TSMC delivers its first batch of Russian-designed Arm chips

mongeese

Posts: 533   +111
Staff member
Why it matters: Russia’s Baikal Electronics received its first batch of Arm SoCs from TSMC this week. It was a major step towards the Russian government’s goal of a self-sufficient electronics industry.

Baikal’s new processor, its second ever, is called the BE-M1000. It’s an octa-core Arm design with a focus on connectivity. TSMC’s first production run yielded about 5,000 chips, which were shipped to Baikal inside one large and very expensive crate.

Although 5,000 processors don’t sound like enough to attract interest from the market, particularly from a company that hasn’t proven itself, Baikal claims to have already partnered with several system integrators to produce computers that will launch in a matter of months.

Chief among them is iRU, Russia’s largest domestic system integrator. It recently announced plans to start selling office computers based on the BE-M1000 in Q1 2022. The company's line-up will include an Opal-branded series of laptops and small form factor PCs and an Agate-branded series of AIOs.

iRU says that they’ve already secured buyers, which include major government-contracted companies. As such, the computers will come preloaded with government-approved software, including the Linux-based Astra OS or Red OS, the Microsoft Office alternative My Office, and ViPNet SafeBoot security software.

Baikal expects to be receiving monthly shipments of 10,000 to 15,000 processors by the time iRU wants to sell its systems. Baikal had hoped to be at that stage already but got waylaid by the ongoing chip shortage. This week’s shipment was initially scheduled for four months ago, but despite the setbacks, Baikal Electronics' CEO, Andrey Evdokimov, says that the company has handled the shortage well.

"We managed to adapt to the market conditions: we started working on organizing mass production almost two years ago and were able to book production lines in advance at fixed terms early on," Evdokimov told Russian site CNews. "Thus, we entered the crisis prepared. Our good relationships with major international suppliers along the whole production line helped a lot, too."

Baikal also benefitted from its design’s use of the 28nm node, which is under less strain than newer, more popular nodes.

The BE-M1000 contains eight Arm Cortex-A57 cores that operate at 1.5 GHz. It has a 4 MB L2 cache and an 8 MB L3 cache. It also has eight Mali-T628 GPU cores that target 700-750 MHz. It has a 30-35 W TDP, although it’s probably configurable.

The BE-M1000’s connectivity is more impressive than its performance. It has a dual-channel memory controller that supports up to 32 GB of DDR3 or DDR4 and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. It can also support six USB ports, two 10 Gb Ethernet ports, and two 1 Gb Ethernet ports.

According to CNews, which tested an engineering sample of the processor last year, it performs similarly to the Intel Core i3-7300T. Although that’s not an exciting performance bracket, it’s sufficient for the workloads that the processor targets and commendable from the perspective that Baikal has very little experience designing processors.

Masthead credit: Laura Ockel

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psycros

Posts: 3,726   +4,736
Wind is changing. Other countries from the traditional ones are building up their cpu self - sufficiency. There are several implications here but it will be good for the market, and for us, surely.

I don't see how this helps "us", if you're referring to consumers in general. Most of these chips are gong to be forced on local populations through government edict.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,418   +3,530
It makes sense for a country to make their own chips and software to get away from western spying.
 

elementalSG

Posts: 219   +360
Nice. A brand new Russian designed CPU in 2021 that runs at 60% the speed of my decade old i7-3770K. Guess that means soon Russia will have their own independently designed T1 and DSL internet ISP infrastructure and maybe even 3G cell towers soon too!
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 663   +505
Thank you very much. It's sometimes easy to miss little juxtapositions like that. Yuor brian jsut atoumtacilaly mkaes the adujtsemnt in yuor haed. ;)

Corrected.

It was something I learnt from my Uni days .
You write an essay - you know what you want to say - so you proof read it - and you think it's saying what you want yet it's a confusing mess .

