The UK has imposed sanctions on domestic developers of Elbrus and Baikal processors. As a result, companies face a complete ban on the use of the British ARM architecture, which is the industry standard for microprocessors.
Russian companies JSC MCST and JSC Baikal Electronics were on the UK sanctions list. MCST uses its own architecture for Elbrus processors, and Baikal uses the architecture of the British company ARM, which is widely used in the industry, in particular, processors for Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and other manufacturers are developed on ARM. In both cases, the processors were produced at the facilities of the Taiwanese TSMC.
As an interlocutor in the microelectronics market told RG, Baikal Electronics now has design and production licenses for the entire line of processors up to Baikal S. For those processors that are currently under development (Baikal M2, Baikal L, Baikal S2) only there are design licenses.
“In November-December 2021, Baikal Electronics received everything necessary for the development of IP blocks. At the moment, work on the Baikal L and Baikal S2 projects is scheduled, the developers are loaded for at least the next year and medium.” says CEO of Baikal Electronics Andrey Evdokimov.
At the same time, according to him, the main task that needs to be solved in the current situation is to provide access to modern production facilities. After that, everything else will also be decided.
The termination of cooperation with ARM means that Russian manufacturers are deprived of access to modern architectures of this company, which is necessary for the production of chips. But then domestic manufacturers can abandon ARM development and switch to the use of open architectures (VLIW, MIPS, RISC-V), says Ivan Samoylenko, managing partner of the communications agency B&C Agency.
“The restrictions mean that Russian companies will not be able to obtain licenses for new developments. Consequently, it turns out that the problem is with the creation of new products and not with existing ones. In any case, to say that the UK sanctions will lead to problems in development and production, MCST and Baikal Electronics have the opportunity to continue developing new solutions and producing domestic processors,” Samoylenko said.
Eldar Murtazin, a leading analyst at Mobile Research Group, sees the problem of restricting Russian companies’ access to production facilities in Taiwan as more serious. “Something comparable in terms of level and technical capabilities with TSMC does not exist. And this is why we are now far behind. We will not be able to produce in the leading industries even what we can develop ourselves,” he said. the expert concludes.
The Baikal Electronics company creates home processors with the participation of subsidies from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Thus, 433 million rubles were allocated for the development of the Baikal S processor. In addition, two subsidies totaling 9.44 billion rubles were received: 3.8 billion rubles for the development of Baikal L for mobile devices and 5.64 billion rubles. rubles for the development of the Baikal S2 cloud computing processor.
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