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  1. Technology
June 7, 1990

NO SNOW ON THEIR BOOTS: SOVIETS DRUM UP COMPUTER, SOFTWARE TRADE IN CALIFORNIA

By CBR Staff Writer

A delegation of 16 senior Soviet high-technology officials is currently visiting several electronics manufacturing firms in Northern California’s Silicon Valley to discuss purchase of American-made products, joint-venture partnerships and sale of Soviet design and development services. And further down in Southern California, the Soviets, among them Victor Karpov of the Soviet Ministry of Computers & Communication and Yuri Diakov, general director of the Soviet Union’s main semiconductor research and development center, will be paying a visit to testing company XXCAL Testlabs to sign a final agreement under which the Los Angeles-based firm will evaluate and certify computer software produced in the Soviet Union for use on systems manufactured or sold in the United States. The Soviets now have more than 40 mainframe computer software products ready to be evaluated and tested for use in the US, said Bill Schoneman, vice-president, XXCAL Testing and Systems Division. In addition to evaluating products, XXCAL will help write English-language documentation and examine Soviet software user interfaces with an eye toward making them easily understandable to Americans. According to Schoneman, much Soviet computer expertise, which appears to be considerable, revolves around big, powerful systems and applications like telecommunications, electronics design and development, large-scale administrative information systems, space exploration and defence support; under their new business direction, where it’s practical, these products are being commercialised for distribution and sale in the West. Founded in 1976, XXCAL carries out tests on behalf of firms such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, NEC, Samsung Electronics, Hitachi, Siemens and Nixdorf. The $20m a year firm also operates a technical personnel staff agency.

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