Russia to replace US-made processors with own ARM variant

23 Jun 2014

ARM processor image va Wikimedia Commons.

As relations between the US and Russia remain frosty at best, Russia has decided to no longer use American-made processors in its computers and will develop its own variant using the ARM design.

By granting asylum to former CIA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden as he continues to leak documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) that appear to show significant breaches of privacy on not just the American public but those abroad, it may not be surprising that Russia has shunned American technology being sold to its people.

Instead, Russia is to install its own microprocessor, known as Baikal and built off the ARM Cortex a57 processor, into PCs, instead of the American-built Intel and AMD versions that would be pre-installed in computers.

Previously in 2010, Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, declared the government’s computers were to be gradually moved over to the Linux operating system for greater levels of security from foreign cyberespionage.

According to The Register, the Russian news outlet Kommersant has said the Baikal chips “will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth US$500m and 300,000 servers worth US$800m.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic