Microelectronics (ME) was, in the '80s, the top of the semiconductor industry in Romania.
The germ of the semiconductor industry was planted by Prof. Mihai Draganescu at IPB, which paved the way for the study and use of solid body physics in the transition from electronic tubes to silicon transistors and then to integrated circuits.
From electronic tubes to "Electronic Devices and Components"
A defining moment was the change of the profile of the section of "Physical Engineers" from the Faculty of Electronics from IPB from electronic tubes to "Electronic Devices and Components" based on semiconductors in 1972.
A number of professors have laid the scientific foundations that have trained many of the future engineers at Microelectronics: Mircea Bodea, Adrian Rusu, Dan Dascalu, George Samachisa, Anca Manolescu, Anton Manolescu and others.
ICCE (Research Institute for Electronic Components)
In parallel, ICCE (Research Institute for Electronic Components) was the already existing core chosen to carry out the ambitious project to start a new enterprise in a new and extremely competitive industry: the manufacture of large-scale integrated circuits based on MOS (metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology.
The main role in the technical and endowment training of Microelectronics was played by the director of ICCE, Constantin Bulucea, an exceptional technical leader and a passionate pioneer of the project.
Realization of the project
A group of researchers was chosen to carry out the project (constructions, equipment, personnel, technologies, licenses): Dorel Prisecaru, George Smarandoiu and Gelu Voicu.
Many other researchers from the MOS integrated circuit laboratory contributed to laying the foundations of the enterprise and training the younger specialists who were to join them: Radu Vancu, Andrei Vladimirescu, Mircea Dusa, Adriana Delibaltov, Dumitru Cioaca, Horia Profeta, Ervin Gurau.
Representative of the way in which Microelectronics was created is the fact that the distribution of engineers' jobs began 4 years before the construction of the factory, the first two places being allocated to IPB graduates since 1976.
Because at that time it was not possible to work in research directly from the faculty, the graduates were assigned to IPRS (already existing company on the Baneasa platform that produced bipolar transistors and integrated circuits) and then "delegated" to ICCE to deal with the preparation of Microelectronics.
Creation of Microelectronica SA
The people who contributed to the creation of Microelectronics were entirely from ICCE:
- Constantin Bulucea, director;
- Mircea Dusa, head of the MOS Integrated Circuits laboratory, later head of the mask manufacturing laboratory;
- Dorel Prisecaru and George Smarandoiu - especially in charge of planning and carrying out Microelectronics;
- Andrei Vladimirescu, Horia Profeta and Radu Vancu - founders of computer aided design of MOS integrated circuits;
- Radu Barsan, Adriana Delibaltov, Serban Jelea, Elena Muntiu, Ileana Cernica, Raluca Leancu - members of the "PIF" team (Commissioning of MOS technology), which first developed a microfabrication line MOS integrated circuits at ICCE, then transferred to Microelectronics;
- Gelu Voicu - responsible for the assembly-testing line licensed from SGS-Ates, Italy.
Many of those mentioned above continued at Microelectronics after the construction of the plant, but not all.
Enterprise structure and production
After its establishment in 1981 and commissioning in 1982, the new company was run by the Director Gheorghe Constantinescu (previously deputy director at ICCE) and chief engineer Dorel Prisecaru.
Along with the rest of the management team and many specialists (listed above), the department heads (Gelu Voicu, Radu Barsan, and Cornel Ciubotaru) contributed especially to the development of the enterprise.
Structura Microelectronica SA
Microelectronica SA had 3 sections: Section of "Manufacture of MOS structures", Section of "Assembly-Testing of MOS circuits" (head of section eng. Gelu Voicu) and Section "LED" (head of initial section eng. Herman Ciubotaru, then eng. Dan Stoenescu).
The first two sections formed the manufacturing flow for MOS integrated circuits. At its inception, ME had about 40-50 employees, most of them engineers, representing the Microelectronics (ME) group at ICCE. In 1990 he had over 500, work in 3 shifts, etc.
The first phone with a digital keyboard in Romania
ME was established in December 1982, after 6 years of technological and constructive "training" at ICCE. In the following years, the "Structures Manufacturing" section developed many other more advanced processes, 1k SRAM, 4k DRAM, CMOS 4000 Series, etc., which produced more advanced chips (chip, chip, English) than those with Al gate. (used especially for "custom designs": the dashboard clock for the Oltcit car, the first phone with a digital keyboard in Romania, etc.).
Some of the manufactured chips were assembled and sold in the country, others in the GDR (Erfurt Microelectronics Plant). The assembly / testing part was put into operation with the help of a complete license from SGS-ATES (Italy).
Dan Dascalu, Radu Barsan, Information Science and Technology in Romania, Romanian Academy, Romanian Academy Publishing House - Bucharest, 2018