Zirco Post time 2015-8-14 21:21:43

Russia Beats China in Creating First Home-grown CPU

This post was edited by Zirco at 2015-8-14 21:27

The Russian company MCST (Moscow Center for SPARC Technologies) has released the Elbrus-4C, a reasonably high-performance quad-core CPU that may grant Russia some technological independence from American chip-making giants Intel and AMD.

Despite the company's name, the Elbrus-4C uses the Elbrus ISA (instruction set architecture), not SPARC. Elbrus is a closed and proprietary architecture, so exact details are hard to come by, but we do know about one particularly interesting feature: x86 emulation. If you remember the Transmeta Crusoe, it sounds like the Elbrus architecture does something very similar: at run-time, x86 program code can be translated and executed through a virtual machine. This method isn't as fast as providing x86 support in hardware, but it gets the job done.

The Elbrus-4C, while highly advanced by home-grown Russian standards, is by no means a bleeding-edge chip; it's a quad-core part built on TSMC's last-last-generation 65nm process. It's capable of hitting a rather heady clockspeed of 800MHz, which equates to (a fairly decent) 25 gigaflops of 64-bit double-precision math. The tech specs say that the Elbrus-4C has 986 million transistors, which is pretty hefty considering there's no integrated GPU. All in all, Elbrus-4C is probably a few years behind western chips, but it's difficult to make a direct comparison.

There's operating system support, too: MCST is selling a complete computer (confusingly called an Elbrus ARM-401) that comes with an Elbrus-compatible Linux distro called—you guessed it—Elbrus. The ARM-401 product page says it also supports Windows XP and other x86-compatible operating systems through the CPU's x86 abstraction layer.

Pricing on the Elbrus-4C is unknown, but a report by the Russian website Kommersant says the chip is "cheaper" than chips out of the US.

Updated: One website pegs the price of the ARM-401 (i.e. a complete computer based on the Elbrus-4C) at 200,000 rubles (~$4,000), but it will be "significantly reduced" by the end of the year.

In recent years, there has been a marked move by countries such as Russia and China to use home-grown chips, rather than continuing to rely on American technology. While China's latest-and-greatest supercomputer Tianhe-2 uses Intel chips, the country has also started building smaller supercomputers based on the country's own MIPS-based Loongson CPUs. Russia has stated that it would like to build a home-grown exascale supercomputer by 2020, but it isn't clear if Elbrus chips will be used.

Mishao Post time 2017-8-13 08:37:21

Russia and China must increasingly come together in the future.

emanreus Post time 2017-8-13 13:12:56

And you lads need to get yourself a 2017 calendar: lool

tenderloin Post time 2017-8-13 16:14:16

This post was edited by tenderloin at 2017-8-14 10:37

Loongson latest is 28nm, and is widely used in China.
Millions pieces already in use.

emanreus Post time 2017-8-17 20:19:42

Mishao Post time: 2017-8-13 08:37 static/image/common/back.gif
Russia and China must increasingly come together in the future.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world.
    1/Sunway TaihuLight — China
    2/Tianhe-2 (MilkyWay -- China
    3/Piz Daint — Switzerland
    4/Titan — United States
    5/Sequoia — United States

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