Production of semiconductors in the former Soviet Union started in about 1947, and like most countries the first devices were point-contact diodes used as detectors for radar. In the 1950's work moved on to point-contact transistors, and quickly on to junction types, and then silicon transistors.

Understanding the manufacturers of Soviet devices is difficult, for although most examples do bear a logo, information about them is scarce. Moreover, in a communist country the means of production are controlled by the state. Most technology manufacturing facilities were designated by a number, for example "Scientific Research Institute (SRI) Number 35". Manufacture was initially kept secret and the first devices were used by the military. Finally, as with some other countries, there was a blurring between research facilities and industrial manufacture.

Svetlana logo Perhaps the best known manufacturer is Svetlana, whose logo is shown on the right. This organisation, based in St.Petersburg, is one of the oldest manufacturers of vacuum tubes in the world, and still exists today. There are a number of others, such as Pulsar, Istok, and more.

There is a superb site on the Web that describes these early devices, transistors and diodes. However it is in Russian and the various browser translation options do not work on many pages (why not?). It contains data sheets for most of the early types. Most transistor types had a number of suffixes (often many), for example П1A, П1Б, etc. Of course, all part numbers are written in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Another important source of information is the Livejournal of Aleksei Pogorily, in Russian of course, which has pages on early transistors and diodes. (Those two hyperlinks pass the content through Google translate to render it in English).

I do not possess all the transistors described below, in fact I am seeking many of them. It is noted in the text where I am seeking examples of any particular type: if you have some for sale or exchange, please


I have come across an interesting document on the Web: "Translations on Eastern Europe Scientific Affairs No 569", dated 12 January 1978, which contains the article "SEMICONDUCTOR DESIGNATION SYSTEMS DESCRIBED". Amongst those of other countries, it describes the semiconductor numbering systems used by the Soviet Union.

  • As you might expect, the very earliest types were idiosyncratic; I mention them below.
  • Devices made from 1959 to 1963 conform to State Standard 5461-59.
    • The earliest of these have an initial П (Latin P) for transistors or Д (Latin D) for diodes.
    • This is followed by a number belonging to defined groups.

    For transistors:

    1 - 100 low-power germanium low-frequency

    101 - 200 low-power silicon low-frequency

    201 - 300 power germanium low-frequency

    301 - 400 power silicon low-frequency

    401 - 500 low-power germanium high-frequency

    501 - 600 low-power silicon high-frequency

    601 - 700 power germanium high-frequency

    701 - 800 power silicon high-frequency

    For diodes:

    1 - 100 point-contact germanium

    101 - 200 point-contact silicon

    201 - 300 junction silicon

    301 - 400 junction germanium

    401 - 500 mixer microwave

    501 - 600 multiplier

    601 - 700 video detector

    701 - 749 parametric germanium

    750 - 800 parametric silicon

    801 - 900 stabilitrons

    901 - 950 varicaps

    951 - 1000 tunnel diodes

    1001 - 1100 rectifier columns

    • This may be followed by an optional letter denoting the development variant, following the order of the Russian alphabet (А,Б,В,Г, etc.).
    • A few have a specialised trailing letter, in particular Э (Latin E) denoting 'export version'.
    • The transistors were enhanced into the MП varieties, which means 'modernised P'. These names were given to devices that were the result of improvements of the old transistors from the П series. Most often this meant replacing a hot-rolled package by a cold-welded one. So MП102 is electrically equivalent to the older П102 (it has the same crystal) but in a new package.
  • Devices made from 1964 to 1973 conform to State Standard 10862-64.
    • An initial letter or digit indicating the semiconductor material: G or 1 for germanium, K or 2 for silicon, and A or 3 for gallium arsenide. An inital digit denotes that the device has higher temperature tolerance. A correspondent has told me that this meant they were intended for military use.
    • A second letter designating the type of device: Д (Latin D) for diodes, T for transistors, В (Latin V) for varicaps, A for microwave diodes, Ф (Latin F) for photo-devices, Н (latin N) for uncontrolled multilayer switching devices (dynistors), У (latin U) for controlled multilayer switching devices (thyristors), Й (Latin I) for tunnel diodes, С (latin S) for stabilitrons, Ц (latin Ts) for rectifier columns and units.
    • These are followed by a number designating the purpose or electrical properties of the semiconductor device. As with the older standard, the numbers are grouped into categories but I shan't list them here.
    • Lastly there is always a letter denoting the development variant, following the order of the Russian alphabet (А,Б,В,Г, etc.).
  • Devices made from 1974 conform to State Standard 10862-74, but the document does not describe this. It is clearly an update to 10862-64.

