If you keep your ear to the ground with the technology press, you can’t help but notice a few news stories hitting the ground when it comes to Russia, and a slow progression away from x86 relying on home-grown silicon for enterprise applications. These stories have to be taken with a grain of salt, as sometimes the sources are not the best. However one of our more regular sources of news, Imagination Technologies, has lifted the lid on a press release regarding the implementation of MIPS into a communications based SoC with a Russian fabless semiconductor company.

The SoC at the heart of today’s press release is the Baikal-T1, which uses the dual core MIPS P5600 Warrior CPU at its base, clocked at 1.2 GHz but supporting a fabric that also integrates dual gigabit Ethernet, 10 gigabit Ethernet, SATA 6 Gbps, DDR3 and PCIe 3.0 at once. The 25x25nm package is manufactured on 28nm (TSMC we would assume) for a sub-5W power consumption.

In a world where we discuss smartphone, tablet and notebook SoCs moving to 64-bit, perhaps linking back in to a 32-bit core seems like a regression. Imagination is keen to point out their Enhanced Virtual Addressing for 4GB use and Extended Physical Addressing for 1TB technologies help on this front, as well as enhanced instruction bonding featured in recent generations of Imagination MIPS.

So perhaps a 5W communications processor is not that exciting but it sets a small precedent here. Most of our readers are situated in the west, where x86 and ARM are the key players in anything above 1W. Security concerns regarding backdoor implementations in both designs and algorithms are causing two of the world’s largest superpowers, Russia and China, to pursue other avenues, even if this is via the government or commercial. On the commercial line, nation states will offer contracts to those who can satisfy the criteria, and if the criteria is non-x86 + non-ARM to avoid potential issues, especially when it comes to networking, then commercial will come in to fill the void. To that extent, ELVEES, another Russian SoC semiconductor company, is already using 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS in their designs for video analytics.

Source: Imagination Technologies

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  • easp - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    We eventually crack down on overreach in the west, until we don't. I'm not too impressed by the slow pace of reforming the reach of the US's domestic intelligence. Reply
  • ancientarcher - Thursday, May 28, 2015 - link

    Seriously? Like you cracked down on Snowden and Manning etc.. Good job!
    I completely empathise with Russian and Chinese concerns, at least their governments will run on secure processors far from NSA's prying eyes.

    You have been so blinded by propaganda from western govts and media that you don't even stop to think why something is good or bad. just because it is russia or china, it automatically becomes bad in your eyes. Well done! thats what your controllers want.. 1984 is here in the West

    I wonder though, how the Russians got enough confidence that MIPS doesn't have any back doors. After all, MIPS was based out of the US, wasn't it
    Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, May 28, 2015 - link

    Just like US does, then. Reply
  • Gorod - Friday, May 29, 2015 - link

    Repression of population in Russia ? Really ? Do you even realize how dumb you sound , probably not ... Oh , and about spying , our government in USA is officially spying upon its citizens by legislation laws for some good time now , if you you didnt know ... Reply
  • DCide - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    "Security concerns regarding backdoor implementations in both designs and algorithms are causing two of the world’s largest superpowers, Russia and China, to pursue other avenues, even if this is via the government or commercial."

    If this is truly the message they're giving off, it's a bad sign. These are the two countries most likely to complain about the splinter in someone else's eye when they have a log in their own.
    Reply
  • lilo777 - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    I do not understand your point. Obviously Russia and China are not doing anything USA government is not doing. In fact they are doing much less of it - mostly because they are not in a position to. US government makes sure that the sensitive elements of US infrastructure are US made (or at least US designed). China and Russia want to do the same. If anything by now we have well documented history of US government strong-arming tech companies, hacking the systems, mistreating hi-tech community by inserting flaws in encryption algorithms etc. It's possible that China and Russia are doing the same but to be fair there is very little evidence of that. Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    Russian whistle blowers usually end up poisoned or shot. So I don't think you will see them exposed. Reply
  • wishgranter - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    If you mean Litvienko as a spy poisoned, its a bit more complicated. Have read very interesting stuff that he has smugled Polonium and the "KGB" track was just a cover story... from the ammount of radiation where he was moving ( offices, aircraft and etc ) is impossible to get so much radiation in teapot...
    yes Russia want be a bit safe from US hw. have read about interesting CPU based on WLIW stuff. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/05/russia-now-...

    IAN can you get a bit your "review" of this CPU ??
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    It's one thing to say there is no proof China or Russia is any worst. It's quite another to say They are not and "in fact they are doing much less of it"

    In one case you put the burden of proof on others. In YOUR case you carry the burden of proof because you are the one asserting a claim. So go ahead, and prove your claim.
    Reply
  • jimmy$mitty - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    My wife is Russian and considering how corrupt she told me a lot of the government there is, I would not doubt they don't or are not planning on it. They just don't want a way for anyone else to get in. Consider the fact that China already oppresses people by controlling what they can and cannot view on the internet and TV.

    And yes, I know the US does but not to the same extent. Hell I can go to any Chinese website while a lot of US sites are probably blocked by China.
    Reply

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