In few years since 1964 when MERI was founded it became an absolute leader in national solid state circuits’ development and production. The institute was responsible for the integrated circuits development and mass production in all the technological areas of that time: micro power circuits, current switches, diode-transistor and transistor-transistor logic circuits, linear and MOS circuits. In 1965-1975 MERI designed about 50 new integrated circuits annually and improved about 50 existed ones.
MERI was the first scientific organization in the Russian microelectronics industry that developed a planar epitaxial process, launched linear and logic circuits production, created scientific principles of A3B5 semiconductor structures engineering, developed a planar technology for GaAs chips, introduced plasmochemical processes of integrated circuits development, produced first digital and analog chips for mass market, microprocessor LSI TTL with Schottky diodes.
Also digital ICs (6500 series) with 256 Kbit and 8-bit microprocessor kit were developed and released. This type of ICs had high performance and were widely used in communication equipment, data transmission systems etc. More than 30 manufacturers of radio electronic devices were the consumers of those ICs.
MERI’s technological systems for production of high-performance transistors and SSDs along with ICs based on them conformed to the world-class achievements in physics of solid-state nanostructures.
Since MERI was founded it has performed significant projects in microelectronics production development was used in national computer engineering, radio electronic devices and communication systems. The microchips developed in MERI became the main hardware components for electronic digital computers and complexes that worked in many branches of the national economy ensuring the technological security of the State. Lots of MERI developed devices were used in interplanetary spacecraft systems, spaceships on-board equipment and launch vehicles.
MERI employees were repeatedly granted with state awards for outstanding scientific projects in ICs development. In 1984 the institute was granted with the state award, Red Banner of Labour Order, for the Unified System of digital electronic computers hardware components development.
MERI created the scientific basis for sub-micron very large scale integrates (VLSI) production, built a complex multi-level system that included technological process, equipment, project methods, diagnostics, monitoring and control means for producing competitive VLSI production, which was relevant for maintenance and further development of existing achievements in microelectronics.
MERI’s scientists and engineers formed a scientific-production base for complicated VLSIs with 180-90-65 nm feature size to provide national industry with modern microelectronic components.
In order to expand the technological capabilities of the production, a number of basic technologies for the VLSI manufacturing with a 180 nm technological level and a set of IP blocks for high-performance microprocessors, memory circuits, programmable logic and SoCs used in advanced electronic systems have been developed.
The first national microcontroller with 180 nm feature size that has its own system software was developed and put into mass production. Pilot versions of static-RAM chips with a capacity of 16 Mbit under 90 nm technologies were released.
Technologies and hardware components for VLSI with NVM (non-volatile memory) became the basis for national RFID technologies. In 2013 the microchip for public transport smart-cards was considered the most cost-effective by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – the world’s legislator of electronics and electrical engineering). The institute released a new operating system for the Russian E-passports.
Within this project challenging engineering problems were solved radio-interface operations, national and international cryptographic algorithms support that ensured a high level of security , file systems and access control systems development. Guaranteed high quality of VLSI along with high economic efficiency compared with foreign manufacturers ensured MERI’s success in the international tender for the national biometric passport chip.
The chip module based on the self-designed crystal and used for the universal electronic card (UEC), which was both an e-ID and a payment card, met all the safety and functional requirements of Russian state authorities and MasterCard international payment system.
MERI’s research team developed unique software for bank cards and e-IDs with no equals in Russian Federation.
In 2012, a JavaCard virtual machine was released and certified for using in UEC. The original cardholder verification technology that used passport biometric information was also developed.
The MERI smart-cards with original software are competitive with similar products of world’s leading manufacturers, and it is confirmed by many international certificates. In particular, the MERI smart card was the first and it still remains the only national smart card approved by the international payment systems certification authority EMVCo for use as a bank card along with other seven world manufacturers.
MERI was the first Russian company that developed an industrial basic technological process for manufacturing the SiGe microwave integrated circuits with BiCMOS technologies, which allowed creating a national hardware components database for designing and manufacturing new generation radio transmitting and receiving systems for communication and navigation devices.
In 2016 general director of MERI, the head of Russian Council of chief designers for hardware components, RAS academician Gennady Krasnikov was appointed by the President of Russian Federation to the position of the head of electronic technologies priority technological sector and Molecular Electronics Research Institute was determined as the leading company of the same sector. Due to this status MERI coordinates the work of scientific and industrial companies in Russian microelectronics aimed at national hardware components development and its application in Russian electronic devices.
National Awards Laureates
State Prize of the Russian Federation
USSR State Prize
A. Nazarian (two times)
Russian Federation Government Prize
G. Krasnikov (two times)
N. Shelepin (three times)
Ministers Council of the USSR Prize
Lenin Komsomol Prize