Russian officials have said the American made chips running its government computer systems won't be there for much longer. The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry has plans to replace the US made Intel and AMD chips with ARM architecture similar to what we see used with mobile devices. The Ministry will flush out its x86 run computers in favor of a new Linux based system running a chip built in Russia called Baikal.
The processor is being built by an electronics division of supercomputer maker T-Platforms and appears to have some serious funding from large government run companies. Rosnano, a tech firm, and Rostec a very large defense contractor are both funding the project. The first versions will pack an ARM Cortex A-57 at 2GHz and will run both PCs and servers.
According to local reports, the Russian government buys 700,00 PCs every year at around $500 million, as well as 300,000 servers for $300 million. The new Baikal chips are expected to begin replacing current systems starting in early 2015.
With all of the US foreign espionage stories in the news, many feel the switch over to Russian made processors is part of a security measure. There have been a number of reports suggesting the NSA uses tactics to force hardware and software companies to build-in back doors that would allow for Agency access. While it may be to bolster local companies, it may also be a precaution put in place by the Russians to better protect itself from outside eyes.
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