About History Accomplishments
First computer in Latvia
First microprocessor systems in Latvia
Metrological support of the Semiconductor industry
Wide Area Computer Networks

Randomized Signal Processing theory
High-performance event timers for satellite laser ranging

The first computer in latvia

The first computer in Latvia was created in the newly-established Institute of Electronics and Computer Science (IECS) at the beginning of 60-ties. Industrial production of computers was not started in the Soviet Union at that time, so the successful completion of this project was regarded as a significant success. The first electronic computing machine LM3 was developed under leadership of professor J. Daube, using vacuum tubes. After completion it was successfully used in calculations to support research activities for several years till the time when it became possible to replace it by a more powerful, industrially made computer.

First microprocessor systems in Latvia

First microprocessor systems in Latvia were developed and studied at the IECS and the obtained expertise in this area was transferred to industrial enterprises. A number of microprocessor-based systems were developed and made for various specific applications, in particular, a Multi-processor Control System for the Moon Vehicle, which was developed and made under leadership of Dr. A. Baums in the framework of the USSR Moon program. This system served for the six leg stepping control of the Moon self-propelled vehicle (1972).

Metrological support of the semiconductor industry

In cooperation with the semiconductor industry, a number of test&measurement systems have been developed by IECS to perform versatile static, dynamic and logic tests, characteristic and parameter measurements of various types of manufactured microelectronic devices. These systems used original inventions and solutions based upon IECS research results.

Microstructure video analyzer Performs automatic search for structural anomalies in semiconductor substratum and similar microstructures.

Classifier of semiconductor devices by predicted reliability
Implementation of an original method for reliability prediction of  each separate semiconductor device  based on processing in a special way data obtained by   measuring specific informative parameters characterizing the ageing process of these devices.

Frequency down- converter. Transforms typical low-frequency oscilloscopes into high performance sampling oscilloscopes operating in the frequency range up to 10 GHz.

Logic tester of integral devices performs versatile testing the integral devices under industrial conditions; uses the original method of test-signal forming allowing both plausible and fast testing. Winner of the Leipzig Messe’79.

ADC Dynamic Test workstation Programmable fast data acquisition and processing workstation for dynamic testing of high-speed ADC.

Analog Filter Test workstation

Analog Filter Test Workstation. Implementation of an original method for high-speed on-production-line measuring of filter frequency-responses.

Wide Area Computer Networks

In 80-ties IECS become one of the leading research institutions in the Soviet Union in the field of computer networks. As the Soviet Union was behind the “iron curtain” and the computer network software and equipment, already so popular in the West, was not available there, IECS invested significant resources into independent parallel development of network software and special hardware. A number of various type of computer networks was developed. Among those were the first X.25 data communication network in the former Soviet Union, corporate computer networks, the computer network of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, the local area network of the IECS.
The most spectacular achievement was creation of the so called AKADEMNET – the first X.25 network in the Soviet Union of this scale. It connected all the main research centers of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, covering the whole territory of the Soviet Union and having outlets to so called Socialist countries in Eastern Europe. Although many research institutions and industrial companies of the former USSR took part in this work, the whole network was based on the hardware and software products developed by IECS in Riga.

Some of the specific network hardware products (network adapters, data transport adapters, various sorts of controllers, X.25 packet switching nodes) developed by IECS, were manufactured at the experimental workshop there, production of others was carried out by industrial companies. Along with the computer network equipment, a lot of diagnostic hardware and software products were developed and made as well.

Randomized DSP and DASP-Lab system

Substantial research has been done in the area of special Digital Signal Processing (DSP) methods based on deliberate randomization of the original analog signal digitization performed in order to avoid DSP application limitations usually imposed by aliasing. Achieved results have been described in many publications, including a monograph by I.Bilinskis, A.Mikelsons Randomized Signal Processing (publisher Prentice Hall International) and have led to the development of an innovative Digital Alias-free Signal Processing (DASP) technology. Demonstrator of this tehnology - DASP-Lab System became the winner of the 1997 European IT prize in the European Information Technology Conference EITC’97 in Brussels as “the world’s first performing fully digitally GHz signal analysis in Time, Frequency and Modulation Domains with
frequency coverage far beyond the traditional limit demonstrating the unique
advantages of non uniform sampling and DASP technology”.

High-performance event timers for satellite laser ranging

Since 70-ies IECS conducts R&D activity related with event timer development for time-of-flight measurement in Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR). In particular, in 80-ies IECS has cooperated with the Lebedev Physical Institute of RAS in development of the laser network «Crimea» for the Lunar and satellite ranging. In 2000, such activity re-oriented to the demands worldwide, and main efforts were directed to meet the current demands of “International Laser Ranging Service” (ILRS) in high-performance timing instruments for ILRS global laser network.

At the beginning of the 21.st century, completely new technology for designing high-performance event timers was invented. Unlike traditional technologies, the new technology is based on digital processing of special signals generated in response to input events. Application of this technology results in high performance of event timers combined with high reliability in operation and hardware simplicity.

As a spin-off of such R&D activity, a number of high-performance Riga event timers were developed and offered for SLR.  The offered product is periodically updated in view of the latest R&D results. Specifically, the latest model A033-ET of Riga event timers provides performance comparable with the best commercial products of such kind, but is significantly cheaper than analogous products available. .

SLR community recognizes the Riga event timers as the best ones in terms of performance/ price ratio, and sequentially extends their application in the ILRS laser network. In 2002, the fraction of Riga event timers in this network was 8%; currently it is about 30%. In particular, during 2005-2009 years 30 units of Riga event timers have been made and delivered for ILRS network.

IECS also offers accumulated knowledge and skill for custom designs of fully completed SLR event timer systems (including auxiliary electronics, application software, etc) strictly tailored to the specific user requirements. For example, the system RTS-2006 designed for Riga SLR station, along with time-of-flight measurement, provides pre-processing of STOP pulses to reduce the noise influence for daytime SLR, precisely measures amplitude of each STOP-pulse to digitally correct the bias in satellite range, etc. Embedded computer supports all real-time software functions, including satellite autotracking.

Currently R&D activity in the mentioned research area also concerns application of the invented technology for designing compact event timers that can be of interest for onboard applications (such as laser time transfer, one-way interplanetary laser ranging). Prototyping of such event timers demonstrates that they can combine high performance characteristics with small hardware size and low power consumption.