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    Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors

    sepheronx
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    Post  sepheronx Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:37 pm

    You are correct.

    The thing is, with let's say x86, the more transistors you can fit onto the chip can potentially increase its performance. Maybe fit more instructions. Efficiency can indeed be done on much older topology mostly due to risc design. As KVS pointed out, at that point the task is up to the compiler rather than instructions on the chip. Heck, older risc chips like the cell processor used in a PS3 is a beast of a chip for its time and would be effective today if it wasn't such a bitch to program for.

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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:53 pm

    Military electronics are not PCs. If you want to operate a drone then you need DSPs and a customized "CPU". A general purpose
    processor can be used but is really a cost saving exercise. So 180 nm is good enough for most of the ICs. A 90 nm CPU is nowhere
    near the limit of utility.

    The whole apparatus is not running a 3D simulation. It is a physical signal response construct. AI features do not require real time
    learning and "thought". The neural network is trained offline and implemented via ASICs. I do not think any country is deploying
    "living" AI systems in its drones and missiles.

    We have some guidance from the Tesla and similar "smart" autopilot efforts. Your Tesla is not actually learning how to drive like
    a human. The autopilot is basically a software package. I will not get into the crappiness of these efforts.

    By the time a bleeding edge CPU will be needed for military equipment, Russia will have the production available. As noted before
    by magnumcromagnum, photonics is the future. I think that photonics will enable truly tiny circuits to function. All the talk about
    2 nm electronic parts are total BS.



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    Backman
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    Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors - Page 36 Empty Re: Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors

    Post  Backman Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:47 pm

    lancelot wrote:TSMC



    I don't know anything about chips. I had a friend in the precision concrete business and he said that chip mfg'ing has the lowest tolerances. If you pour a floor in a chip plant, it has to be flat with no tolerances.  Or something. I don't remember the convo very well.

    I guess its all about precision ?  Russia is good at making rockets and nuclear power plants. Both involve precision. I just thought it would be doable for Russia. In a way that it wouldn't be doable for say Turkey, Brazil , India or any of those middle countries. Russia got the bomb in the 50's ffs.

    China should have plowed all the money that they put into building Huawei into building chip mfg. Instead of being just another phone mfg'er. Todays phones are all packed with monopoly components. Not just the chips. And the only difference is the marketing strategy.


    Last edited by Backman on Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
    sepheronx
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    Post  sepheronx Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:17 pm

    Backman wrote:
    lancelot wrote:TSMC

    Why did chip manufacturing all end up in Taiwan ? Why is such an industry so centralized ?

    I don't know anything about chips. I had a friend in the precision concrete business and he said that chip mfg'ing has the lowest tolerances. If you pour a floor in a chip plant, it has to be flat with no tolerances.  Or something. I don't remember the convo very well.

    I guess its all about precision ?  Russia is good at making rockets and nuclear power plants. Both involve precision. I just thought it would be doable for Russia. In a way that it wouldn't be doable for say Turkey, Brazil , India or any of those middle countries. Russia got the bomb in the 50's ffs.

    Please read through the thread.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:33 am

    ...And when they lost access to the old supply chain of (USSR-developed, BTW) marine and helicopter turbines from nowadays Ukraine, that was the death knell.

    Nobody makes everything they use, and Russia is in a worse position than most... who could care less if Denmark does not have an AWACS platforms, or their inflight refueling tanker aircraft is a little light on air frames...

    Russia is relatively self sufficient in its military needs... it was self sufficient in its military needs when the Warsaw Pact existed, but then that broke up so Russia needed to fill the gaps that created by developing its own jet trainer aircraft and light helicopters to fill the gap left by the Mi-2 production and L39 production in eastern europe. Again when the Soviet Union broke up its source of a lot of equipment and materials suddenly had to be paid for in US dollars because it became Ukrainian instead of Soviet... and eventually that supply chain was cut off.

    It wasn't the death knell of anything except those countries that decided to cut Russia off lost their major customer and have struggled ever since.

