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Offline raptor1956

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Soviet production of electronic components
« on: March 02, 2018, 11:38:38 pm »
Mush of the developments that pushed electronics forward were the product of work at places like Siemens and the British Radar work and then the integrated circuit as we now know it at TI and Fairchild to name a few.  That is, much of this work was done in the west.  As IC's evolved into micro processors and RAM the capabilities expanded exponentially -- but again, much of this work was done in the west at places like Intel and Motorola.  So, over this time there was very little known about what was going on in the former Soviet Union on a lot of things but here I'm concerned about how they went about producing or acquiring electronic components.  As someone that's been in the semiconductor industry since the early 80's and has seen the evolution and revolution from within and also aware of the incredible cost to build a FAB and produce the tooling needed I even more puzzled by the black hole that was the Soviet Union's electronic industry.  Please, I'm not interested in starting a flame war and I no desire to ridicule what they did so I would hope anyone wishing to comment would keep that in mind and offer any insights you may have in a factual way.

In it's current form the semiconductor industry, at the 10nm scale, is insanely expensive as the core tool needed to do this, lithography, is now at the $80M USD per machine price level and there are very few players in the litho business with the skills needed being very cutting edge.  And, decades ago, even though the demands for litho were no where near what they are today there was still the problem that only a handful of companies in the west were producing the processing tools so either the Soviets were able to construct there own industry with the own processing equipment or they had to get there hands on tooling from the west. 

Part of my problem, I suspect, is that my knowledge of what the Soviets did is limited by the fact that they were pretty closed mouthed and we in the west largely went on viewing things from out perspective.  It seem likely that the Soviets must have done some pioneering work but we in the west knew little about it.

So, beginning at the component level of transistor and IC production then moving up from there to PCB's of various function, how did the Soviets stay relevant with the west.  Soviet missile technology has been on par with the west since the 50's and by some measures are and were at least equal and perhaps ahead of the west.  Making such things work requires real competence with electronics and more to the point, the ability to produce them.  In the last few decades the microprocessor has revolutionized everything and perhaps no where more than military hardware such as fighter planes.  The narrative we have in the west is the it was Intel that, with the 4004, ushered in the microprocessor but, once again, the story of the Soviet developments in this field are once again unknown to me.

Hopefully some of our Eastern European members can fill in the blanks here and of all the former Soviet republics perhaps our Czech, Hungarian, Ukrainian and Polish members can address this.

Again, I want to be clear that my interest here is an honest one and I do not want this to devolve into an East versus West debate.  Yes, espionage will have played a roll, it always does, but there were and are many brilliant people that few of us in the west ever heard of.


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Online ataradov

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 11:55:00 pm »
Cost is no problem when you run the whole country as one big company.

The question is too generic. Up to the 80s Soviet Union was on par with the world. It was lagging a bit, because a lot of new development was "inspired" by what was happening in the west. But ability to throw a lot of money at the problem ensured fast catching up to any new developments.

Soviet Union had its own machines (including stuff made in GDR), but IC designs were borrowed in a lot of cases. In some cases they were just mask copies, in others just functional analogs redesigned from scratch. A good representation of a complex IC available at the peak - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KR580VM80A . After that the development of own technology essentially stopped.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 11:56:41 pm by ataradov »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 12:14:21 am »
Don't know much about USSR, but I can tell you some about how China got many latest western technology:

1. Money works. By inviting some western companies to set up plants in China, Chinese government gets an easier way to tap into their technology. Usually Chinese government will ask for a co-ownership, so a Chinese private or public investor owns 51% of the plant, and the western technology provider owns 49%, while the Chinese part pays all the cost, so effectively for the western investor, it's technology for 49% ownership.

2. Technology isn't that hard to obtain. Unlike the cold war's age, nowadays companies just give their technology for free in academic papers. They won't tell you how they engineered this thing not how to make it, but they will tell you how the thing works, so basically they give you the science for free, you just need to do the engineering part.

3. IP consulting companies. There are companies like LTEC which do reverse engineering on any products with very high end tools. For instance, LTEC has 140+ PhDs and highly skilled engineers, and they have nm-level SEMs, FIBs and other high end gears, for the sole goal of reverse engineering.

4. High level espionage. Putting a spy in competitor company is the past, nowadays the better way is to just defect competitor company's high level leaders and his/her following engineers. This is now China got TSMC's latest technology (as of circa 2009) and formed SMIC, that's also how China got Samsung's latest DDR4 memory technology.

5. Good payment to engineers. China has a very low average income, but high level engineers (fellow level, university professor level and senior level in large private companies) get paid very well. Talking $30k~$50k for salary and half to almost equal amount for bonus. Considering the low living cost in China, that's more than 3 times PPP than any other countries.

6. Education. Unlike the western education system which focuses on "useless" things like creativity, freedom and religion, Chinese education system is solely focusing on scientific education. We were brainwashed from childhood to F the god and believe nothing but math and physics. This education system massively produces engineers. Since the science part is either open to the public or can be stolen easily, a country with massive amount of engineers has a lot of power to reduce ideas to practice.

Considering how much China has learnt from its communism big brother, I can say USSR did the same decades ago, just under more strict export control, but there's always a way out as long as there's an equally strong wish to do so.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:23:11 am by blueskull »
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 12:17:13 am »
Well, I am hardly an expert but the Eastern bloc was quite successful at both cloning and developing a lot of semiconductors. I don't know many Soviet parts but e.g. the Czechoslovak TESLA was producing the 7400 logic series (MH74xx/54xx/84xx), the 4000 CMOS series, lots of analog ICs too - e.g. uA741 was produced as MAA741, LM723 as MAA723, etc. I still have quite a few of these in my junk bin.

E.g. Intel 8080 was produced as MHB8080 by TESLA, I believe they were producing also an 8088 or 8086 clone. East Germans were making Z80 clone U880 which has found its way into many home computers.

You can have a look at what ICs TESLA was producing e.g. here (under Catalogue):
http://www.tesla-ic.com/

The same for vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes, etc. Soviets were manufacturing these things on a pretty large scale too. There are plenty of websites showing these things, e.g.:
http://www.cpushack.com/soviet-cpus.html


Then there was a pretty large scale computer industry - both clones (e.g. the IBM's System 360 and DEC's PDP series) but also completely own designs. The same for test instruments, radio gear, etc.

Pretty much most of the electronic industry production was going either into military applications or further industrial deployment. Consumer electronics was pretty much the last to get any of this - e.g. it was common to have a black & white vacuum tube TV until the mid-late 80's where I lived. Solid state and color TVs were rare, expensive and mostly crap.

There has been also quite a bit of own R&D done because importing Western components was either very difficult (limited hard currency reserves) or straight impossible (embargoes). Espionage certainly played a role but probably smaller than you think - the Eastern bloc did lack modern resources compared to the Western counterparts at the time  but certainly didn't lack first class engineers and scientists.

And to fly an ICBM on target you don't need a supercomputer - especially if the thing carries a nuke that will flatten a city of several millions of people. Then you really don't really care if it has an "accuracy" of several kilometers ...

Also both as a consequence of this lack of resources and access to the modern components the designs were quite a bit different - more primitive and crude, with engineering ingenuity having to make up for the lack of resources. However, the gear was often built to withstand much worse handling and conditions than Western gear ever could. Just compare e.g. the Vostok or Soyuz space capsules with Apollo - much much simpler and primitive but thanks to that there was much less that could break and cause problems (not in the least due to the infamously sloppy workmanship).
 
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 03:13:09 am »
And to fly an ICBM on target you don't need a supercomputer - especially if the thing carries a nuke that will flatten a city of several millions of people. Then you really don't really care if it has an "accuracy" of several kilometers ...

Indeed early (1960s vintage) Soviet ICBMs had CEPs (Circular Error Probability) in the 1.5-6km range. By 1974 the SS-9 had a CEP of 200-700m (for a 18-26 MTon payload).
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Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 03:53:25 am »
And to fly an ICBM on target you don't need a supercomputer - especially if the thing carries a nuke that will flatten a city of several millions of people. Then you really don't really care if it has an "accuracy" of several kilometers ...

Indeed early (1960s vintage) Soviet ICBMs had CEPs (Circular Error Probability) in the 1.5-6km range. By 1974 the SS-9 had a CEP of 200-700m (for a 18-26 MTon payload).


When I mentioned Russian missiles I wasn't so much talking about nukes as SAM's and air-to-air missiles -- these don't work very well if you can only expect to get within a km or so.  The advances in Russian SAM's were game changers for the U2 missions and some say it even made the XB-70 irrelevant as well.  So, even back in the 50's the Russians were making some pretty good missiles -- some of which are still in service and lethal.

I suspected some of the IC's and components were thanks to espionage but it's also the case that Russia had and still has lots of brilliant people -- we just don't get to hear much about them in the west.  If what ataradov says about the development work ending in the 80's is true, and I find it hard to imagine that Russia would have ended all development and production work on components that were critical to there weapons programs, it would suggest that with the fall of the Soviet Union the Russians have had more-or-less unfettered access to western IC's and components and that more recent systems would then be based on western IC's and components -- again, that seems a bit suspect given the strategic aspects of there weapons programs.

And thanks to janoc for his feedback on the work done in the Czech Republic during the Soviet era -- outside of Russia itself the Czech Republic and the GDR would seem to have been the other centers for Soviet technology.

The 1980's were a milestone period not only for the demise of the Soviet Union but also the move to VSLI and the need for much tighter cleanliness requirements as feature sizes reached below a micron.  In the early 80's, when I worked at IBM East Fishkill, we were transitioning our thermal production tools to cantilever system to eliminate the quartz-to-quartz scrapping that was the norm up till then.  As you can imagine, pushing a quartz boat/sled into the quartz tube of a furnace was very dirty and up to the early 80's, because feature sizes were between 1um and 10um, the contamination was livable, but when feature sizes got smaller that no longer was acceptable.  So, I can see that copying or catching up was more feasible up to the early 80's and less feasible after that point.

Thanks also to blueskull for his comments vis a vis China -- though not strictly what I was asking about the needs and methods would appear to have been similar.  One thing I'd argue with is his comment about western education systems focusing on "useless" things like creativity and freedom -- our universities are filled with Chinese students so one would think they see some value in the approach.  You can copy if you are good at engineering, but to innovate requires something more and in this area the west still leads the world -- though the lead is shrinking...


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Online ataradov

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 04:06:11 am »
If what ataradov says about the development work ending in the 80's is true, and I find it hard to imagine that Russia would have ended all development and production work on components that were critical to there weapons programs,
It did not end abruptly, it just slowed down to the point of near death. There are still factories from that time that still make ICs (they have switched to modern equipment, of course), so the industry did not die entirely, it just really stopped developing, new equipment stopped being produced, all the associated research institutes shrunk in size.

