Russia made amazing Arm SoCs with 48 cores before the sanctions started

Russia made amazing Arm SoCs with 48 cores before the sanctions started

In context: Russian chipmaker Baikal Electronics was halfway to having an SoC series that spanned from eight cores to 48 before Russia invaded Ukraine and called for sanctions that crippled its nascent semiconductor industry.

But before the sanctions were imposed, Baikal received several prototypes of its latest (and possibly last) SoC from TSMC. Somehow some of them ended up in the hands of a Russian enthusiast who shared them with Fritchens Fritz, an extremely talented chip photographer.

This monstrous system on a chip is BE-S1000. It is designed for server applications and has 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores. It has an all-core clock of 2 GHz and a TDP of 120 W. It is built on a TSMC 16FFC node and measures a whopping 607 mm2.

In a ring around the center of the SoC are 12 computing clusters, each containing four cores and four blocks of 512 KB of L3 cache. Each core contains its own 512 KB L2 cache and two blocks of 64 KB L1 cache. In the middle of the SoC is a four-by-four grid of 2 MB L4 cache blocks totaling 32 MB. There are 24MB of L3 and L2 cache and 6MB of L1 cache throughout the processor: 86MB in total, split between 48 cores.

Around the perimeter are the IO controllers. There are five PCIe 4.0 x16 controllers on the left and right sides, three of which can serve as CCIX 1.0 modules and enable 2-way and 4-way SMP (symmetric multiprocessing). There are six memory controllers on the top and bottom that can each manage a 72-bit channel of up to 128GB of DDR4-3200 with ECC, or 768GB between them.

The Baikal backs up that impressive list of specs with some benchmark figures. Compares S1000 ua a few slides with 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148, 16-core AMD Epyc 7351 and 48-core Huawei Kunpeng 920. It concludes that the SoC is roughly equivalent to AMD and Intel CPUs, but only 85% faster than Huawei’s quite similar Arm-based SoC .

In raw numbers, the S1000 scores an impressive 14,246 points on the Geekbench 5 multi-core test, which puts it on par with the Ryzen 7 5900X. In the SPEC CPU 2017 benchmarks for integer and floating point, it scores 76.6 and 68.7, respectively, which puts it in 5800X territory.

Too bad the S1000 will probably never make it to market. Baikal appears to be scheduled to arrive in Russian markets this year or next, but TSMC has almost certainly been forced to cancel or delay Baikal orders indefinitely due to the sanctions.

Only Baikal received delivery its first batch of processors from TSMC around this time last year. It was only beginning to look as though Russia’s quest for a self-sufficient semiconductor industry might be realized within the next decade or two. Now it looks like that future will never materialize, and all we’re left with are quirky oddities like the BE-S1000.

#Russia #amazing #Arm #SoCs #cores #sanctions #started

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