wanted transistor

Research on transistors started in the USSR in about 1950, and various experimental point-contact transistors were made in several laboratories. In late 1953 a range of devices numbered КC1 to КC8 was released for domestic use at some level. I have no information how they were used, and I cannot find an image of any on the Web. Needless to say I would be very interested to obtain these for my collection, so if you can provide information or any example, please

Я был бы очень заинтересован, чтобы получить примеры любой из этих для моей коллекции. Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста,


The first production transistors were germanium point-contact types С1 and С2 (Latin S1 and S2) which use a smallish cartridge case rather similar to those made in other countries.

This С1A was made by SRI no 35, which became Pulsar and exists to this day.

S1A transistor

This С2A was also made by SRI 35, although I have another made by ПЛУТОН(Pluto).

C2 transistor

These were followed by С3 and С4 (Latin S3 and S4) in small green flat cans with a pronounced flange like the П6 below (except for colour). They are point-contact devices electrically identical to С1 and С2 respectively but in more modern encapsulation.

I would be extremely interested to obtain examples of any of these for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please

Я был бы очень заинтересован, чтобы получить примеры любой из этих для моей коллекции. Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста,

wanted transistor

The first junction transistors that the Soviet Union made were the types П1 and П2 (Latin P1 and P2) from Svetlana and possibly other manufacturers starting in 1955. They use a co-axial construction with the emitter and collector at opposite ends and the base connection in the middle. Several suffixes were used. They have metal ribbon leads and the part number and date of manufacture are often stamped into them.

P1A transistor

This image shows a П1A.

P2B transistor

This image shows a П2B in its original paper envelope with characteristic data values, some handwritten. I have not yet deciphered these. This is a high-voltage type, some suffixes allowing Vce up to 100 volts.

P3A transistor

Next in number is the П3, also from 1955, similar in construction to the П1 and П2, but in a longer case with large fins of about 1 inch diameter allowing greater power dissipation. This was the only device to use this shape. My image shows a П3A.


Next in number again is the П4, a 1 amp power transistor in a large cylindrical hat-shaped can. It is painted black, and may have a white military star printed on top. Early examples have wire leads but later ones have pins. It comes in several suffixes, often with an extra Cyrillic 'E' (Э) on the end such as the П4БЭ shown. The П4 is often offered on eBay. I'm not sure when production started, but the device was very long-lived.

P4BE transistor

P5V transistor

The next type is the П5, which apparently is a copy of the Mullard OC70 and OC71 types, to the extent that it originally had a glass case, but this caused problems and so it was changed to metal. This is quite a small device intended for use in hearing aids, miniature radio receivers, etc. operating at low voltage (1-5 V).


The П series carries on with П6 in a small black 'top hat' as shown in my image of a П6A. This was developed as a replacement for the unreliable П1, using a more advanced welded case. However it did no exist for long, being itself replaced by П13-П15.

P6A transistor

П7 is another 'miniature' type in the same case as П5. It was only produced for a short time and is rare. If you know about it or have any for sale or trade/exchange, please

Я был бы заинтересован, чтобы получить примеры любой из этих для моей коллекции. Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста,

wanted transistor

wanted transistor

The П series continues with П8, which originally was a large PNP power transistor that became П201. The part number П8 was re-used for a small NPN low-power type, followed by П9 to П11 all in the small black 'top hat'.

Я был бы заинтересован, чтобы получить примеры любой из этих для моей коллекции. Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста,


Then comes П12 for which early examples use a largish elongated can of oval cross-section like early US types. Later versions use the standard small round can.

I would be interested to obtain examples of early-shape П12 for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please contact me

Мне было бы интересно получить примеры раннего формы P12 для моей коллекции . Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста ,

wanted transistor

P13 transistor

This is followed by П13 to П16 in the black tophat, as shown by my example of a П13.


Oddly, the next pair in the series, П17 and П18, revert back to the early co-axial shape like П1. My image shows a П17.

