Russian outlet Vedomosti.ru today is reporting that the conglomerate Rostec, a Russian state-backed corporation specializing in investment in technology, has penned a deal with server company Yadro and silicon design company Syntacore to develop RISC-V processors for computers, laptops, and servers. Initial reports are suggesting that Syntacore will develop a powerful enough RISC-V design to power government and education systems by 2025.

The cost of the project is reported to be around 30 billion rubles ($400m), with that the organizers of the project plan to sell 60,000 systems based around new processors containing RISC-V cores as the main processing cores. The reports state that the goal is to build an 8-core processor, running at 2 GHz, using a 12-nanometer process, which presumably means GlobalFoundries but at this point it is unclear. Out of the project funding, two-thirds will be provided by ‘anchor customers’ (such as Rostec and subsidiaries), while the final third will come from the federal budget. The systems these processors will go into will operate initially at Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science, as well as the Ministry of Health.

Syntacore already develops its own core with the RISC-V architecture, rather than licensing a design. There have been questions as to whether any current RISC-V design is powerful enough to be used in a day-to-day work machine suitable for administrative services, however with the recent news that Canonical is enabling Ubuntu/Linux on some of SiFive’s RISC-V designs, chances are that by 2025 there will be a sufficient number of software options to choose from should the Russian processor adhere to any specifications required. That being said, it is not uncommon for non-standard processors in places like Russia or China to use older customized forks of Linux to suit the needs of the businesses using the hardware. Syntacore's documentation states that their highest performance 64-bit core already supports Linux.


Syntacore's latest design

This news is an interesting development given that Russia has multiple home-grown CPU prospects in the works already, such as the Elbrus 2000 family of processors that run a custom VLIW instruction set with binary translation for Intel x86 and x86-64; these processors already offer 8-core and multi-socket systems running on Linux. Development on Elbrus is still ongoing with Rostec in the mix, and the project seems focused on high-powered implementations in desktop to server use. In contrast, the new RISC-V development seems to be targeting low-powered implementations for desktop and laptop use. Russia also has Baikal processors using the MIPS32 ISA, built by a Russian supercomputer company.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops: $400m should be sufficient to build a processor and instruct system design at this level, which puts the question on how well the project will execute.

Sources: @torgeek, Vedomosti.ru

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  • Oxford Guy - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    ‘Can you cite sources for that?’

    Yes.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > The Apple incident was a dog and pony show.

    Why would the FBI take Apple to court, in a very high-profile case, if they were simply planning to drop it? That only serves to weaken the FBI's leverage over other cell phone makers.

    > delude the rest into thinking megacorporations and government aren’t synonymous.

    They aren't. Not least because corporations don't even agree with each other, but also that the system isn't as broken as you'd like to believe.

    > height of hilarity to read comments that take what these entities claim at face value.

    I know you get more social cred from playing the cynic, but it's also very intellectually lazy.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    ‘I know you get more social cred from playing the cynic, but it's also very intellectually lazy.’

    You know very little.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    > You know very little.

    Ooo, spoken like a true Illuminati!
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Your posts are so pat and predictable I could write them in my sleep. Reply
  • beginner99 - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    >There's also Linux' procedures around code reviews and subsequent merging of patches. This involves numerous people, some of whom you can bet wouldn't play along.

    Not too long ago some researchers intentionally inserted bugs/security flaws into the linux kernel. led to a big outcry in the linux community against said researches because they should have informed the core developer to avoid the flaws going live into production system. it was called unethical.

    Regardless of ethics, it just showed how easy it is to get security flaws into the kernel. If some random researchers can do it, you bet the NSA can as well.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    It was called unethical and also didn't remotely get off the ground @ beginner (name checks out) Reply
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 18, 2021 - link

    > Not too long ago some researchers intentionally inserted bugs/security
    > flaws into the linux kernel.

    It's a little more complicated than that, but not really. Mainly, what they did was circulate patches for review. They didn't actually get any bugs or backdoors into a mainline kernel.

    > led to a big outcry in the linux community against said researches because
    > they should have informed the core developer to avoid the flaws going live
    > into production system. it was called unethical.

    Again, you're slightly off. What was unethical about the research was experimenting on human subjects without informed consent. That violates the standards of academic research, generally, as well as those of their specific university.

    > Regardless of ethics, it just showed how easy it is to get security flaws into the kernel.

    Except they didn't, so not really. What it did do was serve as a wake up call for the kernel developers to be more vigilant.

    > you bet the NSA can as well.

    It probably could, but it violates their mandate. They have a dual mandate both to perform foreign surveillance AND provide protection from foreign adversaries. In the past, they've been criticized for failing to disclose bugs and backdoors they found, since doing so falls short of the second part of their mission.
    Reply
  • ZolaIII - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    Most work being done today on BSD including Open BSD is porting parts and sub systems of Linux to it. Sure it allows can be better and BSD developers help both sides among many others. The strengths of Linux is iron hands of people like Greg Kroah-Hartman who supervise patches, changes and approval of their merge, Linux is there for amusement and inspiration. Government and corporate thugs can't get their aspirations there, best they can is push the hipe to turn the tide towards less powerful and there for less secure protection protocols trying to make their work easier but even that won't pass. Even their a worthy helping hand because Linux security and well being suits their needs. For example take SE Linux modules. Only really alternative OS with code of it's own (as I started that most BSD's are more and more being based on the shared one) is DragonFly BSD which follows it's own path. Better to say Math Dylans path and boy it would have been a great path if he didn't hammered it down (enterprise partition system). Reply
  • leo_sk - Saturday, July 17, 2021 - link

    Anyone can check the code. If multiple govts already use it in high stake applications, they have probably had the code scrutinized. If there were backdoors, they wouldn't have been hidden for long, with so many eyes to look for them Reply

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