While military is a big part of demand, consumer electronics contributed a lot as well. And consumers started switching to imported ICs, since they were easier to get, there were no supply shortages.

it would suggest that with the fall of the Soviet Union the Russians have had more-or-less unfettered access to western IC's and components and that more recent systems would then be based on western IC's and components -- again, that seems a bit suspect given the strategic aspects of there weapons programs.
Military people did not really adopt digital ICs as much, a lot of those ICBMs are still analog. Digital ICs were mostly used in non-critical ground equipment, like computers for R&D and stuff like that.

And it still happens to this day. If as a developer you want to use an imported component (if there is no equivalent Russian), you just write a note-type document (1 page) with clarifications of your requirements. If it gets approved (in many cases it does), supply people will buy some stock for maintenance, and you are free to use that component. And then as a result, in theory an R&D (called OKR in Russia) projects starts, and some of them even end up with a replacement component.

This rule is easier to apply to high-end stuff. Russia goes not make really big FPGAs, and some equipment is impossible or impractical to design without them.

Again, typically stuff that actually goes into actual rocket is all done with Russian components and components from Belarus, since it had huge concentration of manufacturing in Soviet Union, and Russia has good relationship with them.

But bear in mind, Russia considers ICs designed in Russia, but built by TSMC to be Russian for the purpose of this discussion.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:10:53 am by ataradov »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 04:21:33 am »
One thing I'd argue with is his comment about western education systems focusing on "useless" things like creativity and freedom -- our universities are filled with Chinese students so one would think they see some value in the approach.  You can copy if you are good at engineering, but to innovate requires something more and in this area the west still leads the world -- though the lead is shrinking...

I went through US MS and PhD education, and I've done TA jobs training US students and know what's happening in US universities.

The creativity thing is great, but that's putting the students in a gamble. If one is not really that good at creating new things, then without solid engineering capability, how can him or her compete Chinese and Indian workers with solid engineering background? I've seen many successful US students with good creativity and engineering capability, but I've seen equally as many, if not more, students failing to understand the basic engineering ideas. In other words, without common engineering sense.

As for the freedom of thinking and religion part, the only thing I would like to say is when one challenges mother nature, he or she always fails.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 04:35:33 am »
When I mentioned Russian missiles I wasn't so much talking about nukes as SAM's and air-to-air missiles -- these don't work very well if you can only expect to get within a km or so.  The advances in Russian SAM's were game changers for the U2 missions and some say it even made the XB-70 irrelevant as well.  So, even back in the 50's the Russians were making some pretty good missiles -- some of which are still in service and lethal.

I suspected some of the IC's and components were thanks to espionage but it's also the case that Russia had and still has lots of brilliant people -- we just don't get to hear much about them in the west.
The electronics for such systems can be deceptively simple. The only controlled technology needed beyond the rocket/propellant and explosives are the fast IR detectors such as HgCdTe or PbSe which can be made in low volumes without the vast complexity of a semiconductor lithographic process.

Back on more generic semiconductor technology if you rely on wikipedia you get a very US centric view of the world, but you can find a little on the periphery:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angstrem_(company)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikron_Group
And thats before you delve into all the allied countries during the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
 

Offline MasterT

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 04:55:52 am »
 I remember my first job at the CMOS factory, in Far East of Russia in 1992 as a quality engineer. We made some IC for military - K765 series, along with common "citizens" series K561 & K176.  Know that 765 was for some anti-missiles, alike "Patriots". 
 I wander, that discussions  doesn't include Japanese electronics, myself and all my friends dream about Japanese consumer electronics at that time, not american.   
 Regarding miniaturization, nano-technology - nm processes, it's not for battle field, nm and radiation/EMI resistivity is in inverse proportion. Can't see how the dumb size reduction may lead the technology. Rather the way to colonize the world. 
 
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2018, 05:18:05 am »
Not having the brains to be innovative, Russian scum copied most IC's that US companies invented - even Intel ICs. Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience. The USA should always be honoured for its great technological leadership in electronics. No-one can deny America's contribution to electronics and technological innovation - past, present and future.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2018, 05:56:10 am »
An acquaintance who grew up in Russia told me that in the late 70s various research labs there had produced competent CPUs that had good performance. However, the government instead decided to fund the cloning of chips used in the DEC VAX series, because those were the computers that ran the CAD programs used to design aircraft and missiles. Industrial espionage took care of getting the CAD files into Russia, where they could be studied and improved upon. Of course, this is probably third-hand information since I have no reason to believe this guy would have worked on this stuff himself.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2018, 06:00:06 am »
There were clones and entirely new CPUs developed and produced at the same time. I have never heard of stealing the software though. All CAD-like software I've seen was developed in the Soviet Union. Or at least it was masqueraded well enough - all translated into Russian, using metric system, and adhering to GOST standards.

The software was pretty primitive, so I don't know how much of it was actually used for designs.

The mathematical software was pretty advanced, but that was just command line stuff written in Fortran.
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Offline daqq

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2018, 06:15:33 am »
Quote
And thanks to janoc for his feedback on the work done in the Czech Republic during the Soviet era -- outside of Russia itself the Czech Republic and the GDR would seem to have been the other centers for Soviet technology.
It should be noted that during the soviet era it was actually Czechoslovakia. Slovakia also had some semiconductor production.

Quote
Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience.
Erm, check again. While there's a lot of copying going on for sure, China is VERY creative these days.



Here's a nice article:
https://hackaday.com/2014/12/15/home-computers-behind-the-iron-curtain/

If you want some pics of these alien (for you) constructs, see:
http://kxk.ru/dustyattic/v20_647735_1.php

Misc:
http://englishrussia.com/2010/09/29/a-visit-to-the-micron-factory/
http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/the-elbrus-2-a-soviet-era-high-performance-computer/
Believe it or not, pointy haired people do exist!
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 06:20:10 am »
Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience.

Read this, white pig*.

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

Macau is too small to acquire useful statistics and North Korea keeps to itself too much, otherwise greater China and Japan and greater Korea will take top 6 of the list.

*: to the particular individual. I don't have a beef to the general white population.
 
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Online BravoV

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2018, 06:20:27 am »
Not having the brains to be innovative, Russian scum copied most IC's that US companies invented - even Intel ICs. Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience. The USA should always be honoured for its great technological leadership in electronics. No-one can deny America's contribution to electronics and technological innovation - past, present and future.

Have you ever read the history about few simple stuffs such as compass, fireworks ?  Guess not eeh ... :-DD
 
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Online Bud

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2018, 06:48:57 am »
Give the guy some slack, he's been sick. And as can be seen in this thread, it is hopeless.

I've been mad for fucking years, absolutely years... I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us are. It's very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad.
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Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2018, 07:25:18 am »
Quote
And thanks to janoc for his feedback on the work done in the Czech Republic during the Soviet era -- outside of Russia itself the Czech Republic and the GDR would seem to have been the other centers for Soviet technology.
It should be noted that during the soviet era it was actually Czechoslovakia. Slovakia also had some semiconductor production.

Quote
Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience.
Erm, check again. While there's a lot of copying going on for sure, China is VERY creative these days.



Here's a nice article:
https://hackaday.com/2014/12/15/home-computers-behind-the-iron-curtain/

If you want some pics of these alien (for you) constructs, see:
http://kxk.ru/dustyattic/v20_647735_1.php

Misc:
http://englishrussia.com/2010/09/29/a-visit-to-the-micron-factory/
http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/the-elbrus-2-a-soviet-era-high-performance-computer/

Thanks for pointing out that before the fall the Czech Republic was part of a larger client state including what is now known as Slovakia -- I should have been clearer there...

I also appreciate the come back on China -- they may have in the past and still to this day engaged in reverse engineering and outright IP theft, but they have lots of brilliant engineers and scientists and before long they will combine there new found wealth with that talent and challenge the world with there new ideas.  In at least one area they are clearly the world leader -- consumer drones, no one is even close to them as GoPro discovered.  When you have millions of talented engineers performing tasks like building production facilities for Apple etc, sooner or later some of those engineers will strike out on there own in much the same way engineers in Silicon Valley have done for decades.

Please, although we've had one person go off on a thinly veiled racist rant I'd hope that we can stay on point here and avoid such nonsense.  As someone that's been in the industry a long time I'm interested to know about what went on on the other side.


Brian
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2018, 07:26:16 am »
Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience.

Read this, white pig*.

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

Macau is too small to acquire useful statistics and North Korea keeps to itself too much, otherwise greater China and Japan and greater Korea will take top 6 of the list.

*: to the particular individual. I don't have a beef to the general white population.

Sorry you had to see that...


Brian
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2018, 07:40:59 am »
When I mentioned Russian missiles I wasn't so much talking about nukes as SAM's and air-to-air missiles -- these don't work very well if you can only expect to get within a km or so.  The advances in Russian SAM's were game changers for the U2 missions and some say it even made the XB-70 irrelevant as well.  So, even back in the 50's the Russians were making some pretty good missiles -- some of which are still in service and lethal.

I suspected some of the IC's and components were thanks to espionage but it's also the case that Russia had and still has lots of brilliant people -- we just don't get to hear much about them in the west.
The electronics for such systems can be deceptively simple. The only controlled technology needed beyond the rocket/propellant and explosives are the fast IR detectors such as HgCdTe or PbSe which can be made in low volumes without the vast complexity of a semiconductor lithographic process.

Back on more generic semiconductor technology if you rely on wikipedia you get a very US centric view of the world, but you can find a little on the periphery:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angstrem_(company)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikron_Group
And thats before you delve into all the allied countries during the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.


The missile system that took down the high flying U2 flown by Francis Gary Powers in 1960 was not an IR missile but instead was radar guided with ground based command.  In addition, anything traveling at Mach3 had better have pretty fast responding controls or it will miss the target by, well, miles.  If it were so trivial why have so few nations, with large budgets at there disposal, been able to cob together something comparable 60 years later?  Even advanced missiles from places like the USA are not 100% effective against fast high flying targets -- IE the Patriot Missile.  Additionally, during the 60's and the Viet Nam war the principle longer range air-to-air missile in the US arsenal, the Sparrow, was pretty damn useless in spite of the advanced electronics we had.  Intercepting and destroying a fast moving target at high altitude is non-trivial!


Brian
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2018, 07:48:20 am »
The missile system that took down the high flying U2 flown by Francis Gary Powers in 1960
Slight OT here. There are transcripts of his interviews by the CIA after the exchange, and now they are publicly available thanks to FOIA here https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/home (search for "Gary Powers Tape").

Fascinating reading and amazing coincidence. The fact that rocket hit is a miracle, it was at its absolute limits, and he happened to fly right over the launch site. And the reason he had to fly over that place is to take picture of some unusual activity, which actually was testing of those new rockets for S-75 launcher.

