Monday, December 12, 2011

Microchip For Russian Armed Forces

Company ‘Milandr’ which is located in Zelenograd, 
a Russian Silicone Valley,
 produces electronics for Russian world-famous weapons. 
This is not a secret factory with checkpoints and armed
 security guards… so let’s check it out!

The company was founded in the 90s and up to 2003 it had been reselling microchips.
 Later, however, they decided that, along with reselling, the company needed to have 
its own microchip research and development or R&D.
There are four types of microchips. The first one is commercial.
 It is also the easiest to make because the market has rather low requirenments for
 this type of microchips (they have to work at room temperature, that’s it). 
Requirenments for industrial microchips and military microchips are stricter
 and the top class is space microchips which are used in space.
Apart from the military microchips market, the company works mostly in,
 ‘Milandr’ also produces microchips for GLONASS satellites and develops i
ts commercial sector. One of their reserches is aimed at developing tachograph
 speed pickups which allow to measure the time haulers has been working for
 to lower the risk of a car accident. ‘Milandr’ also collaborates with medical
 institutions installing their devices in hospitals of the city.
However, the main customer of ‘Milandr’ remains Russian Military-industrial 
complex and the company is very proud of the fact that its microchips can be 
found in new Russian fighters and air defence systems.
The 100-million dollar ‘military’ microchips market of Russia is represented 
by Russian and Byelorussian companies and ‘Milandr’ having over
 400 customers accounts for as little as 6 million dollars.
There are three stages of the production process:
1. The company’s engineers develop a microelectronic device.
2. They pass the engineering design documentation to one of the
 outsourcing companies which make silicone wafers.
3. Silicone wafers get delivered back to the company to undergo 
dicing, heremtic sealing, testing, marking, etc.

This is where the microchip starts its life, in the integrated
 microcircuit developing center.
By the way, the company develops microchips
 for both domestic market and export.

This is a room where they test their produce to receive a certificate. 
It is equipped with up-to-date equipment and almost everything i
s automated. We’d better go to the production department where 
they cut wafer substrates into crystals and do other interesting things.

Now they have to test the crystals. Since this is going
 to be ‘military’ microchips, they must meet most 
stringent requirements.
This is an automated semiconductor wafer prober.
 There are two of them at the company.

A good shot!

This is a finished product, a 512 Kbyte microchip. It just looks 
like those which were installed in computers back in 1998. In fact,
 this microchip can work under any conditions that is why 
it costs almost 300$ apiece!

Isn’t it amazing that these small devices ensure 
peaceful skies over our heads?
Location: Zelenograd

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