Baikal Technologies announces the Baikal-T1 microprocessor with MIPS P5600 CPU

Baikal Electronics, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in ARM-based and MIPS-based processors and systems on a chip (SoC), has announced the release of engineering samples of its new Baikal-T1 multi-core microprocessor created using a 28 nanometer process and designed for use in consumer and industrial devices.

The Baikal-T1 will become the first Russian offering for the communications market to use a MIPS Warrior CPU, boasting highly competitive properties in terms of performance, technology node and compatibility, the company said. At the heart of the chip sits a dual-core MIPS P5600 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz. The Baikal-T1 also includes multiple high-speed (1G/10G Ethernet, PCIe, SATA 6G, USB) and low-speed interfaces (GPIO, I2C, UART, SPI). The package measures 25 x 25 mm and is manufactured on 28nm process technology, achieving less than 5 W of total power consumption - an ideal figure for fanless device designs.

The MIPS P5600 CPU is an OmniShield-ready, 32-bit CPU from Baikal's high-performance P-class range of Warrior processors; it boasts a superscalar, out-of-order (OoO) design that implements Release 5 features such as hardware virtualization for increased security and reliability, and a 128-bit SIMD engine for high performance on data parallel operations.

The MIPS P5600 recently achieved a 5.6 CoreMark/MHz, the highest score per core for 32-bit licensable microprocessor IP, Baikal added.

Additional features of the CPU include EVA (Enhanced Virtual Addressing) and XPA (eXtended Physical Addressing), two technologies that extend the limits of traditional 32-bit architecture. For example, XPA extends the amount of addressable physical memory in devices to a maximum of 1 Terabyte; in addition, as typical networking-related workloads require a larger address space, EVA extends the amount of virtual addressing to almost the full 4GB space. Therefore, the combination of these two features will help to alleviate bottlenecks in software performance, Baikal claims.

Development of the Baikal-T1 was carried out with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, under a special program established in 2008 to foster the development of Russia's electronic component base, the company said. Additional financial backing was provided by the investment firms T-Nano and T-Platforms, though the company refused to divulge how much.

Baikal's release comes just weeks after another Russian firm, the Moscow Center of SPARC Technologies (MCST), unveiled what it claimed was Russia's first domestically-made microprocessor, the Elbrus-4C. MCST claimed at the time its chip was the most high-tech processor ever built in Russia, built using a 65nm process and offering a performance comparable with Intel Corp's Core i3 and Intel Core i5 processors.

Engineering samples of the Baikal-T1 will be available on June 1.