Russian outlet today is reporting that the conglomerate Rostec, a Russian state-backed corporation specializing in investment in technology, has penned a deal with server company Yadro and silicon design company Syntacore to develop RISC-V processors for computers, laptops, and servers. Initial reports are suggesting that Syntacore will develop a powerful enough RISC-V design to power government and education systems by 2025.

The cost of the project is reported to be around 30 billion rubles ($400m), with that the organizers of the project plan to sell 60,000 systems based around new processors containing RISC-V cores as the main processing cores. The reports state that the goal is to build an 8-core processor, running at 2 GHz, using a 12-nanometer process, which presumably means GlobalFoundries but at this point it is unclear. Out of the project funding, two-thirds will be provided by ‘anchor customers’ (such as Rostec and subsidiaries), while the final third will come from the federal budget. The systems these processors will go into will operate initially at Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science, as well as the Ministry of Health.

Syntacore already develops its own core with the RISC-V architecture, rather than licensing a design. There have been questions as to whether any current RISC-V design is powerful enough to be used in a day-to-day work machine suitable for administrative services, however with the recent news that Canonical is enabling Ubuntu/Linux on some of SiFive’s RISC-V designs, chances are that by 2025 there will be a sufficient number of software options to choose from should the Russian processor adhere to any specifications required. That being said, it is not uncommon for non-standard processors in places like Russia or China to use older customized forks of Linux to suit the needs of the businesses using the hardware. Syntacore's documentation states that their highest performance 64-bit core already supports Linux.

Syntacore's latest design

This news is an interesting development given that Russia has multiple home-grown CPU prospects in the works already, such as the Elbrus 2000 family of processors that run a custom VLIW instruction set with binary translation for Intel x86 and x86-64; these processors already offer 8-core and multi-socket systems running on Linux. Development on Elbrus is still ongoing with Rostec in the mix, and the project seems focused on high-powered implementations in desktop to server use. In contrast, the new RISC-V development seems to be targeting low-powered implementations for desktop and laptop use. Russia also has Baikal processors using the MIPS32 ISA, built by a Russian supercomputer company.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops: $400m should be sufficient to build a processor and instruct system design at this level, which puts the question on how well the project will execute.

Sources: @torgeek,

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  • p1esk - Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - link

    Knowing Russia, I agree that the outcome of this project will definitely be a couple of new yachts built, not sure about CPUs.
  • shabby - Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - link

    Da da... gotta fund putty's palace
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    " gotta fund putty's palace "

    make that palaceS
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    "400M for a large country "

    large? its GDP is about 1 10th USofA. not even in the Global Top 10. it's a Shithole Country.
  • Jasonovich - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link


    Have you been to Russia, have you embrace their people, do you understand the culture?
    Do you read literature, are you able to stay focus for 2 seconds when watching a subtitled movie?

    If you're some burger munching, shooting from the hip Americano, you can be forgiven, no one should be demonised for their evolutionary challenged DNA.
  • FunBunny2 - Saturday, July 17, 2021 - link

    look at the data. it's a Shithole Country with a handful of rich and a lot of poor. just like any failed narco state south of the USofA. they only thing they have that the global trade wants is petro in its various forms. they invaded Ukraine simply to get back the farm production they'd relied on during the USSR days; otherwise, Putin can't even feed his people.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 18, 2021 - link

    > look at the data.

    Good point. According to this, its per capita GDP is 78th. However, the "USofA" is barely "even in the Global Top 10", being 10th.

    But the "USofA", doesn't have free healthcare or higher education. If you account for those, they would surely knock it further down the rankings.
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, July 18, 2021 - link

    "its per capita GDP is 78th. However, the "USofA" is barely "even in the Global Top 10", being 10th."

    national Anything and Per Capita Anything are inconsistent measures, esp. any income/wealth measure. it has to do with the nasty right skew in the mean (Per Capita) of financial metrics; i.e. the mean of such metrics is higher (more Positive) and portrays the underlying population as "better off" than the vast majority of the population experiences. that's why honest econ types always use Median for such measures. in terms of comparing countries, only the national GDP is what matters, since the entity under consideration is the capability of the country; gross inequality of income/wealth doesn't matter at that level. I, for one, would prefer that not be true, but it is. Russia is still a Shithole country.

    as The Trumpster was told: (nearly) no one from Norway wants to be a USofA immigrant, just the downtrodden from Shithole countries.
  • mode_13h - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    The reason I went for per-capita GDP is that using the gross figure to justify such a classification doesn't account for the fact that there are smaller, better-run countries that are definitely not "shithole countries" (at least, not by my or many people's definition).

    If your point is that it has outsized influence, then gross GDP is a reasonable metric. However, the term "shithole country" evokes matters of governance and quality of life, where GDP is only relevant in a per-capita sense. I agree that median income is generally more informative, but I was trying to tie it to your GDP comment.

    > no one from Norway wants to be a USofA immigrant,
    > just the downtrodden from Shithole countries.

    Norway is a good case in point. They rank 33rd in gross GDP, while Russia ranks 11th. Yet, you seem to agree that Norway is no shithole.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Never been there but I sort of like Russia, and for ever grateful for Tarkovsky's Solaris!

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