I would be interested to obtain examples of П18 for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please

Мне было бы интересно , это получить примеры P18 для моей коллекции . Если у вас есть для продажи или торговли / обмена, пожалуйста, свяжитесь со мной.

P17 transistor

P20 transistor

There was apparently no П19, and П20 and П21 are tophats again, followed by П24 that looks like the П5. At some point the black painting ceased, so some types are found in both black or bare metal versions.

The image shows a П20. I would be interested to obtain examples of the others for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please


The П series jumps from about П42 to the first range of Soviet silicon junction transistors, in theory П101 to П200, in 1956. Pogorily lists these:

  • П101 to П103 : low-power NPN silicon alloy transistors that were produced over a long time.
  • П104 to П106 : low-power PNP silicon alloy transistors that were produced over a long time.
  • П108 to П110 : low-power NPN silicon alloy transistors that were produced only briefly.

There may be other higher-numbered ones but there is little information. The image shows a П106.

I would be interested to obtain examples of П101 to П105 for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please

P106 transistor

The P series then proceeds in jumps through P200, P300, P400, etc, each of which contains a small number of transistors.


P203E transistor

The P200 types are germanium AF power transistors, including the enormous P207 and P208. My image shows the P203E branded Электроника (Electronika) from Voronezh.

I would be interested to obtain examples of the P207 / P208 for my collection. If you have any for sale or trade/exchange, please


The P300 silicon types seem to come in two groups: P302 to P306 are medium-power types in a mid-sized round can (P306 shown), and P307 to P309 are low-power devices in the small round flanged can.

P306 transistor

P400 series transistors

The P400 types are germanium high-frequency transistors in several different packages such as the standard small 'top hat' P401 shown on the left of my composite image, the bizarre-looking P410 group (P411A shown in the middle) and some tall oval types (P405A on the right).


The P500 types are silicon low-power high-frequency, in typical small flanged cans.

wanted transistor

P606A transistor

The P600 group comprised germanium medium- and high-power high-frequency examples. My example shows a P606A.


The P700 series, such as this P702, are high-power high-frequency silicon transistors.

P702 transistor

MP113 transistor

I don't intend to show any of the MP types except this one example. MP113 is the 'modernised' version of P113, a low-power silicon NPN AF type.


Now let's turn to diodes.

There are some inconsistencies in the information about the first semiconductor diodes made in the USSR. Disregarding copper-oxide and selenium rectifiers, it seems likely that the first were point-contact diodes used as detectors for radar. However, some articles say that they were copies of German devices such as the Telefunken ED702 that I show elsewhere. Those are silicon diodes, however some articles state that the first types were germanium.

My image shows the DK-V1 (Cyrillic DK-B1) which was manufactured from the 1940s into the 1980s. Like many radar diodes, it is supplied inside a lead sheath to protect against damage from static electricity.

DK-V1 diode

However, Pogorily states that the oldest USSR diodes were the series DG-C1 to DG-C17 (Cyrillic ДГ-Ц1 to ДГ-Ц17) of germanium point-contact mixer diodes. (He does not consider selenium or copper-oxide rectifiers).

I would be interested to obtain examples of any of these. If you know where I might get some, please

wanted transistor

Pogorily also describes an early group of germanium junction rectifiers DG-C21 to DG-C27 (Cyrillic ДГ-Ц21 to ДГ-Ц27) which were made from about 1956 onwards. The image shows a DG-C24 dated 1959.

DG-C24 diode

D2V diode

After 1963, some point-contact diodes in the standard series use a typical glass encapsulation, but with the USSR metal ribbon connectors as shown in this image of a D2V. The part number and date are usually stamped into the ribbon leads.


Apparently, according to Pogorily the DG-C2x rectifiers suffered from the case being poorly made and they were soon replaced by germanium medium-power rectifiers like this D7J. (That part number is a poor translation of Cyrillic Д7Ж. This last letter has no direct English equivalent, it is often translated as 'ZHE'). However, there seems to be an inconsistency here: I don't believe that these are point-contact diodes.

D7J diode

D303 diode

There are also moderately high-power rectifiers in stud packaging such as this germanium D303.


Finally, I have seen some high-power germanium rectifiers in the VG series (Cyrillic ВГ) for sale on eBay but at an extraordinarily high price. If you know where I can find any at a reasonable price, please

wanted diode





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