LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTION OF SEMICONDUCTORS IN THE USSR AND EAST EUROP

Created: 10/19/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

level of Technology and Production of Semiconductors in tho USSR and Host Europe

jmsr

I. USSR

A. General

The rapid growth in the production of sealconductor devices in the USSRational goal of high priority. In recent years the output of cemiconductors has grown at very high rotes (it io estimated that output increasedercent6 compared, and statements by leading officials of the electronics Industry attest to plans for continued repid growth during the current Five YearV Technology

Although the production of transistors end integrated circuits (iC's) in the USSR currentlyigh priority. Free World observers find unusual trends In the direction and rate of development of such production. The USSR has been slower than the industrial countries of the Free World in replacing tube components with trsnslotors In industrial instruments, computers, communications equipment and probably inquipment. Manufacturers and users of electronic equipment appear to prefer the use of tubes because of their established reliability. Much of the production of Soviet garden variety transistors is of uncertain quality, probably caused by marginal standards for acceptance testing. The cutoff point for acceptance of general purpose transistors probably is set too low and some devices of questionable reliability may oot be rejected. The transistors with the very best parameters ere probably set aside for military-space uae. Humorous complaints about the reliability and assortment

of semiconductors, and about delays In their delivery appear in the Soviet press. Soviet semiconductors taken from consumer entertainment equipment have been examined by US components exports and found to be no more then adequate for their intended purpose.

It ls somewhat surprising tbat at this time the USSR should not be engaged in large scale production of silicon transistors and integrated circuits. Silicon is the basic material for integrated circuitechnology that Soviet planners admit is crucial to advanced electronics programs, particularly for the development of fast computers vlth large memories. The explanation for .the apparent dearth of silicon transistors and IC's may be simply that tbe USSR has had difficulty In developing commercial-scale production processor, and equipment. There Is convincing evidence that Soviet semiconductor producers are quite anxious to obtain Information and equipment for integrated circuit production cither directly from US producers or indirectly from their overseas licensees In Western' Europe and Japan. Therevidence that the Soviets have bought IC'sarge electronics firm In tbe Motherlands.

The extent of availability of high purity silicon In the USSR cannot be determined from available evidence. he USSR offered for sale end sold internationally some small amounts of transistor-grade silicon. On the other hand, most of the silicon devices made In the USSR appear to be diodes and rectifiers, and for this use silicon materials need not have tho high purity required for transistors.

Analysis of the fev officially published statistics available Indicates that the gross output ofonductors in the USSR0 uaeillion units. ote of rejection of finished devices of aboutercent (rotes of up toercent have been reported by Free Vorld visitors to Soviet semiconductorhe production of useable devices6 probably vas on the orderillion units or aboutercent of US production in that year. Superficial evidence indicates that most of the Soviet semiconductors are diodes. Moreover, Sovietin mooo production appear to be of the relatively ordinary point contact, alloyed, and diffused Junction types. There is no evidence of oagg production of epitaxial mesa and planar types.

of Semiconductors

Semiconductors appear to be replacing conventional tubeslov pace. Certain items of trensis tori sad and miniaturized consumer,nd communications equipment have appeared in the USSR, but the value of this product is relatively small compared vlth the value of the total output of the electronics industry. Moreover, very little transistorised military equipment has been noted. It is suggested that the self-sufficiency which the Soviets claim for their semiconductor Industry is only Justified becauseinor port of their electronic equipmentesigned to Incorporate semiconductors. Western observers have noted that seme of the very latest Soviet equipment (for example, that displayed atnd the Perls Air Show) contains only tubes.

E. Production Machinery

In contrast to the mediocrity of its semiconductor devices, the ccmiconductor production machinery that the USSR has exhibited at trade fairs in recent years appears to be quite modem. This machinery ls often cited as an indication of advances in Soviet technology because it Is prcsuncd the USSR would not export its bestence oust have come better equipment which it is concealing. In many cases, however, the machines ore direct copies of US equipment, and the actual capabilities of the machines, as well as their availability in the USSR, are known only by Soviet claims. It io known that the USSR has imported semiconductormachinery from the Free World in recent years. Moreover, there arc continuing attempts (and actual orders) by the USSR to obtain more specialized production equipment and complete production processes from the Free World end, in some cases, indirectly from the US. It appears that tbe USSR, far from being satisfied with Its semiconductor output would likexpand Its production with Large Inputs of Free World production equipment. These facts are not consistent with Soviet claims that the USSR currentlyelf-sufficient semiconductor Industry.

