Russia’s Elbrus-4C CPU seeks to lessen its technological dependency on the United States tech companies

In the past, Russia had announced that they wanted to reduce their dependency on US tech companies such as Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) fearing cyber-security. Russia and China have been trying very hard to develop their own domestic CPUs. Finally, the Russian engineers have shown off their own CPU, bringing tech independence for the country. Russia’s MCST (Moscow Center for SPARC Technologies) recently announced its first home-grown CPU, the quad-core Elbrus-4C.

The Eibrus-4C CPU, developed by the MCST, could soon power the country’s entire government computer network, with the country having made its plans clear in this area since last June. The Elbrus-4C uses its own closed-source instruction set architecture called the Elbrus ISA. The chip will support programs written for the x86 architecture via emulation as shown in the Product marketing documentation.

IiThis should give it enough power to support x86 hardware and should be lower in price than CPUs from the US. TSMC (TPE: 2330) has built it on the 65nm process node, which is said to be ancient by modern standards. The chip has a TDP of 45W. Each of the four cores is clocked to 800 MHz and 25 gigaflops should do an satisfactory job. However, it doesn’t match the standards of its international competitors. Pricing of the chip currently not known.

The MCST will now be selling its own desktop computer called the ARM-401, which will offer the Eibrus-4C CPU along with its own version of the Linux operating system, Eibrus. MCST says the chips will be compatible with Linux, and Windows XP because of the x86 emulation available.

MCST surely has a long way to go before its parts are even a little close to being competitive with silicon from the US. Russia’s MCST will definitely need few years, if not a decade, to perfect the art. However, it will be interesting to see the development of these parts over a period of time.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This just isn’t true. Even in the days of the Apple II Russia was making their own CPUs. They may have had large feature sizes, but they worked just fine. (6502 and 8080 copies were definitely available way back then, even). (During Reagans’ tech exchange program I got to see things like a Russian-built computerized pyrometer for use in iron foundries and etc, and a couple other items of which I’m likely still under NDA – not that they were sophisticated by US standards or course.)

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