All-Russian PCs featuring Arm SoC and Linux are now shipping

midian182

Posts: 7,423   +65
Staff member
In brief: With Russia trying to lessen its reliance on US-sourced technology, one of the country's big PC makers, iRU, has started mass production of systems that use domestic components, creating what could be described as all-Russian PCs.

As reported by The Register, iRU's PCs come with ARM SoCs from Russian fabless semiconductor company Baikal. The Baikal-M chip isn't going to threaten Apple's similarly named M1 SoC. It features eight Arm Cortex-A57 cores running at up to 1.5GHz, an eight-core Mali-T628 GPU, 35W TDP, dual-channel DDR3/4 support, 4MB L2 cache and 8MB L3 cache, PCIe 3, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and four Ethernet controllers (two at 10GB, two at 1GB). It is based on TSMC's aging 28nm process.

The ARM Cortex-A57 was launched in 2012 and used in the Snapdragon 810 SoC that arrived in 2015 and the Tegra X1, which powers the Shield TV. Its successor, the A72, is part of the quad-core Broadcom BCM2711 SoC found in the Raspberry Pi 4.

The PCs also offer the Astra Linux distro, Alt OS, Red OS, and other Russian software. In the case of Astra, it is designed to be secure enough for use by the Russian government and military. Baikal said all software installed on the machines is approved by Russia's Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and Ministry of Industry and Trade.

iRU is offering a 23.8-inch all-in-one desktop, a standard tower, and a small form factor PC. They come with up 32GB of RAM and between 1TB and 3TB of storage. No word yet on their prices.

Like China, Russia has long been trying to move away from foreign-sourced technology, especially for its government and military branches. But that often results in products that can't compete with their modern Western equivalents.

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eforce

Posts: 630   +777
If Valve can bridge the gap between Linux and Windows regarding gaming and ARM can emulate x86 then it might be viable in the future.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,530   +2,989
That's not bad actually: Linux is extremely scalable and if you've seen a modest raspberry pi running a very functional Linux desktop you know it's more than enough.
 

MarkHughes

Posts: 283   +247
Even as a Russian person, all I can say - good luck!

This thing won't get far outside Russia. Maybe it will sell well in Siberia, near Baikal lake, LOL.

I don't know, A desktop ARM system is kinda interesting, Depending on price I could see people wanting one for novelty and project work. No doubt in a few years a more powerful version will be available.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,017   +4,370
I don't know, A desktop ARM system is kinda interesting, Depending on price I could see people wanting one for novelty and project work. No doubt in a few years a more powerful version will be available.
Apple already has essentially developed a desktop arm system and they aren't actually bad. I'd never buy a Mac but I'll give them credit with their new chips
 

defaultluser

Posts: 297   +259
It is a Nintendo Switch.

I kinda feel like they would have gotten a better deal just finding some olds revision 1 Switch devices and flashing them.
 

ron baer

Posts: 41   +13
If Valve can bridge the gap between Linux and Windows regarding gaming and ARM can emulate x86 then it might be viable in the future.
dont see why they didnt license the zen1 design to make their own chips that would be more capable longer termed
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,962   +1,559
More and more signs that the world is going risc. At this point the only personal use I have for X86 is for a tower gaming PC. All my other devices are risc based. It would be nice to see the gaming industry push towards the same goal.