Alex
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2018, 09:59:35 am »
When I mentioned Russian missiles I wasn't so much talking about nukes as SAM's and air-to-air missiles -- these don't work very well if you can only expect to get within a km or so.  The advances in Russian SAM's were game changers for the U2 missions and some say it even made the XB-70 irrelevant as well.  So, even back in the 50's the Russians were making some pretty good missiles -- some of which are still in service and lethal.

I suspected some of the IC's and components were thanks to espionage but it's also the case that Russia had and still has lots of brilliant people -- we just don't get to hear much about them in the west.
The electronics for such systems can be deceptively simple. The only controlled technology needed beyond the rocket/propellant and explosives are the fast IR detectors such as HgCdTe or PbSe which can be made in low volumes without the vast complexity of a semiconductor lithographic process.

Back on more generic semiconductor technology if you rely on wikipedia you get a very US centric view of the world, but you can find a little on the periphery:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angstrem_(company)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikron_Group
And thats before you delve into all the allied countries during the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The missile system that took down the high flying U2 flown by Francis Gary Powers in 1960 was not an IR missile but instead was radar guided with ground based command.  In addition, anything traveling at Mach3 had better have pretty fast responding controls or it will miss the target by, well, miles.  If it were so trivial why have so few nations, with large budgets at there disposal, been able to cob together something comparable 60 years later?  Even advanced missiles from places like the USA are not 100% effective against fast high flying targets -- IE the Patriot Missile.  Additionally, during the 60's and the Viet Nam war the principle longer range air-to-air missile in the US arsenal, the Sparrow, was pretty damn useless in spite of the advanced electronics we had.  Intercepting and destroying a fast moving target at high altitude is non-trivial!
Semi-Active and passive radar techniques were already in general use during the second world war, so they weren't hard to access for the USSR and not challenging to produce. But the usual game of cat and mouse continued on as counter measures and then counter counter measures were deployed for radar based systems and IR navigation. The point was that missiles didn't need advanced electronics to do their amazing tricks, just a lot of money spent developing and testing them which both sides seemed to have available.
 

Offline dgtl

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2018, 11:41:24 am »
I've heard a lot of stories from my older colleagues as I'm too young myself to have been working in soviet times.
As there was shortage of pretty much everything and the military was priority, the best stuff was allocated for military use only. For example, transistors with KT prefix were commercial-use and 2T were military-only. The military-purposed ones were better (tighter tolerances), but they were not allowed to be used in commercial applications. Hobbyists were able to get some unofficially sometimes, but they definitely could not be used in manufacturing.
For commercial stuff (ie radios), the components were split in 3 categories: things you could use, things you had to get special permission to use (incl paperwork showing why any substitution is not possible) and the stuff you could never use. It was not building down to a price point like now - you were not allowed to use these components at all. The allowed components had very large tolerances, so the schematics had to be engineered to cope with both extremes. For example, the probably most common transistor, KT315/KT361, had h21e of 20-90 or 50-350 depending on variant. And taking apart whatever device manufactured after 1980-ish, there are very probably some KT315/KT361 inside. Your schematic solution had to handle the variance, whatever was thrown in ther during the manufacturing.
All of the companies were state-owned and governed during the soviet times (with some small exeptions at the very end). Some engineers, who worked in large and important engineering bureaus at the second half of eighties, told that these larger and most important bureaus were actually using western gear - tek, rohde etc, because these were much better. These were smuggled into the country, probably at the goverment level. Officially, this gear did not exist. Even if development was done on these, the type qualification and all official testing had to be done with soviet equivelents. Engineers of that times have told me, that they were going mad with passing the testing - the better western gear told that everything was passing, but the official tests with soviet gear failed... And they had to tweak the products to get the required results.
Copying western stuff was not only ok, but required. Old engineers have talked how some officials smuggled some western audio gear into the country and then brought to the engineering bureaus to reproduce. The only issue was that the western component base was so much better that they had to design the internals ground-up. Of course these clones were much lower spec, but still looked quite similar. For example, there are tales that the gov officials in moscow had smuggled some Sharp Optonica audio gear to moscow. The management of RET engineering bureau (Tallinn, Estonia) were called in to Moscow and asked why they do not make stuff like that. They were given orders to reproduce the gear. The gear sold as "Estonia 010" series were visually and functionally clones of Sharp Optonica SM5100, RP7100 etc. The Sharp amplifier used ic output stage, it had preamp and power amp in one box. Soviet engineers did not have ic amplifiers, they redesigned the device with discrete components. Their version was much larger in 2 separate boxes (separate preamp and power amp), both of the boxes were 5cm wider. But the overall design and functionality was quite well copied. The record player was unique because it had automatic track searching etc. The sound quality was quite good considering soviet stuff, but the reliability was just horrible. Designing that large functionality with high count of unreliable discrete components meant that the failure rate was very high - i've seen probably more dead Estonia 010 amps than working ones.
Digital and microprocessor design was also very different. Most of the 74 series etc had soviet equivalants (K155, K561 series etc). The microprocessors were either mask copies of western stuff or functionally equal redesigns. Some older colleagues tell that when microprocessors became available outside of military market, the first years they were only able to get their hands on broken ones - the boxes of processor trays came with errata sheets, that listed which instructions worked on that batch. You had to program the code on that batch of controllers  with those instructions only. A year later, these sheets changed to listing the instructions that did not work.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2018, 11:45:29 am »
Not having the brains to be innovative, Russian scum copied most IC's that US companies invented - even Intel ICs. Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience. The USA should always be honoured for its great technological leadership in electronics. No-one can deny America's contribution to electronics and technological innovation - past, present and future.
Even most Americans with a little knowledge of history will tell you America was a technologically somewhat backward country at the end of the second world war. The reason they did so well in that war was their size gave them enormous production capacity. They didn't do well through their technological edge. After the second world war the cold war made America open to importing talent from any place it could find it, and build a technological edge in as many fields as they could. This worked rather well. Walk through an engineering department in the US, and you'll find a lot of the smartest and most respected members of the team come from those countries you think lack talent.

Someone coming to the table late is going to be at a disadvantage, endlessly trying to catch up with those who arrived first. China knew that, and has done a lot to absorb technology and catch up over the last 40 years. Now many of its major technology companies are on par with western ones, they are increasingly funding original research. Expect to see interesting things from them in the coming decades.
 
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Offline LaserSteve

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2018, 04:21:34 pm »
And whose Nixies and Neons won? Pretty clearly the USSR ones!
Russian Mil  RF tubes are damn amazing... Same for their thyratrons, plentiful, cheap, and very good at high energy.

I used to maintain some products made in Lithuania.. My gripe was that GOST series mil spec connectors were poorly toleranced crap and difficult to assemble  compared to Amp/Cannon...

One major difference. Soviet era high power equipment had tougher safety regs, you pop the lid and any large storage  caps are immediately discharged.

One thing USSR seemed to excel at, large SCRs and high power, high voltage, NPN  transistors.  The Lithuanian lasers I worked on had NPN inverter transistors for which there was no western equivalent.

The Rs and Cs used were quite nice, if a bit bulky. What is the deal with that weird shade of green paint used  for many discrete components and transformers? Was it for tropical conditions or something?

Steve
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 04:40:21 pm by LaserSteve »
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Offline Vtile

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2018, 06:00:47 pm »
They also did have different point of view in some research like the trinary computers etc.

At Riga, Latvia there were a huge radio factory - VEF, I suppose they also made own components.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2018, 11:25:59 pm »
One thing I'd argue with is his comment about western education systems focusing on "useless" things like creativity and freedom -- our universities are filled with Chinese students so one would think they see some value in the approach.  You can copy if you are good at engineering, but to innovate requires something more and in this area the west still leads the world -- though the lead is shrinking...

I went through US MS and PhD education, and I've done TA jobs training US students and know what's happening in US universities.

The creativity thing is great, but that's putting the students in a gamble. If one is not really that good at creating new things, then without solid engineering capability, how can him or her compete Chinese and Indian workers with solid engineering background? I've seen many successful US students with good creativity and engineering capability, but I've seen equally as many, if not more, students failing to understand the basic engineering ideas. In other words, without common engineering sense.

As for the freedom of thinking and religion part, the only thing I would like to say is when one challenges mother nature, he or she always fails.

Careful there. I was teaching at a fairly large Danish technical university and I had regularly Chinese students in class. They were excellent in things like doing crazy calculations from memory - one guy had it literally calculated faster than I could punch it into a calculator ... My Danish students were absolutely no contest for them in this, especially given that many didn't know how to work with fractions, negative numbers, etc. (not kidding!).

On the other hand, these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do. When it came to actual problem solving where they had to think for themselves and actually decide on their own approach to it, they were hopeless and the Danes were running circles around them. It was a completely foreign concept to them - they were used to a system where teacher tells them exactly what to do and they do exactly that, not a step aside. In Denmark (and the rest of the Scandinavian countries) the kids are taught independent thinking and problem solving from a young age, constantly working on projects and similar. So this is second nature to them. The creativity part is a natural component of this, including studying subjects in humanities to give them wider cultural background.

It shows that different education styles produce different results. I am pretty sure the Danes would have learned the math better if they were pushed (sadly the trend has been to go exactly in the opposite direction - but that's another debate) and most of my Chinese students did actually figure out that independent thought and problem solving part after a while, especially because we were forcing them to work in mixed groups with the Danish students so they were learning from each other.

However, saying that the Chinese students have a "solid engineering background" is a bit of a stretch, IMO. I am sure they have excellent background in math, physics and similar things but that isn't everything. Engineering is first and foremost about problem solving abilities.

Now, just to be clear, I am not saying that the Western students are better or worse than the Chinese kids. They are different thanks to the different education systems they come from and each have their own pros and cons.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 11:27:37 pm by janoc »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2018, 11:41:34 pm »
Careful there. I was teaching at a fairly large Danish technical university and I had regularly Chinese students in class. They were excellent in things like doing crazy calculations from memory - one guy had it literally calculated faster than I could punch it into a calculator ... My Danish students were absolutely no contest for them in this, especially given that many didn't know how to work with fractions, negative numbers, etc. (not kidding!).

On the other hand, these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do. When it came to actual problem solving where they had to think for themselves and actually decide on their own approach to it, they were hopeless and the Danes were running circles around them. It was a completely foreign concept to them - they were used to a system where teacher tells them exactly what to do and they do exactly that, not a step aside. In Denmark (and the rest of the Scandinavian countries) the kids are taught independent thinking and problem solving from a young age, constantly working on projects and similar. So this is second nature to them. The creativity part is a natural component of this, including studying subjects in humanities to give them wider cultural background.

