Announced shortly after the 1 year anniversary of the first revelations by Eric Snowden that American spy agencies have their fingers in everything, the Russian government will be funding a project to build a custom microprocessor. Codenamed Baikal (after the lake with Earth's largest volume of fresh water), it will be built around an ARM Cortex A57, a 64-bit architecture running at 2GHz. No core count or other details are available. First deliveries are expected in 2015.
The ARM architecture aligns with Vladimir Putin's goal, announced in 2010, to move all government computers onto Linux. It also comes in the wake of another large country's recent barring of some American technology in favor of a homegrown Linux distro.
Zhaoxin, a joint venture between Via Technologies and the Chinese government, this week for the first time displayed its upcoming x86-compatible CPU, the KaiXian KX-6000. The SoC features eight cores running at 3 GHz and increases performance over its predecessor by at least 50%.
The KaiXian KX-6000 is a successor to the KX-5000 CPU launched earlier this year. Both chips integrate eight-core x86-64 cores with 8 MB of L2 cache, a DirectX 11.1-capable iGPU with an up-to-date display controller, a dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory controller, contemporary I/O interfaces (PCIe, SATA, USB, etc), and so on. The key differences between the KaiXian KX-5000 and the KaiXian KX-6000 are frequencies and manufacturing technology: the former is produced using TSMC's 28 nm fabrication process and runs at up to 2 GHz, whereas the latter is made using TSMC's 16 nm technology and operates at up to 3 GHz. Zhaoxin claims that the Kaixian KX-6000 offers compute performance comparable to that of Intel's 7th Generation Core i5 processor, which is a quad-core non-Hyper-Threaded CPU. Obviously, performance claims like that have to be verified, yet a 50% performance bump over the direct predecessor already seems beefy enough.
Related: Russia Plans to Dump Some American CPUs for Homegrown Technology
Russian Homegrown Elbrus-4C CPU Released
U.S. Export Restrictions Lead to Chinese Homegrown Supercomputing Chips
Linux-Based, MIPS-Powered Russian All-in-One PC Launched
China Dominates TOP500 List, Leads With New 93 Petaflops Supercomputer
Chinese Company Produces Chips Closely Based on AMD's Zen Microarchitecture
ZDnet is reporting that China has banned Windows 8 from government PCs. According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, China doesn't want another Windows XP support debacle to deal with, so it's banned Windows 8 from government machines.
In a brief statement on China's Central Government Procurement Centre's website about a particular class of energy-saving products [page in Chinese], the agency noted that new government computers are forbidden from having Windows 8 installed. As Reuters notes, it's not clear how the ban on Windows 8 is related to the use of energy-savings products.
So, fellow Soylenters, is this "payback" (as the article seems to hint), or is this an "it's about time" move by the largest PC market in the world? Either way this will affect Microsoft's business going forward, and possibly new PC sales in China as the current XP hardware is repurposed with Linux rather than being replaced.
Most modern desktop and notebook computers ship with Intel or AMD processors and Windows or OS X software. A few companies are positioning products with ARM-based chips as desktop computers. But the Tavolga Terminal TB-T22BT(русский ) is something different.
This all-in-one desktop PC has a MIPS-based processor and runs Debian 8 Linux software.
The computer is made by Russian company T-Platforms, which also offers an SF-BT1 processor module for those that want to build their own hardware.
Both devices use a Baikal-T1 processor which is a 32-bit dual-core MIPS P5600 processor. Like the computers, the chip was designed in Russia, although it's based on work from Imagination Technologies (the company behind the MIPS architecture).
The all-in-one desktop features a 21.5 inch IPS display, support for up to 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, and up to 64GB of flash storage. It has four USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, Gigabit Ethernet, and a fanless case for silent operation. There's also support for smart cards.
T-Platforms is positioning the TB-T22BT as a device that can either be used as a standalone computer with support for Linux-based apps such as LibreOffice and Firefox, or as a thin client system that you can use to connect to remote machines using remote desktop software.
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