We are enlightened: We understand what computers were in the USSR? (Topic)

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We are enlightened: We understand what computers were in the USSR?


The history of Soviet computers dates back to the 50s of the last century, from the moment the first computers appeared.

Computers were mainly created for industrial equipment, but later personal samples began to appear. Academician S. Lebedev, the creator of the first electronic computing machine, who took part in the creation of 18 computer models, many of which went into serial production, is considered the pioneer of domestic computer engineering.

The very first computer

The first Soviet computer was MESM - Small Electronic Counting Machine. Its development by the Lebedev laboratory began in 1948, and already in 1951 the inspection of the Academy of Sciences accepted it into operation. MESM performed 3000 operations per minute (it was considered a good indicator), occupied an entire room with an area of 60 m2, consisted of 6000 lamps, read information not only from punched cards, but also from magnetic tapes.


Improved version

An improved version of the first computer was named BESM (correspondingly - Large Electronic Counting Machine). Its authorship also belongs to Lebedev. Unlike the first sample, the BESM performed more operations, being a general-purpose device for various tasks and calculations. Its modification - BESM-2 was created for mass production, and later the machine became the prototype of military computers.


The most successful model was the BESM-6 series. The computer was considered quite advanced for its time: it had several modes, controlled remote devices, and supported the virtual memory mechanism.

First production model

The next stage of the Soviet computer building was the creation of a computer called " Dnepr ". This general-purpose computer was created for many sectors of the national economy. On its basis, the serial production of computers was formed.


By the 60s, many industrial associations equipped their production facilities with Dnepr equipment, entrusting the control of technological processes to a computer.

First Personal Device

The next generation of serial production computers appeared in 1965. The name " WORLD " stands for "Machine for Engineering Calculations". These computers were among the world's first single-user devices. MIR possessed a number of innovative characteristics for its time, which influenced the use of the computer, as well as the types of calculations and tasks performed.


The computers of this series were not powerful enough, however, their computing resource (up to 300 operations per second) allowed for standard engineering calculations. The next modification - MIR-2 already performed up to 12,000 operations per second, and MIR-3 had a characteristic that was 20 times higher than that of the previous sample.


Soviet engineer V. Burtsev is considered the main developer of the first domestic supercomputers. Under his leadership, a series of computers called " Elbrus " appeared, which possessed many innovative innovations: protected programming, superscalarity of processor processing, symmetric multiprocessor architecture with shared memory.


All these characteristics were present in Soviet computers earlier than in Western counterparts. The main feature of Elbrus is its focus on high-level programming languages.

Later, these computers became the basis for the production of 64-bit microprocessors " Elbrus 4-С " of the universal type and their next modification - " Elbrus 8-С ". The main reason for the development of processors was the search for their own technological solutions for the defense sector.

The Topic of Article: We are enlightened: We understand what computers were in the USSR?.
Author: Jake Pinkman