Russian Baikal-S 16nm 48-Core CPU Powers First Motherboard Designed For Storage Systems

Jason R. Wilson
Russian Baikal-S 16nm 48-Core CPU Powers First Motherboard Designed For Storage Systems Image source: J. Wilson, Wccftech.

Russian company Eliptech — an ex-branch of the country's most extensive provider of cloud service, along with being a "state-controlled bank," Sber — has developed a new SSI MEB form-factor motherboard, the ET113-MB, which a Baikal Electronics "sample" Baikal BE-S1000 SoC (System on Chip) powers to offer 768GB of DDR4-3200 memory.

An unusual Russian motherboard appears, created to house numerous memory options, and powered by the Baikal BE-S1000 CPU

The Baikal-S CPU offers 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores and is fabricated using 16nm technology. The SoC is no longer produced for the general public due to "geopolitical conflicts" and is now seeing use in Eliptech's new server motherboard, reports IT Home.

The base frequency of the Baikal BE-S1000 CPU is rated at 2.0 GHz with a max boost of 2.5 GHz and power consumption of 120W. This unique SoC supports four-way parallelism and has an integrated proprietary RISC-V architecture coprocessor to manage data and offer a secure boot. Six 72-bit memory interfaces can support a total of 768 GB of memory, with 128 GB in each channel.

Reports state that the Intel Xeon Gold 6148 CPU and the AMD EPYC 7351 are closely compared to this chipset. Intel Xeon Gold 6148 offers 20 cores with a boost of 2.4 GHz, while the AMD EPYC 7351 CPU provides 16 cores and a boost of 2.9 GHz.

Image source: IT Home.
Image source: IT Home.
Image source: IT Home.

Eliptech's new ET113-MB motherboard offers four U.2 ports outside the main board, placing their position for use in an unusual layout. Unless the bracket is removed, installing external boards on its numerous slots is impossible. The ET113-MB also offers audio connections, which for server use is not practical, but would seem more fitting on a desktop enterprise workstation. Still, due to the lack of a graphics card slot, it is unknown how it would be used in that configuration.

Russian Baikal-S 16nm 48-Core CPU Powers First Motherboard Designed For Storage Systems 1

Included on the motherboard are five PCIe Gen4 x16 (4x4) slots, a single USB 2.0 port, and dual 1 GbE interfaces, which allow the motherboard to control PCIe Gen4 SSDs (x4) and several SSD or SATA drives. If 2.5- to 3.5-inch drives are attached to the motherboard, the user will start to begin to see the limiting abilities of the ET113-MB motherboard by Eliptech. Another limitation is the SATA connections on the board require L-shaped plugs, which continue to limit its use.

It is unknown why the motherboard was created when the Russian Baikal CPU cannot be obtained from its source location, which is in Taiwan. Could Russia be looking for accessible technology within its borders to keep up with the remainder of the world, especially in its current blocked state? We may never know, and this board will remain a concept board and not see any real use at present.

News Sources: CNews, IT Home, Tom's Hardware

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