from the the-(a?)-die-is-cast? dept.
Twitter user Fritzchens Fritz has managed to obtain a sample of Baikal Electronics' 48-core BE-S1000 server-grade system-on-chip (SoC) and throw it under an infrared microscope to reveal its internals. In addition, some benchmark results of the SoC have surfaced.
Baikal Electronics has developed several system-on-chips for different devices to replace x86 processors from PCs and various compute appliances made in Russia. However, the pinnacle of the company's design prowess should have been its BE-S1000 server-grade SoC with 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores, which the company managed to tape out and produce the first sample using TSMC's 16FFC fabrication technology, but which will never be released commercially due to sanctions against Russia for its invasion in Ukraine.
Also at TechPowerUp.
TSMC Ships First Batch of Baikal BE-M1000 ARM CPUs
UK Sanctions Russian Microprocessor Makers, Banning Them From ARM
BITBLAZE Titan BM15 Arm Linux Laptop Features Russian Baikal-M1 Processor
Former Co-Owner of Russia's Baikal Microelectronics Goes Bankrupt
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Baikal Electronics confirms they received the first batch of 5000 BE-M1000 CPUs from their foundry, TSMC. These are second-generation processors based on ARM architecture.
[...] Baikal BE-M1000 is based on eight ARM Cortex A57 cores all clocked up to 1.5 GHz at TDP at 30-35W. The CPU has 4MB of L2 cache and 8MB of L3 cache. It comes with an integrated ARM Mali-T682 GPU clocked at 700 to 750 MHz.
The processor offers a performance level of Intel Core i3-7300T, which should be good enough for standard office use.
The UK government added 63 Russian entities to its sanction list on Wednesday [04 May]. Among them are Baikal Electronics and MCST (Moscow Center of SPARC Technologies), the two most important chip makers in Russia.
The two sanctioned entities will now be denied access to the ARM architecture since Arm Ltd., the licensee, is based in Cambridge, England, and will have to comply with the sanctions.
[...] The two firms are considered vital for Russia's technological independence efforts, as they are expected to step up and cover the shortages created by the lack of processors made by Western chip-makers such as Intel and AMD.
[...] While these processors [the most advanced processors Baikai and MCST currently supply], and the much worse mid-tier and low-tier chips that carry the Baikal and MCST sticker, don't feature impressive performance, they could keep some vital parts of the Russian IT section going during shortages.
Russian company Prombit has unveiled the BITBLAZE Titan BM15 Arm Linux Laptop equipped with Baikal-M1 octa-core Arm Cortex-A57 processor manufactured by TSMC, up to 128GB RAM [disputed: may only be 32 GB], SSD storage, and a 15.6-inch Full HD display.
[...] There's no mention of the operating system used on the product page, but the laptop most certainly runs the same Astra Linux distribution as the Baikal M hardware launched last year with the Russian office application package, and other programs all approved by the "Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media".
However, the laptop may end up being a collector item, as Tom's Hardware reports TSMC will not manufacture chips for Russian companies due to current sanctions. But we'll have to see, as Chinese companies such as SMIC should still be able to manufacture processors on a 28nm process despite (again) more sanctions. Tom's Hardware further mentions that the laptop is expected to cost between 100,000 and 120,000 rubles (or about $1,600 – $1,930 at current exchange rates), so the price/performance ratio is less than impressive, but that may be the cost of independence. Productions samples, scheduled "earlier than November" may cost less.
Also at Notebookcheck.
T-Platforms, a Russian company that once planned to build an exascale supercomputer and homegrown CPUs, was declared bankrupt this week as the cost of the company's assets was lower than its obligations. T-Platforms was one of a few companies in Russia that could build world-class high-performance supercomputers. The main reasons for the bankruptcy are not sanctions by Western countries but rather Russia's attempt to replace Western technologies with its own.
T-Platforms was established in 2002 to build servers and supercomputers that would be competitive against offerings from the likes of IBM and HP. Over the years, T-Platforms developed some of Russia's highest-performing supercomputers based on AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon, and Nvidia Tesla processors. For example, the company's Lomonosov supercomputer, based on 33,072 CPUs, was ranked the No. 18 most potent machine in the world and the No. 3 supercomputer in Europe.
[...] Baikal Microelectronics secured government subsidies to speed up the development of homebrew processors and servers. However, while Baikal Microelectronics has managed to design several Arm and MIPS-based processors, whereas T-Platforms started to sell some of its new servers in Russia, they failed to deliver their products on time. As a result, the Russian Ministry of Trade sued Baikal in 2019. Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of T-Platforms was arrested in March 2019 as his company failed to deliver about 9,000 Baikal-based PCs to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is when the company started to fire personnel and fold its operations.