EA1IT EUROPE A. General

The total output (including rejects) of semiconductors In East Europe6 is estimated at aboutillion units, or abcejff the Soviet level of output. In all respects: sine end assortment of output, scope of research and development activityollectively the semiconductor industries of East Europe cannot approach that of the USSR.

In theory, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CEMA) directs cooperation in semiconductor development and production throughout East Europe under the leadership of the USSR. Under CEHA, the Academies of Science ofmber countries have vorklng agreements for the exchange of research and production technology. Czechoslovakia has been designated coordinator for semiconductor research vithln EE; East Go rainy vas tasked to provide semiconductor materials, prototype equipment and the technology forproduction of semiconductor devices; Czechoslovakia and Poland, are responsible for providing essential laboratory grade chemicals for semiconductor research to all EE countries except East Germany.

In practice, however, the exchange of information between EE countries is effective only when it Is mutually desired. The exchange of information with the USSR lo governed, by other considerations. Por example, the USSR

t

had agreed in CEMA to provide guidance and assistance in semiconductor production to other members. Experience has shown, however, thatwith the USSR isne-way street. The USSR has tended to incorporate the best results obtained by the other member countries and to asalgn Guch teaks to them as would benefit its own semiconductor program,

Including the designation of products to he manufactured in specific factories. Over time, member countries have learned to protect their research programs against unrequited exploitation not only by the USSR, but also by the other COW countries. The result is not cooperation and specialization, but isolation and duplication of effort. The effectiveness of CEMA is further diluted by restrictions on the movement of scientists and personnel vithln and between countries. This greatly reduces the exchange of Ideas. The nobility of people and the transfer of ideas have been extremely important to semiconductor development in the US.

According to present indications, not only are Czechoslovakia and East Germany producing semiconductors, but Hungary, ond,ertain extent, Poland have developed some competence In their production. It is believed that these countries now hove sufficient moterials, funding, and qualified scientists, to carry on their own limited research andprograms, independently of CEMA assistance.

arge extent, however, the success of future programs in all the East Europe countries may hinge on their ability to acquire equipment and technology froa the West. During thes Bulgaria, Poland and Rumania obtained equipment and technological assistance froa Great Britain, France, and Japan for the establishment of cocnacrcial scale production of general purpose germanium devices. hese countries were producing germanium transistors that were only slightly under Free World quslity. It hne been reported thatercent of the semi conductors currently produced In East Europe are made of germanium, ond that these are mainly diodes. Virtually all of the silicon devices produced in East Europe are

power diodes. Czechoslovakia and Kost Gorannyery few silicon transistors. At present these two countrico are developing and attempting to procure semi-automated equipment to permit commercial scale production of integrated circuits. It. Bulgaria

Bulgaria, the least important producer of semiconductors in East Europe, producedillion semiconductor devices Production of ncmiconductors in Bulgaria effectively began only5 with the activationew plant in Botevgrad, built, equipped, and licensed by the French firm Compangie Gene rale de Telcgraphie Bans Pileo produce germanium -transistors and diodes. These semiconductors are apparently of acceptable quality,small number are currently being exported to other Communist countries. The plant will satisfy one-third of Bulgaria's domestic needs, when In full production,

A limited semiconductor research and development program hes been carried on lu Bulgaria since Int tbe Plovdiv Fair, Bulgaria displayed silicon planer devices for operation in the megahertz region; It vas claimed that these were produced domestically.7 Bulgaria plans to produce tunnel diodesimited scale at the Semiconductor Laboratory.in Sofia, and silicon rectifiers and diodes in new facilities at Botevgrad. These new facilities are reportedly being designed with Soviet .assistance, and probably will be outfitted with Sovietas well.

C. Czechoslovakia

zechoslovakia produced an estimatedillion semiconductors,

than double3 output. ev plant, reportedly equipped with Soviet machinery and organ!red with Soviet technical assistance ls scheduled lo begin operations in the fall of IO67. It is estisiated that, by tbe endhe annual rote of production of semi conductors will havo nearly doubled compared with the previous year.

Czechoslovakia appears to be able to wet current domestic requirements (which, with the exception of cons user radios and TV's, are not large since end-equipments arc only beginning to be designed around transistor technology)esidual available for export, llowevor, the quality of Its semiconductors, and of transistors In particular, is below that of garden variety general purpose semiconductors produced in the West. Semiconductors are still producedelatively high unit cost since the home market is still relatively small. Ultra nigh frequency transistors must be Imported.

