Feeds

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

ARM advocates and NSA back-door paranoids rejoice!

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Russian news outlet Kommersant has reported that the nation's government wants to ditch Intel and AMD processors in favour of a locally-developed ARM effort.

The outlet's report suggests three state-owned Russian companies are banding together to develop to be called “Baikal” that will use ARM's 64-bit kernel Cortex A-57 as its base design, offer at least eight cores, be built with a 28nm process and run at 2GHz or more in PCs or servers.

The report also says “It is assumed that Baikal will be delivered to the authorities and state-owned companies.”

Russia's ”central state information agency” ITR-TASS, picked up on Kommersant's report and in its own effort writes that Baikal “will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth $500 million and 300,000 servers worth $800 million.”

While both ITR-TASS and Kommersant say Baikal will find its home in computers run by state-owned entities, neither suggests there's a national security angle behind the decision.

That's not stopped Phoronix from declaring that “For strict security enthusiasts believing AMD and Intel have been compromised by the NSA or other US agencies, it's time to celebrate.”

Setting aside that kind of thinking, a move to 64-bit ARM by entities that collectively acquire a million devices a year would be significant because of boost it would give ARM-based servers and PCs.

Such devices are, at present, largely hypothetical. But with Amazon Web Services, Google and Facebook all reported to be considering their own ARM designs to keep their servers' operating costs down, interest in the idea is considerable. Startups are having a go, too: at Computex The Reg met Cavium, a purveyor of 48-core chippery it is aiming at the server market.

Cavium's staff includes folks from failed ARM server chipmaker Calxeda, who told us they feel that effort flopped because not enough enterprise software runs on ARM. That's no longer quite such a problem. If Russia follows this path, and the rules of open source, the problem could disappear entirely. ®

Bootnote

Vulture Central's backroom gremlins note that Baikal was a Soviet-era arms company best known for building cheap'n'cheerful shotguns that had more in common with mass-produced tractors than, say, a pair of side-by-side Purdeys.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.