Baikal Processor with 8 Cores to Cleansweep AMD and Intel in Russia – Vladmir Put-in End to the CPU Wars

Usman Pirzada
Posted Jun 23, 2014
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[Editorial] Yes, two eds in the same day, but trust me, this one deserves it. Something very interested cropped up that I think is worth covering. The Russian Federation is going to replace all governmental computers that have Intel and AMD x86 processors with a Russian ARM Design. The reasons for that appear to be simple: they believe both the silicon giants might have a hand belonging to the NSA and CIA in their pockets.

ARM Baikal Processors RussiaAlways wanted to post Putin’s picture on the site.

Russian Government will soon utilize the Baikal Processor based on Homegrown ARM Design – Intel and AMD x86 Processors to be phased out

The nomenclature, probably inspired from AMD, is after the lake Baikal. The Baikal Processor is of strictly Russian design and is based on the ARM Cortex A57 Architecture with 64 bit support. Technically speaking it is a System-on-Chip or an SoC. Its clock speed is 2Ghz and it will be land sometime in 2015. The operating system of choice is Linux ( no surprised there) and the chip will have 8 cores. A more powerful server version is planned with 16 cores but that is to appear sometime in 2016. Two variants were reported to us, the M and M/S variant. Don’t ask me what those stand for because I honestly have no idea. Summarizing:

  • CPU: Name: Baikal
  • Type: ARM
  • Architecture: Cortex A57 (64 Bit)
  • Clock Speed: 2 Ghz
  • Core Count: 8 Cores coming 2015 (16 Cores coming 2016)
  • Variants: Baikal M and Baikal M/S

The (soon-to-be-very-rich) company  behind the Russian Baikal Processors is, wait for it, Baikal Electronics. Now the Russian Federation buys around 700, 000 PCs and around 300, 000 servers that equates to 1.3 Billion USD. The net market that Russia will deny USA is  approximately 3.5 Billion USD [Source]. Thats not really enough to hurt the United States in any way whatsoever by the way, nor would it significantly damage either chip giants. But still, this move is a very impressive one, mostly because of the sheer amount of risk they are taking by converting a well oiled machinery ( the government in this case) and changing a fundamental part so radically.

Needless to say, they know what they are doing. But here is the part that is really interesting. If these Baikal Processors are state sponsored at such a level,  we could see some major innovation happen right beneath our noses. Now the report implies that these processors will be used only for governmental computers and servers, but I imagine if the processors are successful, they might become a workplace norm in Russia, with Intel and AMD diminishing to a niche market. And just imagine what would happen if these processors were to begin shipping to the rest of the world. I don’t know whether to be scared or excited in that scenario. Now the folks over at Phoronix are pretty confident that benchmarks should appear sometime soon and you can count on them appearing here when they do. Trust me folks, this is one story you want to keep your eyes on.

By Syed Muhammad Usman Pirzada. We cater to your constant need to remain up to date on today’s technology. Like us, tweet to us or +1 us, to keep up with our round the clock updates, reviews, guides and more.

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