It shows that different education styles produce different results. I am pretty sure the Danes would have learned the math better if they were pushed (sadly the trend has been to go exactly in the opposite direction - but that's another debate) and most of my Chinese students did actually figure out that independent thought and problem solving part after a while, especially because we were forcing them to work in mixed groups with the Danish students so they were learning from each other.

However, saying that the Chinese students have a "solid engineering background" is a bit of a stretch, IMO. I am sure they have excellent background in math, physics and similar things but that isn't everything. Engineering is first and foremost about problem solving abilities.

Now, just to be clear, I am not saying that the Western students are better or worse than the Chinese kids. They are different thanks to the different education systems they come from and each have their own pros and cons.
Many people in East Asia are fully aware that a major weakness of their education systems is excessive spoon feeding. It really annoys a lot of people just how much they have been spoon fed, and poor prepared for real world problem solving. However, there are efforts to change this.

Its unfair to say that "these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do". You can't hold the smartest ones back by not nurturing their problem solving skills. It comes naturally to them. The people let down by excessive spoon feeding are the middling students.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 12:40:35 am »
Its unfair to say that "these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do". You can't hold the smartest ones back by not nurturing their problem solving skills. It comes naturally to them. The people let down by excessive spoon feeding are the middling students.

Sorry but that is a rather oddball argument. Of course, the best of the best will prevail despite whatever screwball school system they were exposed to. However, what about the rest? Or those shouldn't have a chance at education because they aren't "good enough" and didn't manage to overcome the handicaps imposed on them by the school system? And that were not really their fault? (I have heard such views as well). Social arguments aside, even from a purely pragmatic point of view that would be a disastrous approach - we are sorely lacking engineers already - and 90% of those positions don't really need those best of the best, the "middling" ones would be fine.

I am not sure why do you think that what I have said was unfair. I have been speaking only about my own experience with my own students, not generalizing it to all Asian kids. However, I can tell you that even colleagues from places like Oxford had the same issues.

And finally - you are speaking about spoon feeding. That's not all what I have meant. For me spoon feeding is giving the student everything prepared on a silver plate so that they don't have to do anything themselves. I am not sure whether you have had any experience with Chinese students but I can tell you mine were certainly not "spoon fed" in the schools they were coming from.

What they had behind them were years of a hard drill - how do you think they got those math skills, for example? However, the problem with drill is that you don't get to learn how to actually solve any problems apart from those you were drilled on - and then have no idea what to do when faced with something new. What I meant is that these students were used to the teacher telling them - "draw this, calculate that". The decisions were made for them by someone of a "higher rank" and it wasn't up to them to question them, not that they were "spoon fed". There is a large cultural difference there - in Asia the teacher is a figure of authority and what they say is sacred.

One consequence of this is also that an Asian student will almost never tell you they didn't understand something - they will always say that yes, they understood everything, even though they have no clue whatsoever. It took me a while to figure this one out. The reason for it is that the teacher is a senior figure in their culture and saying that they didn't understand something would mean the teacher didn't do a good enough job - which would be disrespectful. So they will never say that. And you are left scratching your head about what is going on.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 01:15:02 am »
Its unfair to say that "these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do". You can't hold the smartest ones back by not nurturing their problem solving skills. It comes naturally to them. The people let down by excessive spoon feeding are the middling students.

Sorry but that is a rather oddball argument. Of course, the best of the best will prevail despite whatever screwball school system they were exposed to. However, what about the rest? Or those shouldn't have a chance at education because they aren't "good enough" and didn't manage to overcome the handicaps imposed on them by the school system? And that were not really their fault? (I have heard such views as well). Social arguments aside, even from a purely pragmatic point of view that would be a disastrous approach - we are sorely lacking engineers already - and 90% of those positions don't really need those best of the best, the "middling" ones would be fine.
There are a lot of bright Asian students that their education system can't break too badly, so "almost always" is just hyperbole. Get a sense of proportion.
I am not sure why do you think that what I have said was unfair. I have been speaking only about my own experience with my own students, not generalizing it to all Asian kids. However, I can tell you that even colleagues from places like Oxford had the same issues.

And finally - you are speaking about spoon feeding. That's not all what I have meant. For me spoon feeding is giving the student everything prepared on a silver plate so that they don't have to do anything themselves. I am not sure whether you have had any experience with Chinese students but I can tell you mine were certainly not "spoon fed" in the schools they were coming from.

What they had behind them were years of a hard drill - how do you think they got those math skills, for example? However, the problem with drill is that you don't get to learn how to actually solve any problems apart from those you were drilled on - and then have no idea what to do when faced with something new. What I meant is that these students were used to the teacher telling them - "draw this, calculate that". The decisions were made for them by someone of a "higher rank" and it wasn't up to them to question them, not that they were "spoon fed". There is a large cultural difference there - in Asia the teacher is a figure of authority and what they say is sacred.
I have spent the last 25 years living and working in East Asia with the engineers that come out of their education systems. What you describe is exactly what they term spoon feeding, and what many of them are unhappy about with their education. Hard drilling on narrowly focussed problems, not always gaining much depth of understanding, or development of their ability to break a high level problem down into pieces and solve those pieces. A whole lot of drilling on page after page of fairly similar questions, until they can just spot the patterns in the exams and rapidly churn out the answers. Anything that doesn't fit the patterns makes them step back, because they haven't had their ability to deal with arbitrary problems nurtured in their classes. The brightest are just thrown for a moment. The less able can get badly stuck.
One consequence of this is also that an Asian student will almost never tell you they didn't understand something - they will always say that yes, they understood everything, even though they have no clue whatsoever. It took me a while to figure this one out. The reason for it is that the teacher is a senior figure in their culture and saying that they didn't understand something would mean the teacher didn't do a good enough job - which would be disrespectful. So they will never say that. And you are left scratching your head about what is going on.
Yeah, I can relate to that. The healthy respect for education and educators in Asia is certainly a good thing, though. Its a pity there isn't more of that in the west. The downside is their referring to degree certificates as sandpaper. I doubt that term needs explanation.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2018, 01:36:49 am »
A bit off topic, but Soviet military products kept up with western products (or were superior) at least partly due to different approaches.  One obvious and widely reported example was ICBMs.  Soviets had superior rocket engines, thus more throw weight, and less need to miniaturize.  Another fairly widely report difference was Soviet superiority in many types of math.  Rather than needing a super computer to simulate or numerically solve a system a direct solution was developed.  When microprocessors took off the advantage for that approach was too great.  There are many examples of this sort of thing. 

While some claim some inherent superiority in one system or another, often it is more a matter of chance.  The winner is the one that picked the right horse initially.  When IC's started out their widespread impact wasn't widely understood, if at all.  By the time the difference was obvious (a decade or two later) it was impossible to catch up on the investment in all of the varied infrastructure.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2018, 02:23:07 am »
The Americans (us) spent a lot of time and money developing a ball-point pen that would work in zero gravity.  In essence, we had to invent the Parker T-Ball Jotter at .gov expense.  It worked very well!  The space program was saved!

The Russians used pencils.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2018, 02:24:55 am »
The Russians used pencils.
This is such a horrible urban legend. Nobody used pencils in space (for longer than was absolutely necessary), they leave floating graphite, and you don't want that stuff around.
Alex
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2018, 02:26:19 am »
There are a lot of bright Asian students that their education system can't break too badly, so "almost always" is just hyperbole. Get a sense of proportion.

He's just reporting his direct experience and appears to be trying to do so fairly. If it differs from yours, say so politely. Get a sense of respect for other people's experience*.

*See what I did there? Feel nice to be talked at like that?
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2018, 02:27:32 am »
The Russians used pencils.
This is such a horrible urban legend. Nobody used pencils in space (for longer than was absolutely necessary), they leave floating graphite, and you don't want that stuff around.

It's such a good story that it'll never die, no matter how little truth it actually embodies.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline basinstreetdesign

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2018, 05:21:45 am »
Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience.

Read this, white pig*.

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

Macau is too small to acquire useful statistics and North Korea keeps to itself too much, otherwise greater China and Japan and greater Korea will take top 6 of the list.

*: to the particular individual. I don't have a beef to the general white population.
:D

To my jaundiced eye there seems to be some small correlation of higher IQ to those people who are in the habit of applying themselves to difficult (probably technical) problems.

Also notice on that map that Canada is just slightly bluer than the good ol' USA. :D
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 05:24:39 am by basinstreetdesign »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2018, 05:33:06 am »
To my jaundiced eye there seems to be some small correlation of higher IQ to those people who are in the habit of applying themselves to difficult (probably technical) problems.

I was attacking VK3DRB's IQ point. But to your point, your are correct, higher IQ doesn't mean better problem solving.
My general experience is Chinese students, before having their first job, generally suck at solving real engineering problems.
That's why still in many Chinese companies, they have the apprentice system.
Many young Chinese college graduates know their math, but have no experience on how real life works.
If let them to design a board, they will literally spend hours calculating how much decoupling they need near an IC, rather than just sprinkle some 0.1uF dust around.
This usually gets much better after a few years learning from a master, then the apprentice goes to a higher job, starting doing some low-level designs on his or her own.

There is a capstone project before graduation a Chinese university, but usually the project is simple, and is a team project. As long as one in a 3 person team knows what to do, the rest 2 are literally doing nothing, maybe some documentation or purchasing.
I can complain all day on how average Chinese university graduates suck, but that has nothing with IQ. When you choose to spoon feed them with math, you are taking away their capability of sensing the world with their own sense, and replacing it with cold, hard numbers.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2018, 05:57:48 am »
Not having the brains to be innovative, Russian scum copied most IC's that US companies invented - even Intel ICs. Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience. The USA should always be honoured for its great technological leadership in electronics. No-one can deny America's contribution to electronics and technological innovation - past, present and future.
Even most Americans with a little knowledge of history will tell you America was a technologically somewhat backward country at the end of the second world war. The reason they did so well in that war was their size gave them enormous production capacity. They didn't do well through their technological edge. After the second world war the cold war made America open to importing talent from any place it could find it, and build a technological edge in as many fields as they could. This worked rather well. Walk through an engineering department in the US, and you'll find a lot of the smartest and most respected members of the team come from those countries you think lack talent.

Someone coming to the table late is going to be at a disadvantage, endlessly trying to catch up with those who arrived first. China knew that, and has done a lot to absorb technology and catch up over the last 40 years. Now many of its major technology companies are on par with western ones, they are increasingly funding original research. Expect to see interesting things from them in the coming decades.


Now this is exactly the kind of comment I was hoping to get -- very interesting indeed.


