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Chip for export: the developers of processors “Baikal” told how going to compete with Intel

The Russian company “Baikal electronics, founded three years ago, in may announced the testing of its first product – a dual core processor Baikal-T1 on a 32-bit kernel MIPS Warrior who would take the first processor of domestic production, designed for commercial rather than defence needs.

The company just invested a little less than 2 billion rubles, told RBC founder of “Baikal electronics” Vsevolod Opanasenko. The funds, he said, invested by the shareholders (in the number of beneficiaries is itself Opanasenko, VEB, RUSNANO, see reference), and the Ministry of industry and trade in the framework of the Federal target program “Development of electronic component base and radio electronics for 2008-2015”. The shares in which invested, he does not disclose.

The representative of “RUSNANO” said only that the share of the Fund for infrastructure and educational programs (FIEP) “RUSNANO” in the budget of the company “T-Nano, which directly owns 25% of “Baikal electronics is 1.2 billion roubles, and this money went not only to the processor.

At the time of “Baikal electronics” Opanasenko already had experience in computers on other people’s chips: “T-Platforms”, in particular, produced supercomputers are high – performance systems that operate at high speeds and are used in astrophysics, cryptography, and other industries. While exports about a third of production. In may of 2015 “T-Platforms” signed a contract for €17.8 million for the supply of supercomputers in German computing center Forschingszentrum Julich. Among other international customers – the state University of new York at stony brook, Riga technical University, Finnish supercomputer center CSC-IT Center for Science. The revenue of “T-Platforms” in 2014 amounted to 1.5 billion rubles., net profit – about 71 million rubles, follows from the statements of the company.

According to Opanasenko, while he was engaged in “T-Platforms”, he haunted by the idea that “in five years, the country will turn into a “screwdriver collector”, and therefore there was “Baikal electronics.

Taiwan, but our

“Ordinary people may ask: what in the domestic processor that uses foreign MIPS architecture and is produced on a distant Taiwan? But the chip is a huge intellectual work, and in our case it is fully carried out in Russia”, – said General Director of “Baikal electronics” Svetlana Legostaeva.

The processor is produced on the Taiwan factory TSMC, which is the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics with a market share of over 45%: here are the chips for the iPhone and iPad. All basic intellectual work – designing, software development is carried out by specialists of “Baikal electronics, emphasizes Legostaeva.

Tested now Baikal-T1 can be used when creating home appliances, modern machines, routers etc. At the end of June “Baikal electronics has received the first batch of engineering samples of their products with a volume of slightly less than 1 thousand pieces – all of them in the month of July will be handed out to potential customers.

Until the end of 2016 the company will release the CPU for personal computers Baikal-M – now this market in Russia is divided by two American Corporation Intel (proportion – 79%, according to IDC) and AMD (21%), together they last year provided the country with 7.9 million processors for $3,89 billion in addition, according to Opanasenko, until the end of 2017, the market should see a processor for microservers Baikal-MS. Through the use of recognized industrial solutions processors will be compatible with all operating systems.

To produce processors for mobile devices, smartphones or tablets “Baikal electronics is not going. However, said Opanasenko, now there are negotiations with the Russian smartphone manufacturer Yota Devices. “If we reach agreement, we will begin to develop a processor for mobile devices,” he says.

How much will it cost Baikal-T1, is unknown but it is reported that the price will be “at market level”. If you focus on online shopping, CPU cost starts from $100. For example, processor Intel Core i3-3110M can be purchased for 5,000 rubles on the website Xcom-shop. Baikal-T1 will cost about $50, assumes the representative of the Russian holding “RIKOR”, which is engaged in the production of servers, Alexey Vanin.

In 2016 “Baikal electronics sells 100,000 processors, said Opanasenko. That is, the sale can be about $5 million, or the seventh part is made to the company investment.

In 3-5 years will take a share of a few percent in the world market, hopes the businessman: “Baikal electronics” is going to sell processors in Germany, Israel, China, Brazil, Argentina and the UAE. According to U.S. research firm IC Insights, the global market for microprocessors in 2018 will grow to $87 billion, thus, the Russian manufacturer is claiming at least $1 billion in the coming years.

According to Analytics, the payback period of successful chip with the global market – from one to three years, says Opanasenko. However, “only 20% of the chips the industry average expectations of investors on sales, so the average payback period of the design of chips in the industry much longer,” he adds. According to him, the payback period will depend on the influence of geopolitical factors, and whether the established mechanisms to stimulate domestic demand.

The processor market is a highly competitive area, said a spokesman for Intel in Russia, Mikhail Rybakov: the investment required is huge, and the margin does not make this area attractive “is not the implementation of the arms in hot spots. To serious to enter the world market, will require tens of billions of dollars, says Fishermen.

Who needs “Baikal”

In “Baikal electronics believe that the competitive advantage of their CPU specifications: it has a maximum computing power with minimal energy consumption. Baikal-T1 has passed two stages of assessment by the T-Nano and investment Committee and the Board of Directors, who assessed him on the subject of technological feasibility and market potential.

This is the first domestic system-on-chip: the combination of processor and high-speed interfaces (additional elements that support the work of, for example, USB), said head of microelectronics “Experimental design Bureau of the Fifth generation” Valeriy Shunkov. According to him, “Baikal electronics” all ahead, having signed a licensing agreement with MIPS Technologies (Creator of the microprocessor MIPS) about creating a product based on the modern version of the kernel MIPS Warrior P5600 is the top performance for the core built-in appliances.

The parent company “T-Platforms” itself can produce the device on the basis of the Baikal-T1, such as routers, switches for data centers and other devices, said Vanin, this will speed up the refund. This is already happening: joint venture company “T-Platforms” and “Rostec” company Stankoprom is going to release a system of numerical control (can substitute for working at the bench), and in one such system – the “Resource-30” – will be installed Baikal-T1.

According to Opanasenko, the demand for Baikal-T1 was above expectations: domestic processors interested in about a hundred Russian and foreign companies, with a number of them – for example, a Russian manufacturer of servers “RIKOR.It”, a Taiwanese manufacturer of embedded computers Lanner – has already signed the first agreements on cooperation. The first commercial contract for the supply of Russian processors will be signed before the end of July, expects Opanasenko. The buyer will become a European company.

“Baikal-T1 is the modern solution, for example, for Wi-Fi routers. Make a real competitor to Intel at Baikal electronics will not work: the company is unlikely to create a processor which will run the latest “toys”. Performance Baikal-T1 would be enough to “surf the Internet”, so the computer on the basis of such a processor will be used in government agencies. If the computer processor based “Baikal electronics will be more expensive counterpart even in half, it will find its audience: many people will buy it out of Patriotic feelings,” said head of microelectronics “Experimental design Bureau of the Fifth generation” Valeriy Shunkov.

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