ISTORICAL REVIEW PHOGWM
MEMORANDUM FOR: Chief,
Office of Scientific Intelligence
Response to Questions Concerning the
Transfer of Semiconductor Technology to the USSR
Attachedormal response to your questions concerning the transfer of semiconductor technology from the West to the USSR, and the possibilities for transfer under the US-USSR bilaterals. These answers were given to you informallyarch.
If additional information or clarification is desired, please contact
of Economic kesearcn
Transfer of Semiconductor Technology to the USSR
I- Questions What (legal/illegal) transfers of semiconductor technology to the USSR have taken place* to date?
Before detente the USSRew items of equipment for manufacturing semiconductors,mostly in Western Europe and Japan. These purchases were of little significance, however. In the earliest case (in thehe USSR purchased aboutermanium ingot slicing machines from Japan. Although these machines may havesubstantially the output of germanium wafers for diodes and transistors, they could not have affected the quality of output. More, the USSR acquired diffusion furnaces from the UK in connection with the Italian FIAT contract toassenger car facility at Tol'yatti. The furnaces were intended to be used to manufacture diode rectifiers for car alternators. For several years, Switzerlandon-COCOM country) has been selling unknown quantities of thin-film evaporationto the USSR, probably for hybrid circuits. The US hasarge number of chemical milling machines (spray etchers) to the USSR Strictly speaking, these are not items of semiconductor production machinery, butery closely related technology; they are used in the fabrication of printed circuit boards and lead frames, both of which are needed for mounting semiconductor devices.
The Soviets also have acquired semiconductortechnology through illegal channels. Thesemay haveignificant impact on Sovietproduction capabilities. Although most reportspurchases are allegations that are difficultit seems almost certain that the USSR hasfollowing: ine for the production of*process manual forICs, diffusion xurnaces, and testing equipment.
Question: which science and technology agreements could Involve transfers of semiconductor technology to the USSR?
(A) US-USSR bilateral agreements?
The cooperative agreement on "Standards and Standardization" is the only one to date that specifically mentions semiconductors. Thatwhich providesoint working group in the area of standardization of integrated circuit testing, could constitute an avenue for the transfer of US semiconductor technology to the USSR. testing, which is crucial to the attainment of economic production yields is an area in which the USSR is not very advanced. Other areas of cooperation under the bilaterals that could result in gains to tha USSR in semiconductor technology Include:
Microbiology: Working Group on "Engineering rosc.irch and methods for the OOTpUtttrllM design and control of processes for microbiological technology".
Oceanography: Working Group on "Intercalibra-tion and standardization of oceanographicand methods".
Science Policy: Working Group on "Systems for tho support" of fundamental science".
Energy: Working Group onasically this covers solar cells. However, theinvolved is similar to that used in theof photodiodes and photo-transistors, which are of strategic importance.
Water Resources: Working. Group on "Use of equipment, automatically controlled, for two-way transmission of information to control panels and devices. This includes joint work on systems analysisand up-to-date computer technology.
Agreements between USSR and private US firms?
Electronic component technology has beenin several science and technology agreements between the USSR and US firms. Specific US firms which reportedly have signed or are negotiating agreements with the USSR involving electronic component technology include:
These agreements offer the prospect of atransfer of technology through direct sale, visits to US production facilities, and exchange of information.
Q'lesrion: What are Soviet semiconductorow many years are they behind?
We estimate that, overall, Soviet semiconductorand production lags at least five years behind that of the US. There are, of course, specific areas of semiconducbor technology where Soviet developments are not far behind US work for example, in the laboratory development of some semiconductor materials. But Soviet capabilities lag significantly in the area of applied research and development and, especially, in industrial scale production.
In terms of production, Soviet output is small relative to that of the US. In the area of integrated circuits, Soviet output3 is believed to have been lesshat of the US. Moreover, the Soviet IC product-mix is made up mainly of low density devices (SSI: small-scale integration) comparable to US state-of-the-art of The Soviet technological lag is greatest in MOS, LSI, linear ICs, high voltage devices nd in advanced types of solid-state microwave devices, with the exception of tunnel diodes.