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posted by hubie on Tuesday May 10 2022, @03:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the tuck-my-worries-underneath-my-ARM dept.

UK sanctions Russian microprocessor makers, banning them from ARM:

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.

Although Russia has eased licensing regulations on other sanctioned items, such as software, that will most likely not happen here.

[...] However, it is important to remember that Baikal and MCST processors are made in foreign foundries, like Samsung's and TSMC's, and those two wouldn't infringe Arm's licensing rules and international law to facilitate Russian interests.

Baikal, which holds a valid license to produce at 16nm, only has a design license for its upcoming models, not manufacturing, so the only solution is to take the production domestically and ignore the rules.

[...] The Russian government has already approved an investment of 3.19 trillion rubles (38.2 billion USD) to counteract this in April 2022, but boosting local production will take many years. In the most optimistic scenarios, Russian foundries will be able to produce 28nm chips by 2030.

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday May 10 2022, @04:05PM (12 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Tuesday May 10 2022, @04:05PM (#1243831) Journal

    Russia "must" build out their own designs and production.

    They can create their own design / implementation of RISC V. There will be a guaranteed software base for their hardware. They can (like in the Java world) cooperate on interface, compete on implementation.

    If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @04:32PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @04:32PM (#1243842)

    > create their own design / implementation of RISC V


    Those with power in the West are greedy idiots. They outsourced most production to China, even shipping over entire factories to China and inducing their old employees to train their Chinese replacements (e.g., AC Delco [General Motors subsidiary; the same GM execs and shareholders bailed out by working class and middle class taxpayers] shipping over an entire factory of machine tools, and telling the US employees they could have 3 months more pay if they trained their replacements, or could go fuck off right now instead).

    Then these idiots suddenly realized that China had taken what they had given it, and (for these industrial products) no longer needed the West in any way other than to buy their shit.

    Now, the idiots are freaking out, and trying to prevent China (and now Russia) from using any Western technology where they think they can hurt a Chinese competitor by restricting access (e.g., Huawai), or anything to hurt Russia in any way. So, now China and Russia and any other country with a shred of independence from the US will develop their own technology. Eventually, they will export this tech, and will very likely out compete any western company. Thus making western tech companies as irrelevant as western industrial manufacturers*.

    * The West still makes weapons though. So, we can also count on these greedy morons to ensure a continuous stream of never ending wars. E.g., constantly running war exercises off the coast of China and Russia to provoke tensions. And, when Russia tried to join NATO, refusing them, so they could remain a threat to justify insane military expenditures. A few terrorists hiding out in a cave didn't work out as justification for spending on F-35s and ballistic missiles. Now that Russia invaded Ukraine, military corporate welfare payments are going to go through the roof.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 10 2022, @05:40PM (3 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 10 2022, @05:40PM (#1243876) Journal

      Big shocker, China and Russia are not the same!

      The issues and solutions we have to those issue will likely differ because of that fact.

      IP theft resulting in a massive manufacturing base pumping out cheap knockoffs is something we should concern ourselves with regarding China. Russia.....not so much.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by driverless on Wednesday May 11 2022, @12:42PM (2 children)

        by driverless (4770) on Wednesday May 11 2022, @12:42PM (#1244026)

        Yup, very much so. To reply to the comment that started this thread:

        Now Russia "must" build out their own designs and production.

        What with? Russia is now a pariah state with no access to anything they'll need to do this. They'd have to recreate forty years of worldwide research and investment into semiconductor design and manufacturing, starting from almost nothing, all the while operating in a barely-functional kleptocracy in which 90% of the funding they're supposed to have will get diverted into various oligarch's coffers. Russia has a handful of barely-solvent semiconductor companies struggling to run an even smaller number of antique fabs, and that's it. Outside of stuff smuggled in from China, there's nothing there, and no chance of there being anything there in the future.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Tuesday May 10 2022, @06:57PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday May 10 2022, @06:57PM (#1243888)

      Well stated; you have a good grasp of big-picture.

      But remember, USA, by definition and its name, is a collection of semi-independent states, corporations, social groups, values, etc., and operates as such. We have constant internal fighting and scrapping that reduces our efficiency, drains precious resources, and slows progress and innovation (yet amazingly we're usually leading the rest of the world, and generally open and free with sharing what we learn and have). IE, we compete with ourselves.

      And, as is well discussed here and everywhere, we have a comparatively weak government that is largely owned and run by the all-too short-sighted greedy corporations. (I've said for years we need a People's Lobby- congress should listen to We the People _more_ than corporate lobbyists).

      China, for sure, and to some extent Russia, operate as a whole, a collective, competing mostly with USA and the rest of "the west".

      Japan is an interesting example of friendly cooperative mild respectful competition. S. Korea is somewhat this way too.

      I've noticed for more than 30 years that the world- competition and trade, is not a level playing field. What you've pointed out is exactly what one would expect to be happening based on the years of setup.

      Now the question is: how to fix it.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @07:39PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @07:39PM (#1243903)

      By "The West" you really mean Shabbos Goy slave states with Jew subversives and White race traitors installed in nearly every position of power..

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11 2022, @06:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11 2022, @06:48PM (#1244135)

        Poor nazi baaaaby, can we get you a lollipop? Yeah? Lollipop make you feel better?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday May 11 2022, @04:55AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 11 2022, @04:55AM (#1243997) Journal

      And, when Russia tried to join NATO, refusing them, so they could remain a threat to justify insane military expenditures.

      I roll my eyes at this nonsense. All Russia had to do was not be that black hat in that pathetic morality play. It just wasn't hard.

      Now, you're bragging about how their "shred of independence" tech is going to outcompete western technology? With what economy? With what independence? With what tech?

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @05:14PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @05:14PM (#1243862)

    In the long run, isn't widespread support for RISC V all but inevitable?

    And I don't mean just for the Russians. An open and free as in gratis standard is mighty appealing. Control your own future and not pay someone else for the privilege of doing business. It won't happen tomorrow, but it is surprising how fast a change can happen: consider the rise of Linux against Windows and the extinct Unixes. Since microprocessor fabrication has for many years been decoupled from design (ironically enough, ARM pioneered this), microprocessor development is more like the software development model than it used to be, and open source software for infrastructure has taken the world by storm.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @09:15PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10 2022, @09:15PM (#1243926)

      Hopefully yes, but not inevitable.

      Sun's Sparc was freed a long time ago, and it has not taken over the world-- even Fujitsu is abandoning it. IBM's Power is an open ISA... ditto. MIPS was freed a almost 5 years ago-- I haven't seen anything new using MIPS announced since.

      I hope not only a free ISA takes over e.g., RiscV, but also a free asic implementation (to the extent that is possible). Bunnie's idea of firewalling off all proprietary IP blocks e.g., from the fab with small easily auditable shims would probably be the way to go here (couldn't find a link to the video presentation he did, but there is probably a link hidden somewhere on his site

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11 2022, @12:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11 2022, @12:34AM (#1243968)

        The difference is those ISAs did not start out free. There was one company that controlled it and then opened it up as basically abandonware.