Brian
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2018, 06:15:10 am »
Not having the brains to be innovative, Russian scum copied most IC's that US companies invented - even Intel ICs. Now its China who demonstrates it does not have the IQ to create anything much, just copy and steal, without a conscience. The USA should always be honoured for its great technological leadership in electronics. No-one can deny America's contribution to electronics and technological innovation - past, present and future.
Even most Americans with a little knowledge of history will tell you America was a technologically somewhat backward country at the end of the second world war. The reason they did so well in that war was their size gave them enormous production capacity. They didn't do well through their technological edge. After the second world war the cold war made America open to importing talent from any place it could find it, and build a technological edge in as many fields as they could. This worked rather well. Walk through an engineering department in the US, and you'll find a lot of the smartest and most respected members of the team come from those countries you think lack talent.

Someone coming to the table late is going to be at a disadvantage, endlessly trying to catch up with those who arrived first. China knew that, and has done a lot to absorb technology and catch up over the last 40 years. Now many of its major technology companies are on par with western ones, they are increasingly funding original research. Expect to see interesting things from them in the coming decades.


Well, the US was not the backwater prior to WWII that some make it out to be and the role the US played as the arsenal of democracy, as it was called, can hardly be ignored.  To be sure it was behind Britain and Germany but not by that much.  The powered airplane and automotive assembly line were pioneered in the USA long before WWII.

I agree, however, that for many things the east, that is China, has largely caught up at the consumer level but much of that is down to the fact that they now produce most of the worlds consumer goods.  Apple may design the iPhone etc in the USA, but most of it is made, or more accurately assembled, in China.  The other eastern nations were on par with the west sooner -- think South Korea, Taiwan and of course, Japan.  At the cutting edge, however, the west still leads the east though even there the gap is closing.

Sadly, with all the talent at there disposal, Russia has lagged behind with the singular exception of military hardware where they are pretty near on par with the west.  One has to wonder what Putin thinks about there situation vis-a-vis China -- at the beginning of 1990 China wasn't even in the top 10 of world economies and within two decades they became number 2.  Russia has focused so much on the west they hardly noticed as the southern neighbor eclipsed them economically and, by reasonable projections, militarily within a decade or so.  Of course, if the current trend continues China will become the dominant economy, supplanting the USA, by about 2040 and perhaps sooner. 


Brian
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2018, 06:17:06 am »
To my jaundiced eye there seems to be some small correlation of higher IQ to those people who are in the habit of applying themselves to difficult (probably technical) problems.

I was attacking VK3DRB's IQ point. But to your point, your are correct, higher IQ doesn't mean better problem solving.
My general experience is Chinese students, before having their first job, generally suck at solving real engineering problems.
That's why still in many Chinese companies, they have the apprentice system.
Many young Chinese college graduates know their math, but have no experience on how real life works.
If let them to design a board, they will literally spend hours calculating how much decoupling they need near an IC, rather than just sprinkle some 0.1uF dust around.
This usually gets much better after a few years learning from a master, then the apprentice goes to a higher job, starting doing some low-level designs on his or her own.

There is a capstone project before graduation a Chinese university, but usually the project is simple, and is a team project. As long as one in a 3 person team knows what to do, the rest 2 are literally doing nothing, maybe some documentation or purchasing.
I can complain all day on how average Chinese university graduates suck, but that has nothing with IQ. When you choose to spoon feed them with math, you are taking away their capability of sensing the world with their own sense, and replacing it with cold, hard numbers.

Hey, I was talking about technological IQ of the country, not of individuals. Japan had a low tech IQ until after the war. William Demming started it all. From dumb copiers to smart innovators. There are exceptions of course. Japanese invention produced the blue LED, hence why the inventors were awarded the Novel Prize for Physics. The Shinkansen, VHS and Beta, and Flash memory are a few other examples of Japanese innvoation.

As for IP, if a patent has expired, there is no issue - copy it until the cows come home. That is why we can buy Roundup cheaply rather than paying Monsanto a fortune. But until the expiry, Monsanto deserved every penny a a reward for their R & D and innovation, producing a great product. But stealing intellectual property or copyright should not be tolerated. Talent and innovation should be rewarded and protected.

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/are-chinese-hackers-stealing-trade-secrets-from/5469020.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/chinese-firm-sinovel-convicted-in-u-s-of-trade-secret-theft.

The USA is clean but not squeaky clean. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/04/how-the-aussie-government-invented-wifi-and-sued-its-way-to-430-million/
But we can thank the USA for its outstanding contribution to electronics over the years, unequalled by no other country. It will be this way for many years to come.

Who invented TV? Before the Scots lay claim to it they should check out the work of Vladimir Zworykin. In any case, it was the American innovation that made it a commercial reality that we all benefit from today.

 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2018, 06:20:38 am »
The Russians used pencils.
This is such a horrible urban legend. Nobody used pencils in space (for longer than was absolutely necessary), they leave floating graphite, and you don't want that stuff around.


Thanks Alex, you beat me to it.  A US company developed a 'space pen' on the own with there own money and no long after NASA went with it so did the Soviets.


Brian
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2018, 06:25:33 am »
To my jaundiced eye there seems to be some small correlation of higher IQ to those people who are in the habit of applying themselves to difficult (probably technical) problems.

I was attacking VK3DRB's IQ point. But to your point, your are correct, higher IQ doesn't mean better problem solving.
My general experience is Chinese students, before having their first job, generally suck at solving real engineering problems.
That's why still in many Chinese companies, they have the apprentice system.
Many young Chinese college graduates know their math, but have no experience on how real life works.
If let them to design a board, they will literally spend hours calculating how much decoupling they need near an IC, rather than just sprinkle some 0.1uF dust around.
This usually gets much better after a few years learning from a master, then the apprentice goes to a higher job, starting doing some low-level designs on his or her own.

There is a capstone project before graduation a Chinese university, but usually the project is simple, and is a team project. As long as one in a 3 person team knows what to do, the rest 2 are literally doing nothing, maybe some documentation or purchasing.
I can complain all day on how average Chinese university graduates suck, but that has nothing with IQ. When you choose to spoon feed them with math, you are taking away their capability of sensing the world with their own sense, and replacing it with cold, hard numbers.

It would be quite useful for some engineers to spend time working with top technicians in the field they are hired to work in so they can learn the crap the techs have to deal with that could be made better if the engineers had some skin in working on it.   In fact, it would probably be a good idea to have engineers do this periodically so they never forget the crap they tend to make without having skin in it. 


Brian
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2018, 06:30:40 am »
As for IP, if a patent has expired, there is no issue - copy it until the cows come home. That is why we can buy Roundup cheaply rather than paying Monsanto a fortune. But until the expiry, Monsanto deserved every penny a a reward for their R & D and innovation, producing a great product. But stealing intellectual property or copyright should not be tolerated. Talent and innovation should be rewarded and protected.

Chinese are not dumb enough to violate easily enforceable rules, and are too smart to follow rules that are hard to enforce. Change how you enforce your rules or go home.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2018, 06:37:15 am »
It would be quite useful for some engineers to spend time working with top technicians in the field they are hired to work in so they can learn the crap the techs have to deal with that could be made better if the engineers had some skin in working on it.

Unfortunately this is not happening. China is a highly discriminative country with strict social hierarchy. The invisible walls between social levels are very hard to break. Not many engineers will give a shit what a technician says, and no technician will dare to challenge an engineer.
When people talk about sending their kids to a technician school, they get nothing but despise from their coworkers, and the general education system considers technician training a place to dump failed students.
Despite the government's every effort to make technician a respected job, and the massive amount of money poured to technician education (China desperately needs good technicians, not math nerds), the social hierarchy formed thousands of years can't be changed in short amount of time. After all, Chinese culture is all about competition.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2018, 06:48:23 am »
I've been mad for fucking years, absolutely years... I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us are. It's very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad.

It is a quote for Dark Side of the Moon, and you clearly don't understand it and probably have never heard of it. It is recorded by a British rock band called Pink Floyd. Dark Side only spent a world record 736 weeks in Billboard's Top 200 listing. That world record set in July 1988 has never been broken by anyone. In my opinion, that sort of innovation in the music scene, we don't see much anymore.

Pink Floyd pioneered the use of the EMS VCS 3 which is used extensively in Dark Side. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMS_VCS_3 A British innovation. No surprise, the music synthesiser itself was also invented in the USA, as was the electric organ, as was the Moog. Oh yes, Country and Western was invented in the USA. As was Disco. As was the Blues. As was Rap. As was Rock and Roll.

And who is the most prolific recording artists ever? Elvis? No. Michael Jackson? No. Queen? No. Bieber? Definitely not. The most prolific recording artists in history is The Funk Brothers from the USA. Never heard of them either, have you.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:50:31 am by VK3DRB »
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2018, 07:33:37 am »
It would be quite useful for some engineers to spend time working with top technicians in the field they are hired to work in so they can learn the crap the techs have to deal with that could be made better if the engineers had some skin in working on it.

Unfortunately this is not happening. China is a highly discriminative country with strict social hierarchy. The invisible walls between social levels are very hard to break. Not many engineers will give a shit what a technician says, and no technician will dare to challenge an engineer.
When people talk about sending their kids to a technician school, they get nothing but despise from their coworkers, and the general education system considers technician training a place to dump failed students.
Despite the government's every effort to make technician a respected job, and the massive amount of money poured to technician education (China desperately needs good technicians, not math nerds), the social hierarchy formed thousands of years can't be changed in short amount of time. After all, Chinese culture is all about competition.

It's not just Chinese culture that works that way, many other Asian nations in the east are also that way though perhaps not as rigorously so.  I worked for many years for a Japanese Automation company and I saw some of that with them as well. 


Brian
 

Online Stray Electron

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2018, 02:54:16 am »
And to fly an ICBM on target you don't need a supercomputer - especially if the thing carries a nuke that will flatten a city of several millions of people. Then you really don't really care if it has an "accuracy" of several kilometers ...

   You're absolutely dead wrong about that.  To take out a hardened missile silo (which is the goal of a first strike or a first retaliatory strike) you have to strike within 50 yards of the silo.  Taking the accuracy probably into account, you have to use multiple warheads or your warhead has to have much smaller Circular Error of Probability to ensure that every silo is destroyed and can't fire back.  The Russian's missiles never had that kind of accuracy, our's did.  That fact is what lead the Russians to negotiate the SALT treaties on the ballistic missiles.  They probably didn't know it at the time but we already had highly accurate cruise missiles in development and starting to go into production so loss of the ballistic missiles such as the Pershing II was not significant to American offense or defense.

   Destroying cities was never the goal of the American nuclear forces, their first goal was to destroy an enemy's capacity to launch nuclear missiles and/or nuclear bombers that could threaten America.  If necessary, enemy cities could have then been destroyed at leisure once an enemy's offensive capability was destroyed.
 

Offline gildasd

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2018, 08:49:47 am »
Back in the early 2000’s I was taking photography classes in Madrid.

One day, a student brought in a Zenith camera, those were a dime a dozen back then, had good optics but poor light sensors,
To prove the point that it was not worth the trouble, a teacher tested it... And it aced the test! It performed as good as a hand meter but at a distance.

Upon research, it was a model specific for border guards. We attached no particular value to this info at the time believing he had just been lucky.
Reading this thread all theses years later, I now understand that it was not an outlier, but better, military issue, electronics.
I'm electronically illiterate
 

Offline abyrvalg

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2018, 01:29:13 pm »
A few random "Homo Sovieticus" memories:

- wide use of Germanium diodes/transistors in "high" frequency RF
- loose transistor specs (mentioned here already). It was typical to see "you need to select a matched pair of transistors for this circuit" recommendations
- limited access to test gear. Find a friend in some state-owned lab (I had one in nearby airport's avionics repair department) or, if you are really cool, make your own (something like TV-based scope)
- soviet Z80 wasn't a dumb mask clone, it has optimized LDIR/LDDR instruction cycling detectable with SW trick
- KP1801BMxx 16-bit CPUs, first ones were custom arch, later were PDP-11 compatible. These were used in civil things too, I've seen them in cash register machines.
- Elbrus CPU project - a "cool" custom arch that made lots of noise but was never manufactured
- a piece of gear that was a dream in our early PC era: ArVid tape streamer - an ISA card interfacing to a VHS VCR allowing to store huge 2 GB of data on a 180min VHS cassette

The ArVid is an excellent example of those days attitude: make something from almost nothing.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2018, 01:33:26 pm »
6. Education. Unlike the western education system which focuses on "useless" things like creativity, freedom and religion, Chinese education system is solely focusing on scientific education. We were brainwashed from childhood to F the god and believe nothing but math and physics. This education system massively produces engineers. Since the science part is either open to the public or can be stolen easily, a country with massive amount of engineers has a lot of power to reduce ideas to practice.
I doubt that is an advantage. It is the creativity which gets to new ideas, solve problems in a different way and which in turn gets you ahead of the competition.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Bud

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2018, 01:49:10 pm »
Quote from: Stray Electron
  Destroying cities was never the goal of the American nuclear forces, their first goal was to destroy an enemy's capacity to launch nuclear missiles and/or nuclear bombers that could threaten America.  If necessary, enemy cities could have then been destroyed at leisure once an enemy's offensive capability was destroyed.

Ehhhm.....Hiroshima ? Heard of it?
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2018, 04:50:17 pm »
Both were manufacturing bases, thus a legitimate target. That the original targets were not found due to cloud cover and thus the secondary targets were used instead, with poor bomb aiming, as they had no real practise in dropping something from that high up onto a target, along with the constraints for speeds and clearances.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #52 on: March 25, 2018, 05:14:49 pm »
Both were manufacturing bases, thus a legitimate target. That the original targets were not found due to cloud cover and thus the secondary targets were used instead, with poor bomb aiming, as they had no real practise in dropping something from that high up onto a target, along with the constraints for speeds and clearances.
From the TV documentary I've seen the crew of the bombers which dropped the nukes on Japan during WW-II did a lot of training using dummies with the same size & weight. AFAIK the bombs landed very near the spots that where targeted.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #53 on: March 25, 2018, 05:29:16 pm »
Both were manufacturing bases, thus a legitimate target. That the original targets were not found due to cloud cover and thus the secondary targets were used instead, with poor bomb aiming, as they had no real practise in dropping something from that high up onto a target, along with the constraints for speeds and clearances.

Eh? Hiroshima was a primary target and was bombed. Nagasaki was a secondary target with Kokura as the primary. The justification worked up for bombing Hiroshima was that it was a "purely military" target, which was not true.

By pure coincidence, I recently tripped across an essay by Alex Wellerstein (the originator of the Nuclear weapons effect mapping tool) at "A “purely military” target? Truman’s changing language about Hiroshima" which is an excellent piece of original historical research, working from primary documents such as Truman's draft speeches, about what was known beforehand about the targets and the mix of military and civilians at Hiroshima. (TLDR; it was clear that Truman knew they would cause mass civilian fatalities and casualties and was preparing to spin it in a fashion not dissimilar to the spin put on the Iraq invasion by both British and American politicians - nothing changes.)
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline helius

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #54 on: March 25, 2018, 05:34:22 pm »
Considering the death toll on Okinawa (most of whom were civilians killed by their own countrymen to prevent them falling into the hands of Americans), Japan may have avoided a greater bloodbath by having Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and surrender compared to an invasion of the main island.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #55 on: March 25, 2018, 05:37:31 pm »
Quote from: Stray Electron
  Destroying cities was never the goal of the American nuclear forces, their first goal was to destroy an enemy's capacity to launch nuclear missiles and/or nuclear bombers that could threaten America.  If necessary, enemy cities could have then been destroyed at leisure once an enemy's offensive capability was destroyed.

Ehhhm.....Hiroshima ? Heard of it?
They had already destroyed Japans offensive capability and was now aiming to destroy their defensive capability and defensive will.
Btw, the tactical considerations are quite different when you are the first to drop an A bomb compared to when you stand up against someone with ICBMs loaded with A bombs.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2018, 06:50:17 pm »
..But how this relates to soviet production of electronics components?
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2018, 07:09:30 pm »
..But how this relates to soviet production of electronics components?

Nothing, but Bud's never seen a thread he can't derail by throwing some charged remark into it.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2018, 07:48:09 pm »
The size of economy in my view matters a great deal since that defines your natural market as well as your "safe" market.  The size of available resource is obviously dependent on the size of the economy.  Less visible perhaps is with production or manufacturing and for when one has to import/export to survive, the risk of development just increased significantly.  Risk of course is a big impediment to development, so size matters.

Given the strength of the Soviet military, one often forget how a small GDP they had.  Soviet era numbers are hard to come by now, but looking at projected number for this year (2018):

GDP (trillion dollars/1,000,000 million dollars)
1 @ 20.2  USA
2 @ 13.1  China
3 @   5.1  Japan
4 @   3.9  Germany
5 @   2.8  France
... UK, India, Brazil, Italy, Canada
11@  1.60  Korea (presumably South Korea only)
12@  1.52  Russia
13@  1.48  Australia
14@  1.42  Spain

In GDP terms, Russia is not even the size of South Korea.  It is less than 10% of the USA and just over 10% of China.

The other telling stat PPP:
 1 @  25.1  China
 2 @  20.2  USA
 3 @  10.3  India
 4 @  5.55  Japan
 5 @  4.31  Germany,
 6 @  4.14  Russia
 
Given Russia's limited size in terms of GDP/PPP, they just don't have the scale of what the larger economies can support.  Technology development in almost all known era and country came from first use and learn from others, then copy/imitate, then create their own almost as good, then, perhaps exceed that of the original tech leader.  But to "create your own" you need a market for it and their market simply is not that big.

In my view, given their small size economy, Russia is doing exceedingly well.

However, I think Russia needs to buy from itself more - that will keep more of the dollars in-country for further development.  What to me is clear is: Russia is too small to compete with China or USA on it's own, it needs partners.

EU seems to be suffering from self-inflicted wounds in their economy.  They just absorbed millions of adults to educate.  While it is too new to be reflected in current number yet, but absorbing millions of uneducated adults has to take a toll.  This is not an era of human muscle powered economy so cheap labor is not going to help technology much.  Until those new arrivals risen to par, EU is in "holding up" or "catch-up back to what it was" mode.  Besides, there is the risk of needing another generation or more for that to happen.

If one takes EU (as partners to Russia) out of the picture, there is Japan, India, and Korea in their near-by geography.  That will put them near as "viable competitor" to the big-two but still not as big.  Lacking a bigger safe-market or a bigger resource pool, Russian technology development (in manufacturing or creating new technology) will have a hard time keeping up with the big-two.  The future will be an interesting one.

Edit - opps, forgot to include the link to the GDP/PPP source I used:
http://statisticstimes.com/economy/countries-by-projected-gdp.php
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 08:05:18 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2018, 09:25:35 pm »
EU seems to be suffering from self-inflicted wounds in their economy.  They just absorbed millions of adults to educate.
Perhaps you should look up USA immigration statistics first! It seems the USA has a steady stream of immigrants of about 1 million each year. The EU has much more strict immigration rules compared to the USA and many refugees will be send back as soon as it is safe for them to return. Also there are twice as much people living in the EU than the USA so the percentage of immigrants is lower.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2018, 10:11:55 pm »
EU seems to be suffering from self-inflicted wounds in their economy.  They just absorbed millions of adults to educate.
Perhaps you should look up USA immigration statistics first! It seems the USA has a steady stream of immigrants of about 1 million each year. The EU has much more strict immigration rules compared to the USA and many refugees will be send back as soon as it is safe for them to return. Also there are twice as much people living in the EU than the USA so the percentage of immigrants is lower.

You are certainly right there.  Whether USA can continue to have an advanced society will greatly depend on if we can educate new arrival and bring them up to our norm.  The current MO in absorbing new arrivals seem to be making what they are the norm rather than bringing them up to our norm.  So the answer can hardly make any of us optimistic.  USA and the EU may very well sink together.

As I said in the last sentence of that same reply, "The future will be an interesting one."  We may well see our decedents living like our ancestors.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2018, 10:43:09 pm »
Russia is odd bird, always have been and will be long to the future. One should remember that basicly the feodalist slavery at there did not end at 1917, but at 1991. The most velthiest country in the world measured by natural resources yet economic dwarf.  Partly because there is no real protection of capital or justice, since the   corruption is so bad.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2018, 11:57:47 pm »
Quick comment about US A-bomb and Japan.  Given the fact that Japan had distributed a lot of the manufacturing into the neighborhoods where people lived, many homes having a drill press or lathe etc, it would be fair to say that everything was a legitimate target -- by the norms of war.  But, by the time the bomb was ready most of the major targets had already been obliterated using conventional and incendiary bombs so the idea was to test the a-bomb on targets that were still largely intact.  Again, by that time there wasn't much that was still intact.  The targets pretty much picked themselves given the above.

As to the Russian electronics thing ... perhaps the biggest problem Russia had was that because they were so successful at espionage and saved a lot by not having to develop things themselves they didn't invest as much in research as a consequence.  They did whatever they needed for military work but there wasn't much money left for consumer electronics.  So, there great success at spying actually hurt them in the end.  But, just to be clear, Russia has and always has had brilliant scientists and engineers and they did more with less than pretty much anyone on the planet.  The current political order isn't helping them move forward, sadly!


Brian
 

Offline PrecisionAnalytic

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2018, 10:15:48 am »
Kind of scope creep on the topics of the post.

