Russian outlet 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,

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  • philehidiot - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    For your amusement:

    Ach, ya wee fannybaw, son of a fud and a fandan!

    I'm on pint 3.
  • ZolaIII - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    And hire is a bit hopefully for yours and others.
    Enjoy the beer and have a nice evening.
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > i am a Serb

    Wow. And all these years, I imagined you as a Nigerian! That's quite a different image!
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > Military Industrial Complex

    OMG. What's your point? If the US government were doing everything, people would cry socialism. If they try to outsource it to the private sector, then they cry "Military Industrial Complex". There's no winning this one.

    NASA traditionally does a lot of design work on their craft, even while contracting out a lot of the actual production. It should be more efficient, as long as the bidding process is conducted fairly. And I'd rather have NASA focus on science than manufacturing.
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > They have much more then nukes including most reliable and advanced space
    > program for example that all others have hard time to complete with

    Oh, is that why the Chinese stopped partnering with Russia on Mars missions? Russia's record on Mars is abysmal. Russia learned how to shoot things into Earth orbit, and that's about where they ran out of gas.

    China has already surpassed Russia's space program.

    > including US which still pays for it's cab service.

    Not any more. The NASA is now using SpaceX.
  • ZolaIII - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    Hmmm they have first row reserved seats as ever.
    Chaina has gone long way with it's rocketry program but root's of it are as always Russian. Different people different aspirations.

    It's nice to have imagination otherwise usually doesn't heart to ask. Tryed to imagine my salf as Nigerian... Known some birds from there.
  • Skeptical123 - Sunday, July 18, 2021 - link

    Don't feed the trolls... "including most reliable and advanced space program" - is either a bot or troll who only believes the RT or possible has not seen or read any basic information in this area in about 20 years.... Reply
  • ZolaIII - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Call it as you wish, it lifted more cargo than all the others together.
    Dear troll!
  • Lombo - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Keyword: Had
    Like in every fields where Russia was leading they will fade into irrelevance faster and faster. You can thanks Putin and his plutocrats cronies.
  • Yojimbo - Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - link

    I think it has more to do with IP and an alliance with China. The RISC-V model is amenable to China's methods of control and not so much to the US's methods of control. China can overwhelm the industry organizations and subjugate the companies but they can't get in control of the IP at this point, whereas the companies that own the IP (in ecosystems such as x86 and ARM) are able to be blocked/influenced by the US/UK. Reply

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