Russia made some amazing 48-core Arm SoCs before the sanctions started

mongeese

Posts: 632   +123
Staff member
In context: Russian chip maker Baikal Electronics was halfway to having an SoC series that spanned from eight cores to 48 before Russia invaded Ukraine and invited sanctions that crippled its nascent semiconductor industry.

But before the sanctions were handed down, Baikal received several prototypes of its latest (and perhaps last) SoC from TSMC. Somehow, some of them have ended up in the hands of a Russian enthusiast who's shared them with Fritchens Fritz, a tremendously talented chip photographer.

This monstrous system on a chip is the BE-S1000. It was designed for server applications and has 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores. It features a 2 GHz all-core clock and a 120W TDP. It was manufactured on the TSMC 16FFC node and measures in at an enormous 607 mm2.

In a ring around the center of the SoC are 12 compute clusters that each contain four cores and four 512 KB blocks of L3 cache. Each core contains its own 512 KB of L2 cache and two 64 KB blocks of L1 cache. In the middle of the SoC is a four-by-four grid of 2 MB blocks of L4 cache that sum up to 32 MB. Across the whole processor there are 24 MB of L3 and L2 cache and 6 MB of L1 cache: 86 MB in total, shared between 48 cores.

Around the perimeter are the IO controllers. The left and right flanks house five PCIe 4.0 x16 controllers, three of which can double as CCIX 1.0 modules and enable 2-way and 4-way SMP (symmetric multiprocessing). At the top and bottom are six memory controllers that can each handle a 72-bit channel to 128 GB of DDR4-3200 with ECC, or 768 GB between them.

Baikal backs up that impressive spec sheet with some benchmark figures. It compares the S1000 in a few slides with the 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148, 16-core AMD Epyc 7351, and 48-core Huawei Kunpeng 920. It concludes that the SoC is approximately equivalent to the AMD and Intel CPUs but only 85% as fast as Huawei's rather similar Arm-based SoC.

In raw numbers, the S1000 scores an impressive 14,246 points in the Geekbench 5 multi-core test, putting it on par with the Ryzen 7 5900X. In the SPEC CPU 2017 integer and floating point benchmarks it scores 76.6 points and 68.7 points, respectively, placing it in the territory of the 5800X.

It's a shame that the S1000 will likely never reach the market. Baikal seems to have had it slated for arrival in Russian markets for either this year or next, but TSMC has almost certainly been forced to cancel or indefinitely delay Baikal's orders because of the sanctions.

Baikal only took delivery of its first batch of processors from TSMC this time last year. It was just beginning to look like Russia's bid to have a self-sufficient semiconductor industry could come to fruition within the next decade or two. Now it looks like that future will never come to pass, and all we're left with are curious oddities like the BE-S1000.

Permalink to story.

 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,399   +1,040
I think with ARM and foundries, research papers , modern AI assists , tools etc to design powerful SOCs becoming easier .
Especially if special purpose - not tied to WWW ( security etc ) .
Shows USAs desire to bring more of the steps home ( eg foundries ) .
Given the current uncertainties in supply chains at moment .

I imagine the modelling software is a lot of the secret sauce - plus as much super fast memory you can as close as possible to cores . Then upstream you need amazing controllers to pump that bandwidth coming in the future . Then again RTX 4090 does saturate for graphics -but image it could for right type of calculations .

Plus AMD and Intel chips are not that bespoke - so have to go to known motherboards , commercial solutions in a wide range of applications - eg production high performance cars - vs let's just go for it
 

umbala

Posts: 797   +1,598
Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.
Get rid of Putin and everything is fixed. This is a very naive outlook on a very complex issue. Even if Putin was replaced tomorrow, do you think it would be with someone more open towards Europe and the West? The answer is almost certainly no. You can rest assured that whoever replaces Putin will be hand picked by Putin himself and likely to be even more nationalistic and aggressive towards anyone they see as a threat (ie. Europe and NATO)
 

kinetix

Posts: 66   +59
This is one, that perhaps they can make a simpler version, in their foundries, at 90 or even 65 nm, reducing clock speeds to control power consumption and temperatures. Depends on what they want to use it for.

but the fundamental CPU for them I think are those of the Elbrus series, since it is their own ISA and architecture (they are VLIW, but can do x86 translation, so they can even run Windows.), that although the latest models are also manufactured (or were manufactured?) by TMSC at 28nm, perhaps they can do the same to make them in their foundries.

I think I have read about a couple more CPUs (of very restricted use), in addition to micro-controllers (these are the kind chips of really strategic importance for everybody, in my opinion)

and with the USA´s technological war against China, and the great steps that China has been taking to achieve its technological independence, there will come a time when China will care little what and to whom they manufacture anything.
 