In regards to the Space Race and Arms Race; my understanding is in certain clearances channels there wasn't so much a race... more an issue with lack of disclosure of weapons systems implementations and capabilities validated.  Furthermore, fundamental ideologies caused issues in regards to social harmony and information sharing as well as validated operations that were proving lies, illegal activities and not very pro-life operations that were really dangerous and deadly for World leadership role models of the most advanced domesticated complex social systems ever observed on the planet. 

In regards to electronics devices... the U.S. was far more open typically even when the "walls have ears" propaganda and culture periods.  Scientists and engineers defected when they could to the U.S. for a reason in many cases.  During certain periods in history, some didn't want to for a reason... maybe they were stuck in the gulags or not that bad off.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronika
http://balticworlds.com/design-of-electronicelectrical-systems-in-the-soviet-union-from-khrushchev%E2%80%99s-thaw-to-gorbachev%E2%80%99s-perestroika/
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000496308.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_in_the_Soviet_Union

I'll have to dig up references, though from my readings certain raw materials were chosen to be used to develop electronics components in the USSR and the US concurrently to develop a broader range of electronics components and I don't think as much the devices.  The issue more-so is the electronics industry in the U.S.S.R. was classified.  I'm not sure of their system of classification, however I want to say they were secret with their industry in general.  Many organizational systems were considered military versus civilian for approval of funding reasons I am thinking though forget exactly.

I've read before the U.S.S.R. electronics devices used thicker and more gold in particular though were scrapped for the material post the collapse throughout the U.S.S.R. member Republics.

Germanium, Tantalum and Niobium electronic components were developed more in the U.S.S.R. I read somewhere where the U.S. did also... though Tantalum was more there as well as the other materials.  Titanium was also, though more needed by the U.S. for aircraft production, e.g. the A-12 & Sr-71.  Seems they developed more vacuum sealed capacitors and variable capacitors also as well as developed ferrite for use in electronics components too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksander_Burba (this link noted germanium production was secret)
https://hackaday.com/2015/12/08/theremins-bug/ (goes into developments pre-WWII and with Nazi POWs)

If I understand correctly, we loaned the U.S.S.R. vehicles, aircraft and radio equipment during WWII. Though in regards to aircraft they seemed to have somewhat advanced ahead of the U.S. more secretly in a few instances to show case their accomplishments. However, the ego or attitude or something I don't understand dynamic didn't help mass production. https://ww2-weapons.com/lend-lease-tanks-and-aircrafts/  and   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease#US_deliveries_to_the_Soviet_Union

Interestingly the radio equipment isn't documented well in my quick look for references.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_Soviet_Bloc_countries
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_the_Soviet_Union

Interestingly "trinary" or "ternary" logic was studied in the U.S.S.R. where say the U.S. focused on "binary" logic hardware and software.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ternary_computer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setun

Here is a list you can parse through to find more Russian related inventions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Russian_innovation





 

Offline daqq

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2018, 11:03:04 am »
Quote
I've read before the U.S.S.R. electronics devices used thicker and more gold in particular though were scrapped for the material post the collapse throughout the U.S.S.R. member Republics.

Germanium, Tantalum and Niobium electronic components were developed more in the U.S.S.R. I read somewhere where the U.S. did also... though Tantalum was more there as well as the other materials.
This is true to the best of my knowledge - scrap hunters today go nuts when you name a few specific types of connectors or capacitors, because the precious metal yield in recycling is so damn high. I once sent a link to a price list for buyout of various types of connectors... he nearly had kittens, seeing the type of connector he discarded a whole box of to be worth a lot...
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Offline PrecisionAnalytic

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2018, 06:59:57 pm »
This is true to the best of my knowledge - scrap hunters today go nuts when you name a few specific types of connectors or capacitors, because the precious metal yield in recycling is so damn high.

Seems I watched an RT or other documentary that noted how some, if not all, of the government installations had the iron and steel stripped out to be salvaged by local "mafias" rather quick if not manned/stationed.  I recall an underground bunker in the Ukraine though still trying to find which documentary.  Youtube videos related to scrapping have noted similar in regards to gold and maybe other materials also.
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2018, 07:52:59 pm »
Quote
Seems I watched an RT or other documentary that noted how some, if not all, of the government installations had the iron and steel stripped out to be salvaged by local "mafias" rather quick if not manned/stationed.
Not sure about the Soviet areas, the local junk thieves here are generally small groups of people or individuals from "disadvantaged minorities", not any kind of large organized groups. These fine people can strip down pretty much anything and do an amazing amount of damage for a few kg of scrap - this includes tearing out heating pipes, water pipes, cables, AC, and occasionally even rebar from structures, destroying infrastructure... they are generally different from electronics recyclers, but I'm sure there's some small overlap.

Funny: http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2008-08.html
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2018, 08:16:23 pm »
As to the Russian electronics thing ... perhaps the biggest problem Russia had was that because they were so successful at espionage and saved a lot by not having to develop things themselves they didn't invest as much in research as a consequence.

Last week I saw a fascinating History Channel documentary on YouTube: "Stealing the Superfortress"

https://youtu.be/S7Wzs7GLqmk

Joseph Stalin ordered Andrei Tupolev to reverse-engineering the Boeing B29 "Superfortress" bomber (of which they had three craft that had emergency landed in Vladivostok).  105,000 parts; 40,000 detail drawings; 64 research institutes; 900 plants  Under war-time conditions, using slide-rules and abacus(!), and making many parts of wood because of a shortage of aluminum.  They did a rivet-for-rivet clone ("TU-4") in two years which was almost more remarkable than the original US development. 

Of course they were working under threat of death or being shipped off to a Siberian gulag. Lavrentiy Beria was the head of the secret police and overseer of the TU4 project and enforced "copy exactly" even down to the repair patches on the outer skin. And with all the original problems like engine overheating. They successfully copied the air-frame and engines, but were forced to buy the landing gear and especially the tires on the war-surplus market in the US  The Aviation Day parade in August 1947 shocked the American observers that the USSR had successfully cloned the B29
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2018, 08:50:41 pm »
I recall reading an article about this cloning in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  One of the interesting comments was that dimensions and shapes were easy to duplicate, but the alloys and heat treatments were much bigger challenges.   These were often detected by some sort of in flight problem.  And was one of the reasons the TU-4 didn't get produced in large quantities.
 

Online schmitt trigger

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2018, 08:52:06 pm »
Back in track with the original thread; Soviet made electronic components.  ;D

I am no expert on Soviet microelectronics. But............
What is apparent is that they kept using glass-state devices for a longer period of time. For that reason, several products achieved significant development, and continued to be mass produced long after the west decided to abandon them.

A fact that, for vintage component collectors like myself, is pure joy.
Thanks to this, there is still a decent supply of Soviet made tubes, Nixies, Dekatrons, Geiger tubes and other oddball devices.
 

Online schmitt trigger

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2018, 08:55:27 pm »
And indeed, Lavrenty Beria wasn't the type of man that would take "it can't be done" for an answer.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2018, 10:22:34 pm »
   You're absolutely dead wrong about that.  To take out a hardened missile silo (which is the goal of a first strike or a first retaliatory strike) you have to strike within 50 yards of the silo.
Yes, and to make sure the system remained that accurate, every 6 months a Minuteman missile is selected from the fleet.  It is pulled out of the silo, the warhead is removed and replaced with a data package, and it is trucked out to Vandenberg AFB in California, along with that missile's crew.  Then, they do the whole live fire test.  NORAD sends them a emergency action message, they decode it, open envelopes, enter codes that decrypt the launch software and load it to the missile, and then turn their keys to launch the missile at Kwajalein.  There, they have radars and hydrophones that locate the splash to <way above top secret> accuracy.

I have no idea if the Russians do this level of continued performance testing.

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Online Bud

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2018, 11:36:16 pm »
Quote
Seems I watched an RT or other documentary that noted how some, if not all, of the government installations had the iron and steel stripped out to be salvaged by local "mafias" rather quick if not manned/stationed.
Not sure about the Soviet areas, the local junk thieves here are generally small groups of people or individuals from "disadvantaged minorities", not any kind of large organized groups. These fine people can strip down pretty much anything and do an amazing amount of damage for a few kg of scrap - this includes tearing out heating pipes, water pipes, cables, AC, and occasionally even rebar from structures, destroying infrastructure... they are generally different from electronics recyclers, but I'm sure there's some small overlap.

Funny: http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2008-08.html

Yes yes tell them solar roadways are coming soon.
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Offline PrecisionAnalytic

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2018, 12:58:42 am »
Quote
Seems I watched an RT or other documentary that noted how some, if not all, of the government installations had the iron and steel stripped out to be salvaged by local "mafias" rather quick if not manned/stationed.
Not sure about the Soviet areas, the local junk thieves here are generally small groups of people or individuals from "disadvantaged minorities", not any kind of large organized groups. These fine people can strip down pretty much anything and do an amazing amount of damage for a few kg of scrap - this includes tearing out heating pipes, water pipes, cables, AC, and occasionally even rebar from structures, destroying infrastructure... they are generally different from electronics recyclers, but I'm sure there's some small overlap.

Funny: http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2008-08.html

Yes yes tell them solar roadways are coming soon.

Yes, that is true as I've heard even road work materials/equipment is lifted occasionally.   Farm irrigation materials, poisoning the youth with who knows what smuggled or produced from farm or COTS items then whatever the family and farm for the diocese or invalids mob cohorts, catalytic converters stolen and a few other issues also.   

Back to electronics, I recall specifically the documentary noted the mafia's knew of the gold and wanted that since was a higher dollar operation since was more known about in certain circles.

 

Offline duak

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2018, 04:53:54 am »
I was told that Soviet industry rationalized the 0.1 inch component lead spacing to the nearest nice metric number of 2.5 mm instead of 2.54 mm.  OK for small pin counts but by 16, 24 & 40 pin DIPs the western parts would no longer fit in the circuit boards.  Could any one in the know confirm or refute this?

Oddly enough, I worked with both Russian and Czech engineers but never thought to ask.


 

Offline Canis Dirus Leidy

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2018, 08:50:27 pm »
I was told that Soviet industry rationalized the 0.1 inch component lead spacing to the nearest nice metric number of 2.5 mm instead of 2.54 mm.
It depends. GOST 17467 allowed use 0.05 and 0.1 inch spacing for exported chips.

P.S. And some advertising (from first soviet IC datasheet information booklet). A visual demonstration of the advantages of "solid circuits" (a box in a woman's hand) over traditional electromagnetic relays (rack cabinet on the left):
 

Online schmitt trigger

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #76 on: April 05, 2018, 01:24:43 pm »
Was this GOST 17467 a standard similar to the JEDEC or JIS standards?
 

