Despite political unrest in the Soviet Union, Soviet officials who recently visited Silicon Valley say they are still hoping for joint ventures that will build products on their native soil--using a combination of Soviet and American technology. No one doubts that the U. S. has a lot to contribute. The question is whether the Soviets have any technology to trade.
American semiconductor experts who attended an electronics conference in Minsk last October say they do. They reported at a U. S. chip conference in February that a Minsk-based company called Integral Corp. claims to have a prototype of a chip that can perform math calculations 10 to 20 times faster than rivals made by Intel Corp., says Richard C. Jaeger, an engineering professor at Auburn University. And Signal Co., a subsidiary of a Russian TV manufacturer, says it has a novel computer program that can be used to design advanced chips. Meanwhile, some 45 Soviet scientists will be pitching their expertise on everything from superconductors to lasers at the Soviet-American Symposium on Research, Technology & Trade, which opened on Mar. 13 in San Francisco.