During an open interview at the CNews Forum Cases 2022 industry conference, Maksut Shadayev, head of the Ministry of Digital Development, expressed confidence that the state would soon allocate a serious budget to support domestic processor developments based on the open RISC-V architecture. According to the minister, Russian software developers will soon have to take care of compatibility with them.
RISC-V as a priority
The Russian authorities will provide serious financial support to developers of processors based on the RISC-V architecture. Confidence in this was expressed by the head of the Ministry of Digital Development Maksut Shadayevduring an open interview with the editor-in-chief of CNews Alexandra Kiryanova at the industry conference “CNews Forum Cases” held on November 7, 2022.
“I think that now the main efforts will be focused on what concerns the design and development of their own processor based on an open architecture, I think that this will be a priority,” he said.
At the same time, the minister added that in the near future, Russian software companies will be oriented by the authorities to ensure the compatibility of their products with promising processor developments based on RISC-V. “Certainly, in stages; this is not a one-time process,” Shadayev emphasized.
Discussing this topic, the minister answered the question whether it is possible to expect legislative relief for assemblers and developers of Russian hardware in terms of the free use of foreign chips by them.
Maksut Shadayev gave an interview to CNews Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Kiryanova at CNews Forum Case Studies 2022
Recall that at the moment government agencies and partly companies with state participation are required to buy only Russian IT equipment. And in order to be considered Russian hardware, according to the current rules, storage systems should be built on domestic processors from January 1, 2021. From July 1, 2021 – laptops, tablets and pocket PCs (including those combining the functions of a mobile phone) and electronic notebooks. From January 1, 2022, domestic processors were supposed to appear in servers, desktop PCs and monoblocks, input or output devices, monitors and projectors, printers, scanners and faxes, as well as solid state drives and motherboards.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade in the second half of 2021, due to the introduction of the so-called scoring system for assessing the level of “Russianness” of equipment, planned to shift these deadlines, but not a single version of the legislative amendments developed by it has yet been adopted.
Maksut Shadave predicted serious state support for Russian processor projects on RISC-V
After February 24, 2022, the situation on the market has developed in such a way that Western chips (Intel, AMD, etc.) will theoretically be available in the near future through parallel imports (deliveries to Russia without the consent of the copyright holders), while with the availability of Russian chips full of uncertainty. All our processor developments were focused on direct production at the Taiwanese TSMC factory, which at the end of February 2022, in the context of Western sanctions, completely stopped the production and supply of its products to our country.
Russia currently does not have its own production facilities for small nanometers. Transferring the production of our chips from TSMC to friendly countries is a long process, and for some architectures it is very doubtful. Many domestic developments are based on the licensed ARM architecture, which means they are vulnerable to sanctions.
Features of RISC-V
The open source RISC-V instruction set architecture has a high global appeal due to the lack of licensing fees traditional with most other processor architectures, including the aforementioned ARM.
Support and development of RISC-V is carried out by the non-profit organization RISC-V International, which includes more than 1000 members in 50 countries. RISC-V processors are widely used in microcontrollers. For example, Western Digital ships more than 2 billion RISC-V controllers in its drives annually.
Who is engaged in Russia RISC-V
At the moment, at least two Russian companies have managed to make certain steps towards the development of chips based on the RISC-V architecture. One of them, Baikal Electronics, is the developer of the Baikal processor line. Its parent structure, the Varton group in September, 2021 acquired a 34% share of the St. Petersburg developer of microprocessor cores Cloudbear. It is considered one of the two most advanced companies in Russia engaged in the development of IP processor units based on the RISC-V command system.
Baikal Electronics announced its interest in RISC-V at the beginning of July 2021, commenting on its new product strategy approved by the Board of Directors in June 2021.
Maksut Shadayev answered questions from the ICT industry during an interview with CNews Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Kiryanova on the stage of CNews FORUM Cases 2022
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Another Russian company that is developing an open architecture is KNS Group, which is part of ICS Holding and produces computer equipment under its own Yadro brand. Since the end of October 2019, KNS Group has owned 51% of Syntacore, the second most well-known domestic developer of IP processor blocks based on the RISC-V command system.
Syntacore, like Cloudbear, is based in St. Petersburg and is also a Skolkovo resident (through a subsidiary). Both companies are known both in Russia and abroad.
In the summer of 2021, CNews learned that KNS Group is going to release a line of processors of its own architecture, in which about 6 billion rubles will be invested. company funds. When developing her own processor architecture, she was going to use RISC-V.
How was CNews FORUM case 2022
CNews FORUM Cases, held in Moscow on June 7, 2022, became the second CNews forum with an emphasis on direct IT implementations and the first held after the removal of quarantine restrictions in the usual mode – “live”, although with the broadcast of the plenary part online.
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An independent meeting place for CIOs, IT executives and government officials brought together over 650 participants who listened to more than 70 expert presentations. Over 20 IT companies deployed their stands in the forum foyer.
After the plenary part of the event, the work of the forum continued in specialized sections: “IT in the public sector”, “Import substitution”, “Digital transformation”, “IT in the financial sector” and “Big data and business intelligence”.
In addition to Maksut Shadayev, the head of the IT department of Surgutneftegaz spoke at the forum Rinat GimranovDirector of the IT Department, Uralchem Valery FokinSenior Vice President for Banking Technologies, Uralsib Bank Konstantin Medentsev and many others.