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Red34jfp

"It was just beginning to look like Russia's bid to have a self-sufficient semiconductor industry could come to fruition within the next decade or two."

It can't be called "self-sufficient" if the world big bully can so easily cut you off. The way forward is replicating the whole industrial chain, but only China could possibly manage to pull that out, in a decade or maybe even more.
So you think it's a shame it won't come to market. I think it's a shame Russia decided to invade Ukraine. Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.
Oh please, China didn't invade anyone, but the US has already killed Huawei as a viable mobile phones and semiconductors producer and now they're doing the same with both SMIC and YMTC, using even more extensive and damaging sanctions... right now you either play by America's rules or you don't play, it's as simple as that. Russia's invasion was a shame, but the same was true for America's invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israel's continued occupation of the East Bank and Golan Heights. The violation of international law isn't the issue, what matters is what America says that matters.
 
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Kinemon

Posts: 33   +29
Oh no ! Russia and China can make CPUs ! Welcome to reality, while the two giants are awaking, western countries are being destroyed from the inside by the ones faking wanting to protect us (all lefts and rights included).

I mean it was made in taiwan. I think they have made some cpu's within russia but they are not anywhere close to having a competitive fab. China has fabs, imported.. not their own, currently they are being prevented from obtaining EUV fabs. They can still make the larger NM chips that are in most products. China's governments goal is to have their own competing technology. They probably will one day. Russia has been failing at it for decades. Not much hope of a competent fab there any time soon.
 

loki1944

Posts: 701   +523
So you think it's a shame it won't come to market. I think it's a shame Russia decided to invade Ukraine. Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.

Well both countries are asshats; I mean Ukraine having a neo Nazi BN definitely demonstrated that. But yes; starting a war to take land is never a great moral choice.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,234   +3,899
So performance claims are based on vendor provided numbers ? Sorry, if I don‘t trust them too much.

So you think it's a shame it won't come to market. I think it's a shame Russia decided to invade Ukraine. Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.

It‘s not as simple as that - Putin is not alone, there are those who supported and still support him. Also, there is the question of reparations, war crimes trials, Russian troops that still occupy countries like Georgia. We need to safeguard against future Russian aggression and imho this is not a country that should have nuclear weapons.


 

Geralt

Posts: 1,320   +2,149
So you think it's a shame it won't come to market. I think it's a shame Russia decided to invade Ukraine. Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.
If it were so simple. Russia is a police state. So if you move a little your a$s in the wrong direction, you'll be in prison in no time at all. In my case, like a foreigner here, I will be immediately deported with a big kick in my butts. Obviously, my Russian family will suffer a lot in the process. No thanks, I am not a hero yet 😔
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,320   +2,149
"It was just beginning to look like Russia's bid to have a self-sufficient semiconductor industry could come to fruition within the next decade or two."

It can't be called "self-sufficient" if the world big bully can so easily cut you off. The way forward is replicating the whole industrial chain, but only China could possibly manage to pull that out, in a decade or maybe even more.

Oh please, China didn't invade anyone, but the US has already killed Huawei as a viable mobile phones and semiconductors producer and now they're doing the same with both SMIC and YMTC, using even more extensive and damaging sanctions... right now you either play by America's rules or you don't play, it's as simple as that. Russia's invasion was a shame, but the same was true for America's invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israel's continued occupation of the East Bank and Golan Heights. The violation of international law isn't the issue, what matters is what America says that matters.
I was born with US like the prevailing power. I don't want to die with US like the prevailing power, please. I am so fed up with American governments! Even their calling US America is offensive because America is a continent. We need a change. A multipolar world maybe.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 495   +854
It's totally off topic but this is the best interpretation of what is going on in our time.

Where ever you are from, that is America. We aren't the native American Indians. We immigrated from all over the world. My Grandparents from Czechoslovakia.

The influence America now has is nothing but Woke bullsh*t and Green Bullsh*t that keeps spreading around the world. Now you have youth in Europe pouring out Milk in protest of Cows. Of course you can't reason with teens, so thats just dumb being dumber.

The whole world has gone mad and we just have to work through it. Maybe the next generation will flip 180 degrees and have some common sense. Nah. The world needs a great reset of common sense.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 495   +854
Anyone who thinks that Russia or especially China can't create a self-sufficient process without the use of imports doesn't understand progress.

The only problem, is that while Money and material posessions drive the worlds economy, we all sort of need each other.

We just need replicator technology in the home, then who cares about money. Man has a way of finding a way. It's the genious of being human.
 

