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Let 100 Flowers Bloom: Special and Unusual
       Time Frame
       After the first wave of general-purpose computers had proved their ability to
       solve complex mathematical problems, computer  designers started to look
       how to expand their spectrum of applications and use them to monitor the
       airspace, to control technological processes,  to process textual information,
       etc..So, a variety projects of new computers of different power, style, and spe-
       cialization has been started in Moscow, Minsk, Kazan, Kiev, Yerevan, Vilnius,
       Severodonetsk, and other places.
       To solve  those special  problems  with  minimal  cost,  specialized  computers
       were designed.                                                                 A Soviet missile early
                                                                                         warning station
       Also, the first computers amazed and attracted attention of many Russian math-
       ematicians. Mathematics (like chess) was the favorite Russian science for years, as it did not required substantial
       material and financial resources, just good brains that were in abundance. And here were coming “mathematical
       machines” of an incredible power and sophistication. Naturally many talented mathematicians wanted to be in-
       volved in the design of those machines. And they  tried to invent new ways to speed up computers, to increase
       their reliability, and to reduce complexity and cost by using non-trivial computer arithmetic.

       Computers Watch the Sky

                             In 1957, the Russian defense industry started to plan using computers in the radar systems
                             for the ballistic missile early warning system and space surveillance.  It was a very dif-
                             ficult task at that time due the huge amount of data to be processed in real time, required
                             memory capacity and reliability of the hardware. By that time, the Russian electronics
                             industry just released the first commercial domestic transistors. Therefore, decision was
                             made to design  a transistor-based computer M-4 and to appoint Mikhail A. Kartsev, who
                             earlier actively participated in the development of Bruk’s computers M-1 and M-2,  as the
                             Chief Architect. The designers of M-4 were actively involved at all stages of M-4 produc-
                             tion and configuration. This experience allowed the team to ensure the highest possible
                             at that time level of reliability and maintainability. Dozens of the computers M4 and their
                             modifications M4-2M-3M, spread over thousands of miles of the vast Soviet Union terri-
        Mikhail A . Kartsev  tory, were merged into a single computer network of the anti-missile defense.

                 M-4 for early warning systems                          The multiprocessor system M-10

       The next step was multiprocessor computers M-9, M-10. The creators of the M-10 succeeded in solving a rather
       complicated task: to built a computer with performance was more than 5 million operations per second using
       relatively slow chips of a low integration. While on the (largely formal) parameters M-10 trailed Cray-1, it far
       exceeded its architectural capabilities: the average number of machine cycles per operation  in the M-10 ranged
       from 0,9 to 5,3,and from 0,7 to 27,6 in Cray-1. It can be argued that until the early 80s, M-10 was the most pow-
       erful computer in the world.
       The last creation of Mikhail Kartsev, the vector-pipeline multiprocessor  M-13,  was transfered into production
       only after his death. It is discussed in the “Supercomputers: Testing Limits”.

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