    Russia was in no position to make everything for itself in the 1990s or the 2000s... in the 2020s they are in a much better position... the make their own food, they make their own 5th gen fighters and machine tools and soon their own electronics will start to include consumer electronics in reasonable volumes too.

    The point is that if they had cut the Ukraine out of their supply chain in 1991 the US and EU could have started poisoning their brains back then and by now Russia would not be what it is now because of the extra drain of designing new helicopter engines and aircraft engines and transport plane engines and ship engines etc etc they would be further behind in other areas that they funded instead.

    Equally the hostile measure of cutting off the Ukraine would likely have meant pushing Ukraine away and being even more hostile now, which would have broken a lot of families that are managing to remain together.

    Namely a quite simple aviation piston engine in the 100hp class. Nobody was manufacturing that particular type of engine domestically. It was always convenient and logical to go for existing off-the-shelf products, in that case a Japanese one IIRC.
    p

    But western corruption makes things worse... when a European car company comes in a buys up a percentage of a Russian car company then they start buying european products in preference to local products, because they have contracts with these euro companies or they buy in bulk and get a discount... a discount that is bound to disappear over time anyway.

    It is easy to bribe the head of a Russian airline to lease western airliners and effectively stifle the Russian civilian airliner industry and nobody gives it a second thought... and if you get found out you can say that there was no Russian civilian airliner available ready to go when we made the decision to buy so we had to go with Boeing or Airbus, but if you are not working with Russian aircraft makers and there is no chance of airliner purchases then how are new Russian planes going to get built and developed.

    Well thanks to the US, that is not a problem and the number of fields that is not going to be a problem any more will only expand over time.

    Russia does not need to make everything for itself... that would be inefficient, but for things that are strategically important or scalable like engines and motors and power systems they should develop families of designs that can be extended when needed for other jobs.

    There are lots of less critical things they could buy from overseas, but it would be best if they had several unrelated suppliers, because that means competition and choice... perhaps the cheapest if they are not too dreadful, and the best quality, so you have good enough when good enough is good enough and the best when it is more important and has to work.

    Obviously Russia can build aviation piston engines, and are doing so, just not in that particular niche. So that became an issue.

    Every country on the planet has gaps in their ranges of stuff and would struggle to fill a gap in a hurry... the easiest solution is to take a more powerful motor and derate it, or use two engines that are half the size you need instead of one.

    For the last 20 years Russia has been importing engines from all over the world, but the western world and the Ukraine have slammed that door shut... some engines will be worth developing for themselves, while others they could probably buy from India or China or Brazil or South Africa... we are talking about a small motor... not a particle collider...

    As we have seen from the situation with the Yak-152 and its engine... the Germans essentially bought Russian engine technology and claimed it for themselves... it is a Russian design but made in Germany... well with the gas being turned off eventually probably not for much longer...

    Re semiconductors, they're no slouches there but it's a highly underdeveloped industry in Russia when it comes to manufacture, especially considering to how good they are at development (on paper) and so on. They won't be able to compete with the market leaders in decades, if ever.

    That is funny, because 25 years ago they were 30 years behind in thermal imagers and going nowhere... in the early 2000s they wanted thermals for tanks and vehicles and SAM systems and rifle scopes and the only place they could look was foreign countries... they looked at Swedish and French and South African thermals and eventually bought French models and then started making them themselves and pretty soon their thermals were world class products... their armoured vehicles have thermals operating in three frequency ranges, including short wave systems that can see through water and glass and quite a few other materials too.

    Russia does not need to be a market leader, they have needs which can be satisfied in terms of military needs... and it seems they already manage to meet those needs, but future needs include consumer devices and probably high end equipment like those needed for encryption and high volume data processing like sub hunting and looking for stealth targets in radar data...

    They can buy from China and probably South Korea too, and if they decide to play the war game then they have some aces up their sleeve like a firm grasp of the neon supply and other materials the chip industry needs too.

    If I am not mistaken, things like the F-22 Raptor run on Intel 286 tech (which is essentially from 1982) and was designed using equipment running it as well. It is still considered the premier air dominance fighter in the world, right.

