Processors "Baikal" come in retail
Russian processors "Baikal" will soon be available in retail, and their price is reduced four times. Home sales are scheduled for the first quarter of 2018, it was then that retail stores will receive the first batch of domestic chips, as reported by Cnews . The Baikal-T1 processors will be sold as part of the evaluation boards of the BFK 3.1 family (functional control unit). They are produced by the company “Baikal Electronics” - the developer of chips.
In fact, BFC is a single board computer without a graphics subsystem. To visualize information, the board can be connected to an external monitor without any problems, then the video will be processed by the central processor. Previously, such fees cost about 200 thousand rubles. Now BFK 3.1 will fall in price to 50 thousand rubles.
Unfortunately, the developers are not talking about where the processors will be sold. But it is known that you can test "Baikals" absolutely free. Testing is carried out in the laboratory of domestic electronics on the basis of the data center VMK MSU. Lomonosov. The laboratory was named “Baikal Electronics Laboratory”, and here you can evaluate the performance of the domestic chip and solutions based on it.
At present, the LEB equipment complex is formed on the basis of evaluation boards of the BFK 3.1 family. The server part of the LEB is built on the E-Calss platform, which is manufactured by T-Platforms. This is the parent structure in relation to "Baikal Electronics". As LEB develops, it is possible to expand the laboratory and increase the number of available devices based on domestic processors.
Access to the LEB can be obtained through the domains baik.al and baikal.cs.msu.ru. However, first of all, access to the laboratory is provided to students and staff of Moscow State University, as well as members of research teams in Russia and abroad. Users are provided with the reservation of computing resources, it is performed by the administrator of the laboratory on request.
The processor itself is created using the MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) architecture. It corresponds to the concept of RISC, that is, for processors with a reduced instruction set.
The development of the processor was completed at the end of 2014, after which “Baikal Electronics” transferred the GDS-code of the product for its release to the TSMC factory. Well, in May 2015, the company announced the release of engineering samples that coveredand on Habrahabr. In particular, it was reported that investment in "Baikal Electronics" amounted to less than two billion dollars. 75% of the company is owned by T-Platforms, 25% by T-Nano. In turn, "T-Nano" belongs equally to "Rosnano" and "T-Platforms". This is not the first chip maker in the Rosnano portfolio: the fund owns a stake in Quantenna.
A loan approved by the Expert Council of the Industry Development Fund at the Ministry of Industry and Trade was approved for the launch of mass production of processors. The loan volume amounted to 500 million rubles, while the company's own investment was 288 million rubles. In September 2016, the first installation batch of 10 thousand processors appeared. In March last year, “Baikal Electronics” announced the imminent release of the 100 thousandth industrial lot, after which the company began to order other circulations without disclosing information about their volumes.
The main consumers of domestic electronics are manufacturers of telecommunications equipment (routers, IP phones, data storage devices), computers and equipment for embedded systems. The consumption of processors in these markets, according to the FER, is growing at 7–15% per year. Production of domestic electronics is one of the manifestations of the program for import substitution. There are a lot of tasks in this program, the task of mastering key technologies for the development and production of integrated circuits of microprocessors, memory and network microcontrollers can be called important. On the other hand, the implementation of the replacement of all electronic components is an impossible task, so this is unlikely to be sought (although this is not excluded). The “Baikal” processor is one example of the relatively successful implementation of this program. They will be used where work with imported components of electronic devices is considered unacceptable.