According to the report of e-enthusiast.com (Wen / wuzipeng), on February 24, the situation in Russia and Ukraine deteriorated rapidly. According to the comprehensive reports of foreign media, it took Russia more than an hour to destroy Ukraine’s naval and air military forces. During this period, Russia did not attack Ukrainian cities, but destroyed military infrastructure by high-precision means.

Source: Baidu


We are shocked by the rapid changes in the situation between Russia and Ukraine. I believe many people also have a question: why can Russia, which seems to be “not strong in high technology”, carry out such a high-precision military strike?



Inherit the advanced technology of the Soviet Union

According to the description of guoyanying, a 1952 fellow of the Department of electrical engineering of Beijing University of technology and a domestic missile expert, on the issue of “why there is no chip crisis in Russia’s research and development of sophisticated weapons”, although Russia does not have high-end chips, it has achieved replacement in key fields through innovation, and achieved advanced and reliable weapons and equipment with analog and RF technologies.



If this view is combined with the current status of chip development in China, this approach in Russia is a real “lane change overtaking”.



However, it is obvious that both RF and analog chips do not have task processing capability, which is determined by the core attributes of the chip. When we extend the observed timeline again, we can find that Russia actually inherited some key science and technology from the former Soviet Union, including processors for digital computing.



Why is Russia not afraid of the chip being “stuck” China once pointed out that since the 1960s, the former Soviet Union has begun to vigorously develop transistors. In 1965, Alexey Leonov, a former Soviet cosmonaut, became the first person to wander in space when a spacecraft left orbit. The spacecraft needs not only advanced engine systems, but also key systems such as flight control and environmental control. It needs a number of advanced technologies such as RF, sensing, control and processing. The key to supporting the operation of these technologies is various types of components.



After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, although Russia did not further develop the semiconductor technology of the former Soviet Union, the necessary technologies, especially weapons related technologies, were still under continuous research and development. At the same time, the advanced experience of the former Soviet Union in ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, fighter planes, bombers, space shuttles and missile cruisers has basically been inherited by Russia.



It is true that Russia has not made the semiconductor technology of the former Soviet Union, especially the civil semiconductor technology, a global leader. However, in terms of weapons and equipment, Russia can be said to be a national force in the research and development of advanced weapons. In this regard, the electron tube technology and weapon design concept inherited from the former Soviet Union are a key element.



Many people may doubt that the integrated circuit industry of the former Soviet Union is basically concentrated in Belarus, so how could Russia inherit it? Indeed, the electronics industry is one of the dominant industries in Belarus, especially radio technology and microelectronics technology. However, these chip products are not only used in the civilian market, but also provide support for Russia’s weapons and national defense.



We can see how close the relationship between Belarus and Russia is from the United States’ severe sanctions against Belarus and Belarus’ rapid participation in the Russian Ukrainian war.



At the same time, if Russia, as the main successor of the former Soviet Union, did not inherit the semiconductor technology at all, no one would believe it. In fact, the ELBRUS processor developed by Russia itself was originated from the Soviet era. At present, the research and development task is undertaken by the Moscow SPARC Technology Center (MCST), and the predecessor of this technology center is the Lebedev Institute of precision machinery and computing technology of the former Soviet Union. It is worth noting that the ELBRUS processor is a dual-use processor.



In terms of RF, don-2n radar station is located in Sofrino Town, Pushkin City, the suburb of Moscow, the Russian capital. It is the only active phased array radar station in the world. Don-2n radar is the core of Moscow’s antimissile system. It can be called a unique radar system in the world. Even the United States only “plans” to build a similar system because of its complex design and high cost. According to the public data, the don-2n radar station has 152.4m long side, 90m long upper side and 36.6m high. The total construction cost is 32000 tons of metal, 50000 tons of cement, 20000 kg of cables, hundreds of kilometers of pipes and 10000 metal valves. Each inclined side of the radar station is equipped with a large aperture active phased array transceiver antenna with a diameter of 18 meters, which can detect and track up to 120 targets in the atmosphere and in the extraatmospheric region. Its maximum vertical detection range is 40000 km and its longitudinal coverage radius is 3700 km. Such advanced radar technology can certainly help Russia in other aspects.



