The Russian government has decided to domestically produce a computer chip which for use in government offices and state-run firms. The move is meant to elbow processors from the likes of AMD and Intel out of government use due to concerns about US spying and processor back doors.
Electronics Weekly says Russian President Putin decided to push forward this processor development initiative. It follows a move, four years ago, when the Russian government said that all its computers would be moving to Linux.
The Russian processor is currently referred to as the 'Baikal' microprocessor, named after most voluminous freshwater lake in the world. The chip is being designed by T-Platforms, a Russian supercomputer maker, alongside state defence corporation Rostec with co-financing from Russian state-run technology firm Rosnano.
The Russian News Agency ITAR-TASS reports that there are going to be two initial Baikal chips; the Baikal M and the Baikal M/S. These chips will be designed upon the foundation provided by the ARM Cortex-A57 64-bit processor and be employed in personal computers and microservers.
The Russian government and state-run firms purchase about 700,000 PCs and 300,000 servers per year totalling $1.3 billion in spending. If most of the processors currently come from the likes of AMD and Intel then this will represent a big loss of business for the US tech giants. The Baikal microprocessor design work isn't set to start until sometime next year, so at least this is a decent amount of notice to the US chip makers.