    My understanding is that 486 chips are used... I remember discussing this very topic in the 1990s with US fanboys claiming the new pentiums are going to really kick ass and that is why the F-22 is the best plane in the universe...

    Obviously targeting pods and things that require high band width datalinks for video streams have custom chips and hardware, but the network on the F-22 will be 486 based.

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    sepheronx
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    Post  sepheronx Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:22 pm

    Scorpius wrote:Just recently I read an article (unfortunately, the link has already been lost), where one of the representatives of Russian microelectronics plants said that one of the ways to solve the shortage could be the development of optimized circuits for older technical processes: in some cases, well-optimized chips executed on 250+ nanometer technology work just as well as those which are executed on 65 or 90 nanometer technology. Therefore, one of the solutions is the development of optimized chips based on older technological processes that have already been mastered on fully Russian equipment. Thus, more money and industrial capacity can be allocated for more responsible systems.

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/tehnorussia/rossiiskii-processor-epohi-sankcii-90-nm-i-novaia-arhitektura-62ab75892bc2d847552cbdfd?&

    Here is a link kinda pointing out to the idea that as a stop measure is to produce chips on 90nm but under a new architecture heavily designed around the process.
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    Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors - Page 36 Empty more shots of the new 28nm pilot plant being built at Zelonograd

    Post  Gazputin Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:56 pm

    from inside the building site .... this time

    Angstrem plant is still "up" and visible
    but comments suggest this author thinks it will be demolished too ...

    Construction of the so-called "28 nm factory" in Zelenograd, new photos!
    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/electromozg/stroitelstvo-tn-fabriki-28-nm-v-zelenograde-novye-fotki-62af47c590520a318726e10a?&

    4x huge cranes for a medium sized 3-storey building ? ....
    a lot more is going to happen on this site you would think in the not so distant future






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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:11 pm

    People can laugh, but the money is now flowing to develop domestic high resolution IC production in Russia. A lot of "experts"
    who are total clowns in reality spout off as if Russia has zero capability and primary scientific and research engineering base.
    As if it has to buy the technology. No it does not. It can refine its own domestic capability. Russia is one of the few countries
    that can drive blue sky research into the realm of commercial production. At every stage it has the depth to keep adapting and
    refining the knowledge to develop the technology and its production.

    You can see this in the realm of turbines and jet engines. These are not "low tech" products. These are advanced IC level products.
    The number of stages in the manufacturing process and the parts involved are not some garage hack operation. That is why there
    are a total of 4 countries on the planet that can manufacture PD-14 type jet engines.

    The "inferior" Russian IC industry can somehow provide enough for the Russian military to produce clearly superior UAVs that are
    mostly autonomous AI operated equipment requiring one drone operator to give periodic inputs for tasks and not like the US "equivalents"
    which require two operators to literally fly a large model plane. There is way more to technological capability than buying western
    components. The freaking west can't even use them to prove its alleged superiority.

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:43 pm

    Scorpius wrote:Just recently I read an article (unfortunately, the link has already been lost), where one of the representatives of Russian microelectronics plants said that one of the ways to solve the shortage could be the development of optimized circuits for older technical processes: in some cases, well-optimized chips executed on 250+ nanometer technology work just as well as those which are executed on 65 or 90 nanometer technology. Therefore, one of the solutions is the development of optimized chips based on older technological processes that have already been mastered on fully Russian equipment. Thus, more money and industrial capacity can be allocated for more responsible systems.
    To target 250nm is a waste of time. Russia can produce 180nm and 90nm chips perfectly well at Mikron and Angstrem-T fabs.
    3000 wafers per month at Mikron and 15000 wafers per month at Angstrem-T.
    Unless you need a really large I/O section for whatever reason, because of the chip package and the connections to the pins, it makes more sense to use smaller process to better use available wafers for maximum chip production output and most transistors for the buck. So you might use the 250nm for things like credit card chips i.e. smart cards, you know, the ones with huge I/O contacts, but not regular ICs.

