About History

History

Institute of Electronics & Computer Science (IECS) was founded in 1960 as a research institution of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and incorporated individual laboratories of the Institute of Physics and Institute of Energetics. The founder and the first director (until 1992) of IECS was Professor Eduard Yakubaitis. Institute began its work at the premises of the Academy of Science. The main research areas were development of digital computers, theory of automata, parameter measurements and testing of electronic elements, in particular, semiconductor devices, fast switching logic for computer design with emphasis on application of tunnel diodes, etc.

The creation and construction of the first computer in Latvia was the main accomplishment of IECS in 60-ties.  It was successfully used for research-based calculations for several years. Research activities of the Institute expanded rapidly, therefore in 1964 it moved to the new premises in Teika district of Riga. In 1967 the publishing of scientific journal „Automatic Control and Computer Sciences” was started.

The development of mini-computers and the first microprocessor systems in Latvia were among the most significant achievements of IECS in 70-ties. Particularly important was the multi-processor control system for the Moon Vehicle developed in the framework of the USSR Moon program in 1972. Substantial work was carried out in extending metrological support to semi-conductor industry which was developing successfully in Latvia at that time.

In 80-ties computer networks was chosen as the main topic for research and development. Intensive work was carried out in the fields of wide as well as local area networks, several software and hardware products were developed, and several large-scale projects were completed, for example, creation of  computer network of the USSR Academy of Sciences - AKADEMNET. About 800 researchers and supporting personnel were employed by IECS at the time.

IECS underwent significant changes in 90-ties, after Latvia restated its independence from the USSR. Head of Digital Signal processing laboratory, Dr.habil.sc.comp. Ivars Biļinskis was elected as the director of IECS in 1992. Research and development activities reoriented towards digital signal processing related problems, in particular, in the field of randomized DSP, laser-Doppler DSP, laser ranging, event timing, UHF reflectometry (micro radar systems). Research continued also in the areas of dynamic analysis of non-linear objects, distributed data processing, computer network management and others. IECS became the winner of the European IT Prize in 1997 for the development of the DASP-Lab System – digital analyzer of radio frequency signals in time, frequency and modulation domains.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the number of employees of the Institute had decreased to around 100 people, 60 of whom were working in the research laboratories. The highest accomplishment of the 1st decade of the 21st century is high precision event timers created at IECS, which received international recognition from the International Laser Ranging Service and are successfully used in the European Union, China, Japan, Korea, Russia and other countries.
Head of IECS Scientific Council, Dr.sc.comp. Modris Greitāns has been elected as the director of the Institute in 2007. Substantial modernizations of infrastructure and laboratories, as well as partial renovation of the premises, have been done in the second half of the decade due to attracted financing from the EU structural funds. Following this development as well as the expansion of research projects, IECS has been able to attract dozens of young researchers, university students and post-graduate students. New fields of research has been added to the Institute’s research and development activities – wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, image processing and processing of biometric signals.