What computers were made in the USSR: cry or applaud?


Modern personal computers are striking in their functionality and technical characteristics, but most of them are of foreign origin. And today, very few people remember that the Soviet Union was among the leaders of the countries producing computers. Meanwhile, the direction began to develop back in the 80s, conquering all new heights, and this continued until the collapse of the USSR.


1 History of the first computers

2 The best Soviet models-

2.1 Specialist (1985)
2.2 Corvette (1987)
2.3 Robotron 1715 (1984-1989)
2.4 “Lviv PK-01” (1986-1991)
2.5 Agate (1984-1993)

History of the first computers

The policy of the Soviet Union was distinguished by its particular secrecy. Many of the achievements of science and technology were unknown even to the citizens of the country. The history of PC development was no exception.  At the beginning of the 50s, the first electronic computers (computers) produced on the European continent saw the light. Device S.A. Lebedev had 600 light bulbs, and made it possible to advance in the mastery of nuclear energy and the exploration of space, thanks to the rapid solution of important technical problems using technology.

In 1952, under the leadership of the same Lebedev, the most productive computer in Europe was released, which became one of the best in the world.

In the period from 1955 to 1959, the foundations of programming were laid, the technique began to be improved, creating algorithms for determining various diseases, including genetic ones. Top-end machines are beginning to appear, capable of solving most of the applied problems in science and technology, which help the USSR to actively develop, reaching the forefront in all areas.

During this period, analogs of home PCs appear, the technology continues to develop rapidly. In the 70s, the production of microprocessors began, microcircuits became more and more complex. Structures become easier to manage and their cost is reduced.

The best Soviet models

In 1983, the first computer for home use appears. Devices are becoming popular among people who are not directly related to computing. Full-fledged PCs are starting to roll off the conveyor belts.

Specialist (1985)

8-bit computer, which became an analogue for many subsequent popular models. The device operated on the LSI K580 hardware platform with a clock frequency of 2 MHz. A cassette recorder and a printer could be connected to it, while the internal memory of 32 KB was expanded using ROM.

Corvette (1987)

Produced as a training computer, which was also used for household purposes. It was the Corvettes that were equipped with many informatics classes of that time. It worked at a clock frequency of 2.5 MHz and could perform 625 operations per second.

Connected not only to monochrome, but also to color TV. Connectors for connecting other external devices such as a printer or a mouse were also present. However, the hardware component of the device turned out to be flawed, which greatly interfered with its stable operation.

Robotron 1715 (1984-1989)

A multifunctional computer that not only supported popular prediction languages, but also had a number of built-in games. Its owners could enjoy spending time with Tetris, Snake and even electronic Chess. Processor – U880 worked at 2.5 MHz. The main disadvantage of the device was considered to be the lack of sound and a mouse connector.

“Lviv PK-01” (1986-1991)

A promising device that was produced for educational purposes. It was used to equip computer science classrooms, both in schools and institutes.

The functionality of the device allowed playing, reading and even performing some tasks on it. It had connectors for connecting a tape recorder and a printer. The first could be used as external memory. It was created at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute and was produced until the collapse of the USSR, in several modifications.

“Agate” (1984-1993)

The first computer designed for mainstream home use and education. There were many modifications of the device, which differed from each other in technical characteristics and the number of connectors for connecting external devices. Some Agat models were equipped with color monitors and floppy drives. Some versions also included two game joysticks.

The device was powered by a MOS Technology 6502 processor, effectively becoming the Soviet equivalent of the Apple II.


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