Four achievements of Soviet computers




Four achievements of Soviet computers

65 years ago, Soviet scientists have created the country’s first computer. Its registered 4 December – so began the official history of Soviet science. recalls four little-known fact about domestic PC that era.

Despite the fact that today’s young people the phrase “Soviet computer” does not cause any association, while older people in memory float only dark gray “Sparks” or “Spectrum” – only some 50 years ago of computer in our country was the most advanced in the world. Do not believe me? Get the facts.

Fact number 1. The first computer in continental Europe was created in the USSR

While dilapidated Europe was recovering from the Second World War, the Soviet Union in the late forties quietly created the first working model of the continent computers. Small Electronic Calculating Machine (abbreviated SECM), despite its name, has two floors (it was located, for some reason, in a former convent), and since 1951 has been used to solve practical computing tasks.

“Baby” faithfully fulfilled until 1957, after which it was (again, versions differ – why) cut into pieces and thrown away. But because no one was worried because by the time she was replaced by a large electronic computing machine – the famous BESM.

Fact number two. Three-valued logic for computer invented at MSU

Everyone knows that in addition to the Arabic numerals were still Roman, and besides decimal counting system, there is binary – it has all the numbers are composed of ones and zeros. It was very convenient for computers, where it is easy to implement the elements with two states (charged-discharged, there is current – no current, etc.), but unrealistic – with ten.

About ternary logic units known modern users – binary logic completely replaced all the competitors not only from the market, but from memory.

However, in the late 50’s it seemed effective use of computer elements of the three states. In 1958, the Soviet designer Nicholas Brusnetsov created by the design bureau MSU world’s first ternary computer called “Syetun.” The computer was built by AC ferritdiodnyh cells that were able to work in a two-bit ternary code.

Since three-valued logic entirely includes binary, ternary computer could perform the same operations as binary, but possessed with a whole range of additional, “ternary” options. With their help, some tasks are performed much faster, since the number of operations required less computation.

Fact number 3. Soviet computers with parallel computing began to be used in defense 55 years ago

For 50 years before the multicore processors Academician Sergei Lebedev with a team of associates in practice applied the principle of parallelism of the computational process by hardware.

Created under his leadership of the M-40 (military version of BESM-2) was based both on the lamps, and ferritranzistornyh elements and in 1957 began to be used in the air defense forces.

And in 1961, demonstration trials on this computer controlled system for early warning radar control for the first time in the world could destroy a ballistic missile with a direct hit in its warhead, the dimensions of which do not exceed one cubic meter.

Fact number 4. Soviet pnevmokompyutery pump oil and coal is mined

There was in the Soviet Union and something altogether from the category of science fiction. For tasks in which electricity is not available or extremely dangerous (for example, in the chemical industries) was developed in the USSR pnevmokompyuter. This analog computer (AVM) used instead of incandescent or transistors inductors, capacitance and membrane.

Principle of AVM is the same as in conventional computers, but instead uses the current conductors and the air (or gas) and hoses, by which it moves, passes through the membranes, and containers.

Developed in the USSR in the 60s architecture of computers in use today in some industries (oil refineries, aircraft engines, coal and ores, metals, etc.).

When “something went wrong”?

60s of the last century was the heyday of the computer industry in the USSR. Military computer shoot down missiles, “civil” to solve scientific and economic objectives, to develop and implement new technological solutions worked dozens of talented scientists in various institutes and design bureaus.

But in the absence of social networks, electronic documents and other collaboration tools, computer each team get totally unlike each other, and as a consequence, incompatible with each other. Therefore, in the late 60s – early 70s the Soviet leadership was strongly decided to standardize the architecture of all domestically produced computers.

Ironically, as the standards were not chosen proven platform Soviet, and American architecture and IBM 360 PDP-11 (development of DEC). However, the exact cloning was impossible – not Soviet industry produced components, which required American design ideas.

In addition, while our scientists have puzzled over how to reproduce the current development, American companies have designed a new generation of computers: thus began an irreversible process of technological backwardness of the USSR from Western countries at least one step.


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