You read it a month later - you see the confusing mess- as you are now a "different" person

All alone what to do ?
Become another person - ie 'The Harsh Marker" then read it again - the better you get in the role playing the better it works.
Another example returning rental car - you do your usual checking for possessions etc

Then "I bet that Kiwigraeme forgot something - the silly sod - I sure to find a CD in the player at least - or his son's book in the back pocket of the front seat"

I'm always curious how companies keep routine mission critical checks to a high std - eg bungy jumps - people often see what they want to see - end of day last jump - meet up with Vicky at the pub - fender bender crashes in town more likely at beginning or end of trips.
The funniest is someone is hyper vigilant of their baggage in a dodgy country - yet get back to LAX and let some random "taxidriver" take their luggage out to their "taxi"
 

koblongata

Posts: 456   +254
Wind is changing. Other countries from the traditional ones are building up their cpu self - sufficiency. There are several implications here but it will be good for the market, and for us, surely.

TSMC founder Morris Chang said more countries seek self-sufficiency will actually slow down the advancement though. Hope he is wrong, but since everyone is already jumping on board we will never know lol.
 

Bulllee

Posts: 255   +170
TSMC founder Morris Chang said more countries seek self-sufficiency will actually slow down the advancement though. Hope he is wrong, but since everyone is already jumping on board we will never know lol.
It's already slowed down.
You will know.
Good comment.
 

RudyBob

Posts: 314   +300
It would be nice for them to join the world community in a way other than vodka, caviar and Siberia. I hope this is a first step for them and Putin ends up out on his ear
 

defaultluser

Posts: 280   +243
Wind is changing. Other countries from the traditional ones are building up their cpu self - sufficiency. There are several implications here but it will be good for the market, and for us, surely.

No, it's not. Anyone can do this sort of thing, given the per-approved cores you can purchase from ARM.

It's a lot cheaper to do this now,but even AMD winged their way to exactly the same specification + process node (back before Navi released, sio it wasn't cheap.)

https://wccftech.com/amd-8-core-arm-cpu/

The reason why anybody can do this is the same reason why NVIDIA got out of tablets and into car driving . + ARM consoles - you can buy arm, and get the Mali gpu for cheap, so even Chinese companies like hisilicon became massive!
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 951   +760
Nice. A brand new Russian designed CPU in 2021 that runs at 60% the speed of my decade old i7-3770K. Guess that means soon Russia will have their own independently designed T1 and DSL internet ISP infrastructure and maybe even 3G cell towers soon too!

Also give them a free copy of CRYSIS ha ha...............
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,684   +6,464
Nice. A brand new Russian designed CPU in 2021 that runs at 60% the speed of my decade old i7-3770K. Guess that means soon Russia will have their own independently designed T1 and DSL internet ISP infrastructure and maybe even 3G cell towers soon too!
Ya gotta admit, Russians are the best in the world at writing ransomware. :eek:
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,364   +7,166
It's certainly a start, although a rather disappointing one ..... still, to see a new chip maker is going to be a double edged sword. Good for competition, bad for comparability. Back in the beginning days of personal computers there were very few standards so finding un-compatible components was a lot more common and played hell with most computer users .....
 
Nice. A brand new Russian designed CPU in 2021 that runs at 60% the speed of my decade old i7-3770K. Guess that means soon Russia will have their own independently designed T1 and DSL internet ISP infrastructure and maybe even 3G cell towers soon too!
It's not so much that a desktop 2021 CPU running slower than my 2019 smartphone is, by itself, any kind of major coup. But it does suggest that Russia is building in-country infrastructure to take on computing their way, which is good for them. This will inevitably lead to faster chips.

One big advantage of the ARM infrastructure is the ability to use off-the-shelf proven cores, ARM or MALI OR whatever, and mix that in with anything you'd like to add for your own strategic needs.

They are still not immune from US or other Western interference. Just ask Huawei about that one. I would be surprised if they're not also at least investigating RISC-V.
 

godrilla

Posts: 324   +155
Because russia is really worried about the russian government spying on itself.... You do realize that other countries dont want the US spying on them, right?

🤦 cubed right back at ya. Use your brain for once.
Lol Putin is Ex KGB do you know what that is? Everyone is spying but leftist get triggered only when the west does it.