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Company Reveals All-Russian PCs Using an Arm SoC and Linux

iRU
(Image credit: iRU)

iRU, a major PC maker from Russia, has started volume production of systems that are based on key domestic components. These include the Baikal-M SoC, motherboard, and an operating system based off Linux. The systems don't boast with high performance but are designed primarily for office workloads in various government institutions and government-controlled companies.

The lineup of iRU's PCs based on the Baikal-M platform includes a 23.8-inch all-in-one desktop, regular desktops, and thin clients, the company announced on its website (via The Register). The PCs are powered by the Baikal-M SoC and can be equipped with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, up to a 1TB SSD, and up to a 3TB HDD. The manufacturer installs Astra Linux, Alt OS, Red OS, and other operating systems as well as software designed in Russia.

The Baikal-M1 system-on-chip designed by Baikal Electronics integrates eight rather outdated Arm Cortex-A57 cores operating at 1.50 GHz and equipped with an 8MB of L3 cache. The SoC also includes an eight-cluster Arm Mali-T628 GPU. The SoC has six USB 2.0/3.0 ports (four USB 2.0, two USB 3.0), 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, two GbE ports, and two 10GbE ports. The SoC is made using TSMC's 28nm fabrication process and has a 35W TDP.

By today's standards, the Baikal-M1 isn't very powerful. Arm's Cortex-A57 was revealed in 2012 and first used for commercial SoCs in 2015. AMD used the Cortex-A57 core for its eight-core Opteron A1100 that never became popular, and Nvidia used the A57 in its Shield TV. Qualcomm also used this core for its Snapdragon 810, another less than stellar chip thanks in part due to it using TSMC's 20nm node.  

Russia has been trying to migrate PCs and servers used by government agencies and state-owned companies from processors and software developed in the U.S. and Europe for several years now. While some organizations have adopted systems featuring domestic hardware and software, those who need high performance and compatibility with up-to-date programs still use Windows or Linux-based PCs with AMD or Intel processors inside.

In fact, the systems from iRU are not the first PCs based on the Baikal-M, but are the first to be made in high volumes. So far, the Baikal-M-powered computers have not gained a significant market share in Russia. While IRU's Baikal-M-based machines can offer enough performance for basic applications, they will not be able to compete for customers that need performance higher than that offered by high-end smartphones from the 2015–2016 era.

  • ezst036
    Admin said:
    ..... featuring SoCs that deliver 2015-era performance

    Kinda snarky for a subheader.

    This article could have mentioned that less hardware is more than adequate when not running excessively-heavy Microsoft software.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    I'm curious are Red Flag Linux and Red Star OS ARM distros are already adopted for Russian IT infrastructure. Those match to future of Russian IT much more.
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    considering an average $50 smartphone is enough power to run a non-microsoft office suite, 2015 era performance is more than ample for its intended use.

    especially running thin clients and simple office machines. kudos to them for trying to get out from under MS's thumb and intel/amd as well.
    Reply
  • vern72
    Actually, I'm surprised they haven't tried making their own computers to scale until now.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Admin said:
    iRU unveiled systems based on the Baikal-M SoC running a Linux-derived OS developed in Russia.

    Company Reveals All-Russian PCs Using an Arm SoC and Linux : Read more
    Russia has been trying to migrate PCs and servers used by government agencies and state-owned companies from processors and software developed in the U.S. and Europe for several years now.
    So they are getting away from using things developed in Europe by using unaltered ARM cores that are developed in the UK....

    Also even the raspberry Pi4 has newer cores, just slightly but still.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    MS had better get that arm version of windows up and out there asap!

    (Capitals at the start of sentences can be your friend.)
    Reply
  • Krotow
    TerryLaze said:
    So they are getting away from using things developed in Europe by using unaltered ARM cores that are developed in the UK....

    The same thing as mounting T-34 tank gun "replica" from cardboard on BMW car and painting "To Berlin" on same car doors. It is more cargo cult and corruption than necessity. When Peter the Great returned from Netherlands to Russia, instead of beard chopping he could abolish serfdom and introduce total education of people in all social layers.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    Will they make a true Russian version with a vodka based AIO cooler?
    Reply
  • Krotow
    velocityg4 said:
    Will they make a true Russian version with a vodka based AIO cooler?

    Custom loop with vodka inside, tap for "users" and hidden replenishment tank behind would be superb for Russian LAN parties.
    Reply
  • GenericUser
    Krotow said:
    Custom loop with vodka inside, tap for "users" and hidden replenishment tank behind would be superb for Russian LAN parties.

    I like picturing the reservoir as just a straight up bottle of the stuff. No frills, no thrills, just a regular bottle with a special cap on the end for in/out.
    Reply