VALLEY BRIEFS

Silicon Valley Report

re 'Made in U.S.A.' chips actually Japanese? Some Japanese computer chips sold in Japan bore American company labels to help meet a 1991 U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Trade Agreement, federal investigators suspect.

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Jose, Calif. is probing whether The U.S. Attorney's office in San Jose, Calif. is probing whether Micro Power Systems of Santa Clara from 1992 through 1994 fraudulently let its Japanese partner, Nippon Precision Circuits, use its logo on chips sold to electronics companies such as Kenwood and Pioneer. Micro Power documents suggest other Japanese firms engaged in similar practices. Japanese businesses, pressured by the 1991 agreement to buy more foreign chips, reportedly increased offshore purchases to 23.7 percent of Japan's total $29 billion market by 1994. Mislabeling, however, would have suggested better compliance -- and a lower U.S.-Japan trade deficit -- than actually occurred.

Flat panel consortium gets new funds, new leader: The United States Display Consortium can continue its quest to keep the flat panel display industry in America competitive, thanks to $25 million in new federal funds, to be matched by consortium member companies. The San Jose-based trade group also named semiconductor executive Michael Ciesinski as its new chief executive.

Entrepreneurs set want list for government: California small business owners have drawn up a list for federal action that calls for better government procurement access, tort reform and representation on agencies that regulate them. The entrepreneurs created the list to present at next June's White House Conference on Small Business -- the first in eight years.


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