Offline Canis Dirus Leidy

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #77 on: April 05, 2018, 03:27:06 pm »
Was this GOST 17467 a standard similar to the JEDEC or JIS standards?
Yes, it was (repealed in 2013 and replaced by GOST R54844) a state standard for IC packages dimensions.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #78 on: April 06, 2018, 12:35:45 am »
Yes, it was (repealed in 2013 and replaced by GOST R54844) a state standard for IC packages dimensions.

Do Russian companies still use Russian standards on components?
Chinese companies, except those military ones, use international component standards (JIS/ISO/ANSI/JEDEC) nowadays. Chinese GB mandatory standards (like the IEC60950-1 counterpart and CISPR22 counterpart) are only applicable to finished end-user products.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #79 on: April 06, 2018, 05:31:34 am »
Soviet missile technology has been on par with the west since the 50's and by some measures are and were at least equal and perhaps ahead of the west. Making such things work requires real competence with electronics and more to the point, the ability to produce them. 

Is that really true?  I worked with a guy who was recruited from a high-level military intelligence position (so the company we were working for could help win military contracts).  He was always adamant that the biggest failure of the intelligence community from the 50's through the 80's was their total failure to realize how far behind the USSR was.  He had many reasons why that failure happened that are outside the scope of the question asked, but there was most certainly a perception that permeated western society that the Russians were *really* dangerous, when their technology was in-fact far, far behind where were assumed.  It wasn't due to lack of engineering brilliance.  If anything, engineering brilliance is what allowed then to be as close as they were with the shit resources they had, but there are just some gaps that no amount of guile can overcome.

And the illusion held up because the Soviets weren't really tested.  The only conflicts they were really involved in was the Polish uprising and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, neither of which tested their military hardware.  The USA really made huge strides in technological advancement after Vietnam, and then came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - that was a real eye-opener for the intelligence community.  They were looking at each other thinking "can this really be happening?  How can the Soviets be performing so badly?".  But it didn't convince everyone the gap was real.  After the fall of the USSR, the true breadth of the technology gap started to become a bit clearer, and then the west went into Iraq.  Russia supported Saddam with weaponry and technology, and it was really the first test of modern eastern vs. western hardware - and that was really when the massive chasm became clear and the intelligence community realized they had been wrong all along, and the Soviets had always been many years behind from a technology standpoint.

They are even further behind today than they were then.
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Offline bd139

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #80 on: April 06, 2018, 07:21:22 am »
Interesting thread. I worked in the defence sector in the late 1990s and the state of the art technology that was used was still well proven 1980s grade stuff. It’s quite possible that Soviet bleeding edge tech was as good as tested stuff elsewhere.

I rather like Eastern Bloc tech. 2.5mm pitch instead of 2.54mm. They had the right idea :)

I was surprised to see that I think Robotron was producing clone mainframes as well.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #81 on: April 06, 2018, 07:24:28 am »
Soviet missile technology has been on par with the west since the 50's and by some measures are and were at least equal and perhaps ahead of the west. Making such things work requires real competence with electronics and more to the point, the ability to produce them. 

Is that really true?  I worked with a guy who was recruited from a high-level military intelligence position (so the company we were working for could help win military contracts).  He was always adamant that the biggest failure of the intelligence community from the 50's through the 80's was their total failure to realize how far behind the USSR was.  He had many reasons why that failure happened that are outside the scope of the question asked, but there was most certainly a perception that permeated western society that the Russians were *really* dangerous, when their technology was in-fact far, far behind where were assumed.  It wasn't due to lack of engineering brilliance.  If anything, engineering brilliance is what allowed then to be as close as they were with the shit resources they had, but there are just some gaps that no amount of guile can overcome.

And the illusion held up because the Soviets weren't really tested.  The only conflicts they were really involved in was the Polish uprising and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, neither of which tested their military hardware.  The USA really made huge strides in technological advancement after Vietnam, and then came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - that was a real eye-opener for the intelligence community.  They were looking at each other thinking "can this really be happening?  How can the Soviets be performing so badly?".  But it didn't convince everyone the gap was real.  After the fall of the USSR, the true breadth of the technology gap started to become a bit clearer, and then the west went into Iraq.  Russia supported Saddam with weaponry and technology, and it was really the first test of modern eastern vs. western hardware - and that was really when the massive chasm became clear and the intelligence community realized they had been wrong all along, and the Soviets had always been many years behind from a technology standpoint.

They are even further behind today than they were then.

Soviet missile systems have without a doubt been leading edge stuff and that goes back to the 50's.  We over-estimated them in some respects but that was as much because our military industrial complex wanted us to buy more of there stuff so they promoted the idea we were lagging behind them.

The failure of the USSR to walk all over Afghanistan may appear to show the then Soviets were less than we thought, but the vaunted US has done what in Afghanistan in twice as long?  How well did we fare against Viet Nam?

If I take you logic then one might surmise the US is a military backwater because of the abject failure in Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Just how well did the US intelligence agencies do with WMD in Iraq prior to the 2nd Iraq war?

But, getting back to the competence of the USSR in military electronics the fact remains that in spite of there limitations and borrowing of this-that-and-the-other, they managed to build many weapons systems that were and are the equal of the west's best.  There approach has always been different and in many ways that harms them, but in some ways it helps them.  They were never able to compete rubble for dollar but they made the most of there more limited capabilities.


Brian
 

Offline MT

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #82 on: April 06, 2018, 09:37:54 pm »
Its unfair to say that "these Chinese students were almost always utterly lost unless told exactly what and how to do". You can't hold the smartest ones back by not nurturing their problem solving skills. It comes naturally to them. The people let down by excessive spoon feeding are the middling students.

Sorry but that is a rather oddball argument. Of course, the best of the best will prevail despite whatever screwball school system they were exposed to. However, what about the rest? Or those shouldn't have a chance at education because they aren't "good enough" and didn't manage to overcome the handicaps imposed on them by the school system? And that were not really their fault? (I have heard such views as well). Social arguments aside, even from a purely pragmatic point of view that would be a disastrous approach - we are sorely lacking engineers already - and 90% of those positions don't really need those best of the best, the "middling" ones would be fine.
There are a lot of bright Asian students that their education system can't break too badly, so "almost always" is just hyperbole. Get a sense of proportion.
I am not sure why do you think that what I have said was unfair. I have been speaking only about my own experience with my own students, not generalizing it to all Asian kids. However, I can tell you that even colleagues from places like Oxford had the same issues.

And finally - you are speaking about spoon feeding. That's not all what I have meant. For me spoon feeding is giving the student everything prepared on a silver plate so that they don't have to do anything themselves. I am not sure whether you have had any experience with Chinese students but I can tell you mine were certainly not "spoon fed" in the schools they were coming from.

What they had behind them were years of a hard drill - how do you think they got those math skills, for example? However, the problem with drill is that you don't get to learn how to actually solve any problems apart from those you were drilled on - and then have no idea what to do when faced with something new. What I meant is that these students were used to the teacher telling them - "draw this, calculate that". The decisions were made for them by someone of a "higher rank" and it wasn't up to them to question them, not that they were "spoon fed". There is a large cultural difference there - in Asia the teacher is a figure of authority and what they say is sacred.
I have spent the last 25 years living and working in East Asia with the engineers that come out of their education systems. What you describe is exactly what they term spoon feeding, and what many of them are unhappy about with their education. Hard drilling on narrowly focussed problems, not always gaining much depth of understanding, or development of their ability to break a high level problem down into pieces and solve those pieces. A whole lot of drilling on page after page of fairly similar questions, until they can just spot the patterns in the exams and rapidly churn out the answers. Anything that doesn't fit the patterns makes them step back, because they haven't had their ability to deal with arbitrary problems nurtured in their classes. The brightest are just thrown for a moment. The less able can get badly stuck.
One consequence of this is also that an Asian student will almost never tell you they didn't understand something - they will always say that yes, they understood everything, even though they have no clue whatsoever. It took me a while to figure this one out. The reason for it is that the teacher is a senior figure in their culture and saying that they didn't understand something would mean the teacher didn't do a good enough job - which would be disrespectful. So they will never say that. And you are left scratching your head about what is going on.

On the perspective of West v.s East chimps outperforms humans on certain things for rewards in peanuts.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 09:40:48 pm by MT »
 

Offline MT

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #83 on: April 06, 2018, 10:03:07 pm »
Unfortunately this is not happening. China is a highly discriminative country with strict social hierarchy. The invisible walls between social levels are very hard to break. Not many engineers will give a shit what a technician says, and no technician will dare to challenge an engineer.
When people talk about sending their kids to a technician school, they get nothing but despise from their coworkers, and the general education system considers technician training a place to dump failed students.
Despite the government's every effort to make technician a respected job, and the massive amount of money poured to technician education (China desperately needs good technicians, not math nerds), the social hierarchy formed thousands of years can't be changed in short amount of time. After all, Chinese culture is all about competition.

Confucius? Surely you would not so loosely base today's failure on a several thousand year old dude?
besides china is not a failure its about to become one grand imperial success seriously threatening
the current and crumbling down world empire USA.

The interesting thing is that china newer had (compared to current time western) a proper industrial
revolution despite (feudal) competition , it was kind of inbuilt into the feodal system not to besides
from fact that porcelain was one main showstopper while Europe found iron+ coal as the catapult
of development of its later imperialism. Or as the Chinese saying goes:
... China is large and the emperor far far away.
 

Offline Canis Dirus Leidy

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #84 on: October 04, 2018, 02:52:49 pm »
Some thread necromancy. Because I don't want to make new thread only to give a link to photos of old (eighties) Soviet IC packaging and testing equipment: https://ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/226003.html

Yes, it was (repealed in 2013 and replaced by GOST R54844) a state standard for IC packages dimensions.
Do Russian companies still use Russian standards on components?
Mostly for military/space grade electronics. However, even here type 8305.483-2 package can differ little from BGA483.
 
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Offline PrecisionAnalytic

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Re: Soviet production of electronic components
« Reply #85 on: January 07, 2019, 06:45:40 am »

Just how well did the US intelligence agencies do with WMD in Iraq prior to the 2nd Iraq war?


Seems we not only were chemically gay bombed and castrated... I'm guessing from what I've been reading regarding Microwaves dating back to the 50's Soviet systems... we in the U.S. Military, Roman Religious institutions and British Financial Industry City of London Offshore Crown Dependencies... we've been Electromagnetic Spectrum castrated also not just from unlawful beam forming. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Signal

http://dewdefenseprojects.blogspot.com/

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Directed-Energy-Weapon-Detection-Sys/

I think the U.S., Great Britian and Germany is still struggling with admitting EMS systems can be in fact WMD's.  Seems most the other countries agree when proposed that radiological and radiation can be electric and magnetic fields and I'd guess charges.
 


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