SAN JOSE, Calif. – A fabless semiconductor vendor in Russia announced its first SoC, the first chip to use the Warrior MIPS cores from Imagination Technologies. The Baikal-T1 from Baikal Electronics targets home WiFi routers and gateways with a sub-5W SoC that packs two MIPS P5600 cores.
Baikal will initially ride a trend in Russia to replacing foreign imports in the wake of European and U.S. sanctions over the conflict in the Ukraine. Long term, it aims to sell the T1 internationally, initially focusing on nearby markets in Asia and Africa.
The company was spun out of Russian supercomputer maker T-Platforms in January 2012, aiming to develop a range of MIPS- and ARM-based SoCs for global markets. However, the Ukraine sanctions created a near-term opportunity.
“There’s an internal movement in Russia to replace imports in every industry -- it started with a ban on things like prosciutto from Italy, but eventually there were huge changes in the food market in Russia,” said a Baikal spokesman.
The T1 (right) aims to go head-to-head with similar chips from companies such as Broadcom, Freescale and Mediatek. It hopes its high performance-per-watt and low price give it an edge.
The SoC’s two 32-bit MIPS cores run at 1.2 GHz with a Mbyte L2 cache and are made in a 28nm TSMC process. They support a DDR3-1600 memory interface, two Gbit Ethernet ports and one 10G Ethernet port. The SoC also includes two SATA 3.0 ports, a x4 PCI Express Gen 3 controller and support for USB 2.0.
The 25mm2 chip is now sampling with production expected in a couple months.
Baikal plans to roll out another product early next year. It aims to deliver energy-efficient SoCs for a range of commercial and industrial systems.
In a press release from Imagination, Grigoriy Khrenov, CTO of Baikal, said the T1 is designed to enable use in fan-less systems. Products using the SoC should be in the market by the end of the year, said Svetlana Legostaeva, chief executive of Baikal, also speaking in the release.
In March, Baikal announced it will use a full suite of EDA design tools and IP blocks from Synopsys. At that time it said its goals also include designing microprocessors for computers.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times