Development tools for the “Baikal-T1” platform were transferred to the Russian ALT distribution kit

    Baikal-T1 processor-based single-board computer (К1925ВМ018)

    The developer of integrated circuits “Baikal Electronics” announced that since July 2018, development tools for the MIPS hardware platform use 32 bits of the BE-T1000 processor (formerly known as “Baikal-T1”) Linux-distributive ALT from the Russian software company "Basalt SPO".

    From the point of view of companies that carry out government orders, this is the next step in import substitution. As it is known, government agencies have been given the task of abandoning the use of foreign software, including operating systems, and in the future - abandoning foreign processors for security. According to the logic of the authorities, there may be “bookmarks” in foreign processors.

    “The great value of the ALT solution is to eliminate any dependence on foreign software repositories,” said Konstantin Shcherbakov, director of marketing and sales for Baikal Electronics. “We intend to promote Alt solutions for developers of hardware platforms, facilitating migration to this platform and increase the number of successful development projects. "

    The Baikal BFK Rev 1.6 development board for the “Baikal-T1” processor was introduced in January 2018 ( reviewed in Habré ). The processor itself entered retail sale on June 8, 2018 at 3990 rubles.

    Later on, the estimated BFK3.1 board was priced at 39,900 rubles. with the following characteristics:

    · Processor : BE-T1000, 2 P5600 MIPS32r5 cores
    · Clock speed : 1.2 GHz
    · Second level cache : 1 MB
    · Type of RAM : 1x SO-DIMM DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800)
    · Non-volatile memory : 128 MB NOR Flash (boot), 256 MB NOR Flash
    · Ethernet: 1x 10 GB (10GBASE-KR, 10GBASE-KX4), 2x 1 GB (1000BASE-TX)
    · Input / Output Interfaces : PCI Express, 1x PCIe Gen3x4, SATA, 2x SATA III, USB, 1x USB 2.0 Type A
    · Serial interfaces : 2x UART, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, GPIO, 32
    · Management console : 2x USB Mini-AB type
    · Debugging interface : EJTAG
    · Operating system : Embedded Linux 4.4 (Busybox RootFS), U-Boot
    · Power supply : ATX 2.0
    · Form factor : FlexATX
    · Dimensions : 229 × 191 mm (9.0 ″ x 7.5 ")

    The BE-T1000 processor (Baikal-T1) contains two P5600 processing cores with a clock speed of up to 1.2 GHz on the MIPS32r5 architecture. There is a memory controller DDR3-1600 ECC; announced support for interfaces 1/10 Gb Ethernet, PCIe Gen.3, ports SATA 3.0 and USB 2.0. Power consumption is less than 5 watts. Technological process 28 nm. According to the description, "this is a modern energy-efficient processor with a wide range of high-speed interfaces, designed for a wide range of target devices in the consumer and B2B segments."

    According toindependent hardware developers, the cost of the Russian evaluation board is somewhat overestimated compared with the test boards from Freescale / NXP, TI, Atmel in the price range of ~ $ 60 (3.6t.r.) to ~ $ 400 (23t.r.) from the manufacturer. At the time of this writing, the BFK1.6 board was sold at a price of about 150,000 rubles. Now available BFK3.1 to 39 900 rubles. (about $ 635 at the rate), but it is still significantly more expensive than the listed test boards. The reasons for this price difference are not entirely clear.

    The author of the mentioned article notes that neither the design and debugging environment “sharpened” for a specific chip with its periphery, nor the JTAG emulator for “Baikal Electronics” is present and is not foreseen. Only Linux is supported, there is no support for either RTOS, or bare-metal, nothing more. There are only rumors that someone is porting QNX to "Baikal-T1", but it is not known for sure.

    The most interesting thing is that in order to receive detailed technical information on the processor, you need to sign an NDA and provide a list of your documents to Baikal Electronics:

    1. Copy of certificate of state registration.
    2. A copy of the certificate of tax registration.
    3. A copy of the charter, certified by the head.
    4. Protocol or decision to appoint a director.
    5. A copy of the notice of the application of the simplified taxation system (if applicable).
    6. Power of Attorney and representative contact details.
    7. Company card.

    (in the comments they write that this is standard practice for Russian NDA)

    “Something reminds me so much of the“ Soviet ”times, when the processors released, gave documentation describing the instruction set of the processor and their codes, and then everyone himself, who can ... True, there was no competition. The task was simply to do it by any means! ”, Writes the author of the article, P.A. Semenov, Ph.D., "Microlab Systems" (Moscow).

    Despite all this, import substitution continues. For example, they recently opened a class on “Baikal-T1” at MSU.

    UPD.After the release of this article, the editor received a comment. According to the expert, debugging boards from other vendors can also be well worth it, you don’t need to dub BFK with Arduino and others, the Baikal still has a powerful modern low-power processor with an abundance of high-speed interfaces that can be used in various application scenarios - IoT , communication infrastructure, network data storage, etc. The BFK3.1 has always cost 39900. This is the first motherboard that went retail this spring, and this is the only price at which it was sold. Previous fees (not 3.1, but earlier revisions - 1.6, 1.6+, 2.0) were sold at a higher cost, only to legal entities, and only for specific projects. According to the degree of equipment, the most expensive fee, for example - 2.0.

    All the interfaces supported by the processor were removed there altogether. And also, which is important, that “big” cost included the payment of technical support (!) In the quick response mode to emerging problems with the development of other motherboards based on BFK. That is, technical support is not only answers to questions and consultation by mail, but also a support in terms of engineering. But BFK3.1 boards already come with limited technical support, that is, company employees respond as much as they can and do not help with distributing other boards that are built on the basis of this estimated fee (the buyer, after purchasing the board, has to register it on the website, after which he will get access to a closed section where various engineering and technical materials are laid out, which will help him in creating his own products based on BFK3.1).

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