WASHINGTON — As chip makers scramble to lure engineering graduates, U.S. export guidelines that restrict the hiring of foreign nationals are making it increasingly difficult for large and small companies alike to recruit U.S.-educated engineers from China, India and other diplomatic hot spots.

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WASHINGTON — As chip makers scramble to lure engineering graduates, U.S. export guidelines that restrict the hiring of foreign nationals are making it increasingly difficult for large and small companies alike to recruit U.S.-educated engineers from China, India and other diplomatic hot spots.

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WASHINGTON — As chip makers scramble to lure engineering graduates, U.S. export guidelines that restrict the hiring of foreign nationals are making it increasingly difficult for large and small companies alike to recruit U.S.-educated engineers from China, India and other diplomatic hot spots.

The memory-test activities will continue to be headquartered at the California Semiconductor Test Division in Santa Clara, Calif. It is focused on high-speed memory technologies such as Rambus and PC133 synchronous DRAMs .

Semiconductor parametric test will continue to be based in at the company's Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division in Japan. Last April, HP's division announced a new process-monitoring system, called the HP 4072A, for smaller-geometry IC design shrinks and SOC processes.

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EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. — IBM Microelectronics and Toshiba Corp. today confirmed Asian press reports that the two companies are in preliminary discussions to jointly develop telecommunications and networking logic chips. Spokesmen for both companies said no agreement has been reached and did not elaborate further.

A Toshiba representative in Tokyo said the companies are always discussing cooperation in various semiconductor fields. The telecommunications logic chip area is one possible area for greater cooperation.”

An IBM Microelectronics spokesman said the growing market for telecommunications and networking chips is a natural area where we can work more closely with Toshiba.”

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The potential alliance on logic chips comes in the wake of IBM dropping out of its DRAM joint manufacturing venture with Toshiba at Dominion Semiconductor in Manassas, Va. Earlier this month, IBM agreed to sell its 50 percent interest in the joint venture facility to Toshiba in a phased divestiture over the next 18 months.

Aiming to achieve $4.6 billion in sales this year and $10 billion in 2001, Celestica Inc.'s top-line growth will continue to be supported by an aggressive acquisition program.

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The company is seeking more strategic OEM divestiture opportunities in datacom and telecom,” said Tom Tropea, senior vice president of marketing and business development, Tuesday at the BancBoston Robertson Stephens Electronic Manufacturing Products & Services Conference in San Francisco. A potential merger candidate must be a good product, geographic, and cultural fit,” he said.

Celestica has acquired more than two dozen companies since early 1997 and another is pending, Tropea said.

Trident's suit, which was announced by the company today but will be officially filed tomorrow in a U.S. federal court, charges Via with breaking a carefully orchestrated marketing arrangement that existed between the two companies' jointly-designed products. It also charges Via with illegally luring away 25 Trident engineers to its own design team.Representatives at Via's U.S headquarters in Fremont, Calif., said they were aware of Trident's suit but had not formulated a response by press time.

Executives at Trident, based in Mountain View, Calif., said the company had a deal with Via under which Trident integrated its CyberBlade graphics core into two of Via's chipsets-the MVP4 and ProMedia. Under the agreement, Via was supposed to market the MVP4 and ProMedia to desktop PC customers. Trident, meanwhile, which sells most of its graphics ICs into the portable computing market, was granted access to Via's core-logic technology and designed its own CyberBlade i7 and i1 parts for notebook PC OEMs.

We believe Via violated that fundamental market direction,” said Gerry Liu, senior vice president of marketing for Trident.

Liu said the Via agreement has led to complaints and confusion” on the part of Trident's customers, who are unsure from which company they are supposed to buy their chipsets. Liu also said Via violated a separate agreement under which the companies were supposed to share revenue and profits from the sale of the chipsets. And, he added, law enforcement agencies in Taiwan have searched offices at Via used by the former Trident employees looking for documents that may prove Via used illegal hiring practices.

In its suit, Trident is seeking to halt sales of Via's MVP4 and ProMedia chipsets, and will ask for $200 million in punitive damages plus an unspecified amount of actual damages.

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