    Russia has loads, and I mean loads, of designs of chips for 90nm process. DSPs, CPUs, including rad-hard ones. If those were sourced abroad but they would be of use then the design can be ported over to Russian fab processes. I know some already were being made in Zelenograd. 32-bit MIPS architecture chips. Elbrus dual core chips. ELVEES Risc32 chips with DSPs. There is also some new fangled stuff like RISC-V chips for microcontrollers also made at Zelenograd. It was posted in this forum before.

    With regards to that construction work.

    I sure hope they won't tear down the Angstrem-T fab. It makes no sense. They finished building the damn thing and inaugurated it in 2016. There are factories over a decade older than that in current operation elsewhere in the world and they are fully loaded today building chips for automotive and industrial control. It can on paper make 15000 wafers per month at 180nm or 90nm. This is the fab equipment which made AMD's Athlon64 X2 dual core chips at Dresden. Can probably make over a million CPUs a year. Unless they really messed up with it somehow, despite taking a decade building it, this should be highly viable even today.

    I suspect they planned breaking Angstrem-T apart (I mean it is in the plan) and spreading the tools to other facilities. I mean Mikron wants to double wafer output and is just on the other side of the village. But it all seems kind of nonsensical.

    The older huge Soviet Angstrem fabs directly north of Angstrem-T. Those I know they tore them down. You can see it in satellite pictures. I don't know what they did with the Soviet era equipment. But it probably still would have had use for making discrete components or maybe power electronics.

    Building the other facilities in the plan would make sense. The construction plan had process design labs and chip design center buildings. They could use the floor space for that. But the 28nm factory? Where will they get the tools? Unless they magically got them somewhere before the sanctions hit. And believe me the tools industry, at least for lithography, has a workload schedule where people order these things and then get put into a 2 year waiting list. It is that bad. 55nm tools are easier to come by. But still not trivial.

    Russia could likely source quite a lot of the other tools somehow. Either used from someone else, or from Chinese vendors, or from whoever. As for the idea of Russia making their own tools. Look, I know Russia could make them if they wanted to, the lithography machines alone are all about lasers, precision lenses, and Russia has the industry. Most of the machines require high precision tools to make the necessary parts. Typically we are talking about 6-axis CNC machines with really high precision and things like that. Export controlled equipment. The inspection tools are basically electron microscopes with specialized software. Mask etching tools are electron beam direct writing tools. So if you think it is easy to make all this crap. No. It isn't. I am not saying Russia does not have the skills. Just that it would be way easier to just buy what they can and focus on making the rest. For example they could easily buy crystal furnaces in China if they wanted to and startup their industry. Heck, maybe they have some crystal furnaces already they can repurpose for making silicon crystals. Because last I heard Russia makes 150mm wafers but not 200mm ones for 90nm let alone 300mm ones for 28nm process. China manufactures wafers by the shit ton. They are the world's largest manufacturer of polysilicon (and the cheapest). That is the stuff used to make wafers. They have at least like 3 manufacturers of wafers that I can remember. So it is not like that would be the pressing matter. Believe me.

    I do not understand this construction plan. But I sure hope they know what they are doing. Like I said, my expectation is they will just build the offices for design work, the laboratories for process engineering, and leave the fabs for later after they get the equipment. Just putting that Angstrem-T fab making chips to make digital radios for the army, since Mikron seems to be producing them at a snail's pace, and microcontrollers for automobiles (most of their patents already expired), would probably keep that fab busy for the next couple of years. So there is no need to be that creative to find uses for it.

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    Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors - Page 36 Empty Zelenograd site - Silicon

    Post  Gazputin Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:16 am

    that "28nm factory" .... its multi-storey
    so it probably will house some trial build equipment at best
    looks like a "skunkworks"
    where you have all your various designers and production people working "concurrently" - upstairs
    maybe with windows looking downwards on the inside to the "shopfloor" below
    I saw a place like that once .... think it was Fisher & Paykel in NZ ?

    yeah that Angstrem building doesn't look that old
    but maybe the intention is to build a "perfect" site setup
    and then that can be replicated elsewhere ... over near the Urals would make a lot of sense re security

    but it does seem to reek of a "showcase" establishment where "bright young things" will want to work and be "seen" at ....

