The First Semiconductor Multipurpose Control Computer "Dnepr"
After "Kiev" computer, "Dnepr"
semiconductor control computer, the first in Ukraine (and in former the USSR)
was developed at the Computer Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The idea of the computer development belonged to Victor M.Glushkov. The development works were managed by Victor M.Glushkov and Boris N.Malinovsky. The principal designer of the computer was Boris N.Malinovsky. The computer was developed in record-breaking term: within three years, in July, 1961 a number of plants were equipped with the newly-made computer. At that time this result was a world record for control computer development and implementation. Explaining the reasons of success, Victor M.Glushkov recollected that in parallel with "Dnepr" development they carried out together with some enterprises of Ukraine, serious preparation works on using the computer for controlling complex technological processes. Together with employees of Metallurgical works named after Dzerzhinskiy (Dneprodzerzhinsk), problems of controlling rustless process in Bessemer converters were investigated, as well as problems of column carbonization together with employees of the Soda factory in Slavyansk, etc. Initiated by Victor M.Glushkov an experiment (first in Europe) on remote control of Bessemer process was carried out within several days running in a mode of expert advice-giver. " Dnepr " computer was used for loft works automation in Nikolayevsk factory named after 61 Communards. Afterwards, it was found out, that a little earlier; Americans started to develop RW300 -the universal control semi-conductor computer similar to "Dnepr", but put it into production in June, 1961, simultaneously with us. So it was one of the moments when we managed to reduce up to zero the gap in the level of development of Soviet and American technology, though in only one, but very important direction. It should be emphasized as well, that Ukrainian computer was the first home-made semi-conductor computer (excluding special computers). It turned out, that the computer perfectly resisted to various climatic conditions, jolting and so forth.
This first universal semiconductor computer which was put into serial production, had beaten also another record of industrial longevity as it was being manufactured for ten years (1961-1971), whereas usually every five or six years serious modernization was required. And when during joint space flight "Sojuz - Apollo" it was necessary to put in order a show room in tracking headquarters, then after long selection of computers developed at that time, "Dnepr" computer was chosen, and two "Dnepr" computers controlled the big screen on which the space flight and docking of spaceships was displayed.
"Dnepr"computers were exported to many countries of the Union of Economic Assistance (SEV) .
It is to notice, that seven-year plan (1958-1965) for economic development of the USSR never provided for construction of new factories in Ukraine. The first "Dnepr" computers were manufactured with Kiev "Radiopribor" factory. On the initiative of Victor M.Glushkov and Boris N.Malinovsky supported by the government, simultaneously with the development of "Dnepr " computer the construction of computer building factory (VUM), now Electronmash scientific and production association, was launched in Kiev. So development of "Dnepr" had initiated a prominent computer building factory.