30-year-old journal is now available online through Nauka/Interperiodica, the International Academic Publishing Co.
A more down-to-earth conference, SEMI Expo CIS 2002, is scheduled for September. Sponsored by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), it is that organization's yearly attempt to generate interest in the Russian electronics market by enabling the exchange of technical and business information among attendees from the west and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Always optimistic, SEMI's yearly "pilgrimages" to Russia are rich in content but short on tangible results. This year, as the yoke of taxations and foreign ownership of Russian enterprises starts to loosen, SEMI expects a more enthusiastic response from exhibitors and presenters.
Part market seminar, part technical symposium, SEMI Expo will expose the current state of the CIS semiconductor industry, its technology levels and manpower resources and will inform western attendees of the potential for doing business in Russia and other CIS states. Local and visiting companies will give presentations on topics related to semiconductor process technologies and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).