    Silicon
    The aluminium industry uses a lot of silicon ...
    Rusal would have furnaces already - that may already meet the spec
    maybe another stage of refinement might be needed ?
    Rusal is huge


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    Post  lancelot Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:39 am

    You use the furnaces to make polysilicon from the raw ore which is silica sand. This polysilicon has a disordered crystalline structure. Then you have to melt the polysilicon in a crucible and use the Czochralski technique to make a silicon ingot. Basically a huge silicon monocrystal. This ingot then needs to be cut accurately with minimum imperfections into wafers. The lower the resolution process you will use in the chips the lower the imperfections in the wafer must be. The wafers are then polished.

    Russian Electronics: Semiconductor and Processors - Page 36 Image15
    caveat emptor
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    Post  caveat emptor Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:03 am

    Gazputin wrote:that "28nm factory" .... its multi-storey
    so it probably will house some trial build equipment at best
    looks like a "skunkworks"
    where you have all your various designers and production people working "concurrently" - upstairs
    maybe with windows looking downwards on the inside to the "shopfloor" below
    I saw a place like that once .... think it was Fisher & Paykel in NZ ?

    yeah that Angstrem building doesn't look that old
    but maybe the intention is to build a "perfect" site setup
    and then that can be replicated elsewhere ... over near the Urals would make a lot of sense re security

    but it does seem to reek of a "showcase" establishment where "bright young things" will want to work and be "seen" at ....

    Silicon
    The aluminium industry uses a lot of silicon ...
    Rusal would have furnaces already  - that may already meet the spec
    maybe another stage of refinement might be needed ?
    Rusal is huge


    According to article this will be scientific education complex with experimental production (научно-образовательного корпуса с площадями для опытного производства). Not full fledged factory. More like design center with low scale production.
    As for Angstrem-T article says that it will be reconstructed for new production. I read it like adapted and incorporated into new compound, but not completely demolished. But, this is just a guesswork.
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    Post  sepheronx Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:36 am

    caveat emptor wrote:
    Gazputin wrote:that "28nm factory" .... its multi-storey
    so it probably will house some trial build equipment at best
    looks like a "skunkworks"
    where you have all your various designers and production people working "concurrently" - upstairs
    maybe with windows looking downwards on the inside to the "shopfloor" below
    I saw a place like that once .... think it was Fisher & Paykel in NZ ?

    yeah that Angstrem building doesn't look that old
    but maybe the intention is to build a "perfect" site setup
    and then that can be replicated elsewhere ... over near the Urals would make a lot of sense re security

    but it does seem to reek of a "showcase" establishment where "bright young things" will want to work and be "seen" at ....

    Silicon
    The aluminium industry uses a lot of silicon ...
    Rusal would have furnaces already  - that may already meet the spec
    maybe another stage of refinement might be needed ?
    Rusal is huge


    According to article this will be scientific education complex with  experimental production (научно-образовательного корпуса с площадями для опытного производства). Not full fledged factory. More like design center with low scale production.
    As for Angstrem-T article says that it will be reconstructed for new production. I read it like adapted and incorporated into new compound, but not completely demolished. But, this is just a guesswork.

    Does VTB still own the rights to angstrem t or was it handed over to rostec?
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    Post  caveat emptor Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:35 pm

    sepheronx wrote:
    Does VTB still own the rights to angstrem t or was it handed over to rostec?
    Yes, Rostec is the owner now.

    As for development of electronics, i would like to see them to start using 300mm wafers and then optimize 65 and 90nm ICs that Mikron can do atm.

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    Post  Backman Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:11 pm

    lancelot wrote:.
    To target 250nm is a waste of time. Russia can produce 180nm and 90nm chips perfectly well at Mikron and Angstrem-T fabs.
    it.
    [/quote]

    I read somewhere that even Belarus is mfg'ing 250 nm now.

    Such a strange industry. I've been reading up on it. Lots of companies can design their own chips. But basically one company can mfg them in Taiwan. And one company in the Netherlands can build the machines that make the chips.

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