Much like China, Russia has begun transitioning to home-designed chips for government and security institutions. The aim is to reduce dependence on US chipmakers, and backdoors that may be present in foreign designs. On this front, Baikal Electronics has been working to roll out its BE-M1000 lineup based on the Arm ISA.
These are 8 core processors leveraging the Arm Cortex A57 architecture, and eight Mali-T628 GPU cores. The CPU is clocked at 1.5GHz, with 4MB of L2 cache and 8MB of L3 cache. Meanwhile, the GPU runs at 700-750MHz. The SoC has a TDP of 30-35W. To avoid US sanctions and suspicions, Baikal has decided to go with the TSMC’s 28nm node for this particular generation.
The first shipment recently arrived in Russia, consisting of approximately 5,000 processors. Baikal is planning to partner with system integrators to manufacture completely home-designed PCs. Among them is iRU, the largest system integrator in Russia. The two plan to sell notebooks and desktop PCs based on these SoCs to government institutions and offices.
In addition to state-designed hardware, these systems will run government-approved software including Linux Astra OS, Red OS, My Office, ViPNet SafeBoot, etc. The original plan was to receive 10,000-15,000 processors per month before the new computers started selling. However, as a result of the ongoing semiconductor shortages, delivery times have been postponed by at least four months.