-In pert, the quality of Czechoslovak onductors hoG been influenced by the lack of modern production equipment and by the relatively poor quality of available supplies of silicon and germanium. In prior years, Czechoslovakia depended upon imports of silicon and germanium from the USSR which were generally of low quality. However, Czechoslovakia now has the essential technology to produce mono crystalline silicon pure enough for general purpose semiconductors.

In addition to general purpose types, Czechoslovakia now produces,mall scale, backward bias and tunnel diodes no well as epitaxial and planar devices using both germanium and silicon technology. Field effect transistors and voractors are scheduled for limited production by the end

Czechoslovakia nay soon become self-sufficient in the production of general purpose semiconductors of adequate quality, but will continue to require outside sources of supply for high performance and special types of diodes and transistors.

D. East Germany

ast Germany produced about ko million semiconductors, accounting for nearly half of all the semiconductors produced in East Europe. In addition to high frequency mesa germaniumatt silicon audio frequency devices and silicon milliwatt drift translators, all of which hnvc been in production ainceast Germany now produces, and reportedly ls also producing for the USSR, field effect transistors, high power roctificers, solar cells and MOS^IS transistors. It also produces silicon zoner diodes and silicon planar teardrop transistors. ecent technical evaluation of these latter devices in tbe US indicates that East German state-of-the-art in silicon planar technology is nt the level reached by the US0 and that the devicee are mode in small lots.

East German semiconductor research and development is coordinated by the Institute for Semiconductor Technology of the Esot German Academy of Sciences at Teltow. Part of the activity of this institute is devoted to acquiring and copying Free World semiconductor devices. East Germany copies and reproduces high frequency transistors that are embargoed by COCOM and imports low frequency gencrul purpose types that arc not embargoed. These con be imported at prices below the level of domestic manufacturing costs and arc more reliable than domestic transistors.

Tbe East German semiconductor Induntry hue been built on the basis of Western technology. The main sendconductor plant at Frankfort/Oder, for example, attempted to begin transistor production on the basis of Soviet technology which proved to be faulty and which the East Germans later learned hud been abandoned in the USSR. Frankfurt/Oder wns re-equipped by3 with production machinery from the UK (this machinery, purchased0 percent premium, turned out to be obsolete; reject rotes on the order ofercent were reported). East Germany continues to import some semiconductor manufacturing equipment from the Free World, but is increasingly developing its own because of the difficulties COCOM imposes on procurement from the West.

Production capacity in East Germany is being expanded and modernized to meet East German needs for both general purpose and advanced type semiconductors. However, dependence on Free World sources of supply for high-quality general purpose transistors is expected to continue for the immediate future. East Germany has developed some semiautomatic machinery for the production of thin film micro-circuits, which arc believed to be suitable for computer applications.

E. Hungary

The production of semiconductors in Hungary Is concentrated in two plants of the United Incandescent Leap firm: Gyongyoc Semiconductor Plant, which uppenrs to have been equipped, in port, with, production machinery from Croat Britain; and the United Incandescent Lamp Plant, Budapest. Production is growing steadily although the level of output6 was leas than IO million units.

Hungarian radio and TV plants have made periodic attempts to utilize domestic semiconductors, but the poor quality of the devices has made large supplemental purchases from the West necessary. Moreover, the small assortment of transistors and their relatively high price, which mokes then non-competitive with tubes, has further discouraged their use by domestic industry. It Is believed that Hungary currently satisfies no more than half of its domestic requirements for general purposeand that dependence on Imports, not only of advanced devices but also of general purpose devices, will continue over the next few years.

Until recently, Hungary's research on semiconductors was limited to studying and reproducingaboratory basis the newer devices appearing in Free World markets. It was only as recently6 that Hungarian research institutes started to do originul work on semiconductor development. Research is now proceeding on materials technology, the development of high frequency transistors, high current silicon rectifiers, the development of mesa and planar transistors fabricated from silicon, and on production technology, which was, and is, Hungary's most pressing problem.

Reports indicate that Hungary would like to purchase production lines

and processes from the West to 'expand and modernize Its production i

facilities. 6 Hungary, through West Germany,enderS plant to manufacture germanium mesa transistors at the rate of one million devices per year. The facilities were to include tbe latest equipment for production, testing and evaluation of product.

All semiconductors produced In Poland ure manufactured by the TEWA Semiconductor Factory. It produces alloy and diffusion type germanium diodes and transistors, rectifier diodes,ew types of silicon diodes In limited quantity. Substantial quantities of semiconductors arefrom the Free World end from other Communist countries to compensate for the relatively narrow range of devices that are produced domestically.