Mouseface

Posts: 79   +91
Oh no ! Russia and China can make CPUs ! Welcome to reality, while the two giants are awaking, western countries are being destroyed from the inside by the ones faking wanting to protect us (all lefts and rights included).

they cant make them now, thats the point, what a silly comment
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,363   +4,370
They may be fast but ARM's Achilles' Heel is the fact that it doesn't have anywhere near the functionality of x86/AMD64. If they did, it's all we'd be using because they're far more power-efficient. At the same speed, I'd take an AMD64 CPU over an ARM seven days a week and twice on Sundays.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,828   +983
So you think it's a shame it won't come to market. I think it's a shame Russia decided to invade Ukraine. Simple solution, remove Putin and Russia will be allowed to rejoin the world.
If you believe that putin is the problem then yes.
Unfortunately, if you study Russia, you might realize that it was not putin who created this regime but rather regime or the way of life that brings people like him to power.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,363   +4,370
If you believe that putin is the problem then yes.
Unfortunately, if you study Russia, you might realize that it was not putin who created this regime but rather regime or the way of life that brings people like him to power.
Do you really think that Putin was put in power through a legitimate election? I think that it may have been legitimate the first time because Boris Yeltsin endorsed him. Since then, I'm not so sure because the back and forth with Medvedev as President and PM was clearly a political stunt and I don't think that there's been a fair election in Russia for over a decade.

It's hard to blame the people when they have literally no options.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,828   +983
Do you really think that Putin was put in power through a legitimate election? I think that it may have been legitimate the first time because Boris Yeltsin endorsed him. Since then, I'm not so sure because the back and forth with Medvedev as President and PM was clearly a political stunt and I don't think that there's been a fair election in Russia for over a decade.

It's hard to blame the people when they have literally no options.
After UUSR fall, they literally had the best chance in history to bring in democracy or at least something resembling it.
What do we see instead 30 years ago? Nuke threats, invading neighbors, torturing captured and mass rape.
I will never argue this but "people deserve their government"
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,363   +4,370
After UUSR fall, they literally had the best chance in history to bring in democracy or at least something resembling it.
What do we see instead 30 years ago? Nuke threats, invading neighbors, torturing captured and mass rape.
I will never argue this but "people deserve their government"
Not in this case. The Soviet Union fell and the KGB took over. That's all that happened here.
 
In context: Russian chip maker Baikal Electronics was halfway to having an SoC series that spanned from eight cores to 48 before Russia invaded Ukraine and invited sanctions that crippled its nascent semiconductor industry.

But before the sanctions were handed down, Baikal received several prototypes of its latest (and perhaps last) SoC from TSMC. Somehow, some of them have ended up in the hands of a Russian enthusiast who's shared them with Fritchens Fritz, a tremendously talented chip photographer.

This monstrous system on a chip is the BE-S1000. It was designed for server applications and has 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores. It features a 2 GHz all-core clock and a 120W TDP. It was manufactured on the TSMC 16FFC node and measures in at an enormous 607 mm2.

In a ring around the center of the SoC are 12 compute clusters that each contain four cores and four 512 KB blocks of L3 cache. Each core contains its own 512 KB of L2 cache and two 64 KB blocks of L1 cache. In the middle of the SoC is a four-by-four grid of 2 MB blocks of L4 cache that sum up to 32 MB. Across the whole processor there are 24 MB of L3 and L2 cache and 6 MB of L1 cache: 86 MB in total, shared between 48 cores.

Around the perimeter are the IO controllers. The left and right flanks house five PCIe 4.0 x16 controllers, three of which can double as CCIX 1.0 modules and enable 2-way and 4-way SMP (symmetric multiprocessing). At the top and bottom are six memory controllers that can each handle a 72-bit channel to 128 GB of DDR4-3200 with ECC, or 768 GB between them.

Baikal backs up that impressive spec sheet with some benchmark figures. It compares the S1000 in a few slides with the 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148, 16-core AMD Epyc 7351, and 48-core Huawei Kunpeng 920. It concludes that the SoC is approximately equivalent to the AMD and Intel CPUs but only 85% as fast as Huawei's rather similar Arm-based SoC.

In raw numbers, the S1000 scores an impressive 14,246 points in the Geekbench 5 multi-core test, putting it on par with the Ryzen 7 5900X. In the SPEC CPU 2017 integer and floating point benchmarks it scores 76.6 points and 68.7 points, respectively, placing it in the territory of the 5800X.

It's a shame that the S1000 will likely never reach the market. Baikal seems to have had it slated for arrival in Russian markets for either this year or next, but TSMC has almost certainly been forced to cancel or indefinitely delay Baikal's orders because of the sanctions.

Baikal only took delivery of its first batch of processors from TSMC this time last year. It was just beginning to look like Russia's bid to have a self-sufficient semiconductor industry could come to fruition within the next decade or two. Now it looks like that future will never come to pass, and all we're left with are curious oddities like the BE-S1000.

Permalink to story.

Russia did not make anything. It was made by TSMC.