These are the follow-up benefits of scientific and technological research and development in the former Soviet Union enjoyed by Russia.



“Alternative thinking” in Russia

It is also a reason why many domestic scholars suggest that domestic chip companies learn from Russia. It is not that Russia has made advanced chip products in this way, but that Russia has achieved the perfect replacement of core devices with the spirit of daring to innovate under the most severe sanctions of the United States.



Although Russia inherited some integrated circuit products and technologies from the former Soviet Union, they are not complete. Let alone that the main body of the former Soviet Union’s integrated circuits is in Belarus, even if all of them are in Russia’s hands, due to special historical reasons and Russia’s thinking of paying more attention to weapons and equipment, it is likely that it will be in a backward and restricted position like the current domestic chips.



When talking about Russia’s inheritance of the technological assets of the former Soviet Union, we mentioned processor, RF and electronic tube technologies. Many of these aspects have not been further developed to the world advanced level, but some have become sharp weapons in Russia’s hands, and Russia is also good at making use of its own strengths in these aspects.



In “why is Russia not afraid of the chip being” stuck ” In fact, this point is also mentioned in the article. Russia knows that it has made full use of its technical advantages in electronic tubes and has realized the replacement of some key chips by using RF circuits and analog circuits.



Guoyanying has publicly interpreted Russia’s other excited crystal oscillator. Many people in China regard it as a “universal artifact” in Russia’s integrated circuit field after reading relevant articles. As long as Russia doesn’t have a chip, it’s OK to use it. Obviously, this is a wrong interpretation.



Guoyanying pointed out in the article “looking at the current chip problems in China from the perspective of weapons and equipment” that in the fields of missiles, radars and air and space defense weapons, in addition to adc/dac, the chips used also include the chips of the weapon computer itself, communication chips and dsp/fpga.



Here we quote guoyanying’s complete interpretation of Russia’s use of other excited crystal oscillators for everyone to understand:



In principle, either the crystal oscillator or the other crystal oscillator is a general electronic circuit. However, it is a unique innovation for Russian scientists and technicians to make it into an if integrator to realize if coherent accumulation. The externally excited crystal oscillator usually does not oscillate, and its own resonant frequency is the quartz crystal frequency FOK; It shall be consistent with the IF frequency fom of the radar. As long as the intermediate frequency signal UD (T) is input, it will be excited and oscillate. The oscillation frequency is fok=fom. Since the IF signal of the radar is pulse modulated (see UD (T) in Figure 1), the crystal oscillator works and oscillates with amplitude during the duration of the pulse. During the interval of intermediate frequency pulse, the crystal oscillator stops working. However, due to the very high Q value of quartz crystal (up to 10^5-10^6), the output can be maintained at the constant amplitude oscillation value. When the next pulse arrives, the crystal oscillator is excited again, and the oscillation amplitude increases further. And then maintain a higher constant amplitude oscillation value. In this way, the output of the crystal oscillator rises continuously with the arrival of pulses, which realizes the accumulation of intermediate frequency pulses.(this paragraph is from guoyanying – “how does Russia’s” other excited crystal oscillator “replace the chip function?”

“Figure 1” mentioned in the quotation, source: www.globegroup.com


As we all know, when the traditional method is used to realize if coherent accumulation, people mostly use FPGA devices, and it is easy to find relevant implementation schemes on the network. Then the Russian practice is obvious, that is, using other excited crystal oscillator to replace FPGA to realize this function.



This is the “alternative thinking” of Russia, which is worth learning from our domestic chip companies. If we blindly follow international companies in R & D, we may make money, but it will not work at the critical time. The reason is very simple. Compared with other people in familiar fields, the probability should be taken into account.



Of course, in addition to the technical inheritance of the former Soviet Union and Russia’s bold innovation, we should also take into account the particularity of weapons and equipment. The pursuit of reliability and stability is the first element. Even if the technology is not advanced, there is plenty of space inside the weapons for deployment. Therefore, today Russia is still in the first echelon of the world in terms of weapons and equipment, and its rapid destruction of the Ukrainian armed forces shows its hard power.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *