Motorola is looking for a joint venture partner to help it set up a new chip-processing wafer fab in Poland as
part of its gradual expansion into East Europe, according to a spokesman Monday for the company's European
semiconductor headquarters in Geneva.
If and when a partner is found, Motorola will most likely build a new fab in the Polish city of Krakow sometime
after 2000, the spokesman said. No firm timetable has been set for the project, and it has not yet been determined
what kinds of devices would be made in the Polish fab, said the spokesman, responding to European newspaper
reports of Motorola's plans.
During a local press conference in Warsaw on Friday, Motorola chairman Gary Tooker disclosed the plans for a
new software center and the potential for a chip fab as part of a second-phase investment in Krakow, which is
attempting to set itself up as a high-tech center. The software center is being set up with the Jagiellonian University
Since the early 1990s, Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector has been gradually expanding its activities in East
Europe's former Soviet bloc, with the belief that the region will become a major chip market in the next 10 years.
Last May, Motorola profile acquired 57 percent of Tesla Sezam, a Czech semiconductor manufacturer that's been producing
bipolar analog devices as a Motorola foundry since the early 1990s. In addition, the company bought 52 percent of Terosil, a supplier of silicon substrates and crystal growing services.
Motorola plans to upgrade the Tesla Sezam facility in Roznov, which includes a design center staffed with more
than 40 people. By the end of the decade, Motorola expects to invest more than $45 million in its Czech
"The Poland semiconductor plant would be a joint venture, similar to the Czech facility, but it would be a new
facility, not an acquisition of an exiting operation," said the spokesman for Motorola's Geneva-based operation.