By its own admission, Poland is far behind Free World countries In tbe development and production of semiconductors. The quality of Polish produced devices does not measure up to Free World standorde. accordingechnical evaluation made in the US, Polish germanium transistors are fully adequate for use in low frequency civil electronic cnd-ltemo.

Substantial research on semiconductors has been underway in Poland^ end some original studies have been carried out on transport phenomena, In addition, the University of Warsaw claims to have developed new methods of diffusing dopantsype materials. he Baden Institute for Hucleur Research, Warsaw,eparation and recovery process for the extraction of germanium from its compounds. Up to this time, Poland hod imported all the germanium required by its semiconductor industry

While Poland could clearly benefit from Free World assistance, there ls no evidence of any major effort to purchase Free World plants or manufacturing licenses.

Series production Of semi conductors In .Itumunla beganhen

the plant at Baneasa went into operation. Thin plunt was reported to have been established with the help of French, Italian, British and Japanese technicians and equipment. It produces general purpose geminlum transistors and diodes under French license. Anuaber of the transistors produced have been given French transistor labels for sale in France. Within Rumania, the domestically produced semiconductors are used mainly

*

In civilian radios and,esser extent, in electronic equipment for the Human!an military establishment.

The quality of semiconductors produced In Rumania for general purpose civil applications is, reportedly, very. poor. or example, transistor radios produced for export fell far below standards and, in fact, could not even be sold locally until fitted with imported tronsistorn and dlodce (from Japan and Czcchoolovakla). Severe complaints of the quality of the semiconductors have continued up to the present. There is some indicationmall number of semiconductors destined for the military

jnrt ctec under more rigid quality control, but these ore believed to be still of doubtful reliability.

All the evidence suggests thaturther infusion of imported equipment and technology, progress in the production of high quality devices in Rumania will continue to be slow. 7 US industry was approached to supply Rumania with the equipment and technology to produceillion semiconductors per year of advanced types. This equipment currently under embargo, would enable Rumania to produce high frequency germanium and ailicon devices, using ir.ouu and planar construction

Table 1

Estimated Grose Production of Semiconductor Devices

in the USSR and Easternof Units)

f _It:TT

EUROPE

Gorcnny

am!

TOTAL

production includes rejects. Pilot production.

-IL-

III. ROLE OF THE Fi'tBS WOitlJi IK Tj'K DEVELOWKOT OF TIE SfrKI CONDUCTOR

INDUSTRIES OF EAST EUROPE AHD THE USSR A. East Europe

The semiconductor industries of East Europe are based, in part, on obsolescent equipment and technology acquired in the Free World. Moreover, the quantity, quality, and assortment of domestically produced semiconductors has been, and is, oo wholly inadequate that large quantities of Western devices are imported annually. While overall statistics on the volume of East European imports of semiconductors from the Free World are not available, it is reported that, in many East European countries. Free World imports account for more thanercent of the stock of useable general purpose devices.

The fact that advanced semiconductors and equipment, and processes for their production generally have been denied to CccraniBt countries through tbe operation of tbe international COCOS embargo, has severely constrained the growth of technology and output in East Europe. Tho alternative source of supplythe USSRhas proved similarly unproductive. Purchase requests to the USSR have been marked by: prolonged delays in deliveryear or more in manybe delivery of extremely poor quality devices, or by no deliveries at all.

East European sanufacturers continue to be interested in acquiring both advanced and reliable general purpose devicec from the Free World. They would prefer, however, to import the latest semiconductor production

machinery ond production licenses in order to escape long-term dapendence on Free World sources of supply and to stay abreast of modern technology.

The USSR, becauseeliberate policy of economic self-sufficiency, has not depended on Free World suppliers to meet domestic semiconductor requirements. Imports arc generally restricted to small lot purchaseo of advanced devices. The USSR, however docs procure materials processing and production equipment, often at trade fairs, from Japanese and West European firms. Currently, acquisition of US Integrated circuit tech-oology and equipment appears toriority Soviet target.

Procurement

East Europe and the USSR acquire manufacturing equipment and semiconductor devices through legal, and illegal, channels. Wo estimate can be made of the amount or illegal trade being carried on, but It la certain that this trade ls extremely Important to the Communist countries. East Germany, because Of Its unique position with respect to West Germany, has been (onditer for illegal shipment to other Communist countries. Poland's role as an intermediary In illegal shipments to Communist countries is uncertain although there is some evidence that it hasillingness to obtain equipment for other Communist countries. Trade fairs, at which the latest Free World technology is often displayed, constitute an Important Illegal source of supply of small numbers of embargoed equipment and devices.

CIA/OER

7

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA