Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:I didn't know anyone actually produced chips with a Harvard architecture.

It makes a lot of sense for something like a PIC, where the internal code EEPROM is typically flashed once at the factory, then never changed again. You then execute the code directly from the EEPROM, which means the RAM can be smaller too; this matters a lot when you're dealing with ultra-low-cost SOCs which typically cost a buck or two at most.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:
JohnC wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I'll bet they're worried about spyware planted by the NSA in the OS and/or applications

Nah, that's not about this at all.

...because?

Because. Read my previous post - it's simply another way for someone related to this upcoming project to get (more precisely "steal") a piece of budget money for a "personal" needs :wink: And for a current government to boast to the rest of the "evil capitalistic warmongers" that "yes, Russia can also do modern Aye Teee stuffs!" - kind of similar to the "Yo-Mobile" car project (it was private but it was also highly publicized for "patriotic propaganda" needs and which also being slowly abandoned right now) or to "Plastic Logic" e-reader (which was supposed to be manufactured in large amounts in a factory in Zelenograd and every schoolchild in Russia was supposed to be using it by current year and which is also completely abandoned). Absolutely NOTHING to do with "spyware", NSA or any other nonsense.

P.S: You Western people are so cute when you try to over-analyze such simple things :lol:
Last edited by JohnC on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Which required regular interaction between a technically closed network and mobile storage devices- something that is rather clearly illegal in the US, and has been for the better part of a decade. Wonder if we knew what was up? :wink:


That's sort of the idea, isn't it? Just because a system is "isolated" doesn't mean people don't get to it. Iran's reactors were vulnerable to Stuxnet because externals knew about the architecture of the computers controlling them.

Building a new chip from scratch is clearly a couple of steps back, but the way Putin's been behaving it doesn't surprise me that Russia wants to minimize reliance on, and thus vulnerability to western technology.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:54 pm

UnfriendlyFire wrote:
kamikaziechameleon wrote:
ronch wrote:Well, this is interesting news, but I just can't help but snort at the idea. They can probably pull it off if they really tried, but I can't see it being anywhere as successful as the Wintel platform in terms of performance/watt (who'll fab their chips?), performance/cost (Intel and AMD do have tried-and-true economies of scale), as well as compatibility, at least not in the next 10 years or so. I can just imagine Russians complaining about how their newfangled word processor isn't working well with their documents written in something like MS Office (or heck, even the compatibility problem-riddled OpenOffice and LibreOffice). Don't tell me they'll figure it out all of a sudden.

Reminds me of their laughable ReactOS project that isn't really going anywhere.


If you run the numbers this is not going to actually save Russia a dime. It will likely cost them insanely more money. If it was cheaper corporate entities would more commonly adopt this practice. No, this is a move to stimulate the Russian economy, they don't want the government sending money out of the country but investing in companies domestically. The main issue with the entire concept is that Russia is so bankrupt that the only way they can maintain something like this is to literally continue invading former USSR states and absorbing them and their assets like Germany in WW2. Not only are we talking about one of the largest nations in the world shifting their entire government infrastructure but they also have to now DEVELOP the technology for the new infrastructure to hold. Its like tearing down a building then creating the foundries and corries to mind the raw minerals to make the concrete and steel to build the new building. Its simply insane. China was in a completely different financial situation when they tried this.


Their economy grew by 1.8% last year. Which makes their goal even more ambitious given the fact that they have limited funding.

I think part of the reason why Putin is playing a game with Ukraine is to distract Russian citizens from the poor economy.

Bread and circuses...


Russia has a larger issue than it's socialist approach to its government. It doesn't act as a sovereign nation frequently. Its a black whole for investment, its to large for corporations to bully or influence and its too corrupt for anyone to enter their markets. Between the government, Russian mob, and the dissolved KGB elements (that have not only filtered into the government and the mob but also developed some independent elements that drive allot of black market trade)

Then there is the reality that they are talking about developing a substantial entity to prop up the government with money, tech, and people that they don't have... This whole situation is pretty surreal.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:31 pm

jihadjoe wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:Which required regular interaction between a technically closed network and mobile storage devices- something that is rather clearly illegal in the US, and has been for the better part of a decade. Wonder if we knew what was up? :wink:


That's sort of the idea, isn't it? Just because a system is "isolated" doesn't mean people don't get to it. Iran's reactors were vulnerable to Stuxnet because externals knew about the architecture of the computers controlling them.

Building a new chip from scratch is clearly a couple of steps back, but the way Putin's been behaving it doesn't surprise me that Russia wants to minimize reliance on, and thus vulnerability to western technology.


I can say this- plug anything into USB with storage capability into a US government (including military) system that has storage capability, and at a minimum alerts go off; in many cases the system gets quarantined by the network, i.e. literally dropped into it's own private VLAN where it can't talk to anything and nothing will talk to it. Assuming a state controls the production of all of their IT equipment, they can make it possible for the system to be truly isolated when and where needed.

Of course, the investment to do all that is going to be massive, and the operational impediments that will arise may be crippling :).
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:41 pm

@JohnC - Just because there's a graft angle doesn't mean it isn't *also* being pitched internally to appeal to those paranoid about foreign spying. Whether it really makes them more secure or not is irrelevant; why should they be any more immune to the "security theater" effect than we are?
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:22 pm

just brew it! wrote:@JohnC - Just because there's a graft angle doesn't mean it isn't *also* being pitched internally to appeal to those paranoid about foreign spying. Whether it really makes them more secure or not is irrelevant; why should they be any more immune to the "security theater" effect than we are?


Yeah, that angle may apply for Russia, but I would doubt it for the Chinese.

The problem with reverse-engineering and designing their own chips is they can only copy what exists. Slicing and x-raying a processor is well and fine, but it won't help an iota about the processor microcode or fabrication technology. Intel's fabrication tech is the most advanced out there, but what would Russia do? Is T-platforms going to hire TSMC to create their in-house chips? That would defeat the whole security purpose. Does Russia even have plants using efficient 300mm tech on a relatively recent generation process node?

China at least has the infrastructure in place, in-country manufacturing for high-tech chips, and the revenue to fund the production. I'm not sure where T-Platforms plans to source any chips that it does design, because if they use the open market that just defeats the point.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:07 pm

Kougar wrote:
just brew it! wrote:@JohnC - Just because there's a graft angle doesn't mean it isn't *also* being pitched internally to appeal to those paranoid about foreign spying. Whether it really makes them more secure or not is irrelevant; why should they be any more immune to the "security theater" effect than we are?


Yeah, that angle may apply for Russia, but I would doubt it for the Chinese.

The problem with reverse-engineering and designing their own chips is they can only copy what exists. Slicing and x-raying a processor is well and fine, but it won't help an iota about the processor microcode or fabrication technology. Intel's fabrication tech is the most advanced out there, but what would Russia do? Is T-platforms going to hire TSMC to create their in-house chips? That would defeat the whole security purpose. Does Russia even have plants using efficient 300mm tech on a relatively recent generation process node?

China at least has the infrastructure in place, in-country manufacturing for high-tech chips, and the revenue to fund the production. I'm not sure where T-Platforms plans to source any chips that it does design, because if they use the open market that just defeats the point.


A few years ago, Russia or a Russian company bought a few fab plants from AMD before GF was spun off.

But I'm fairly sure most or all of them are outside of Russia. They could staff the foreign plants with Russian citizens, but they would still need to retool the fab plants.
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Re: Russia ditching AMD, and Intel!

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:54 pm

UnfriendlyFire wrote:
Kougar wrote:
just brew it! wrote:@JohnC - Just because there's a graft angle doesn't mean it isn't *also* being pitched internally to appeal to those paranoid about foreign spying. Whether it really makes them more secure or not is irrelevant; why should they be any more immune to the "security theater" effect than we are?


Yeah, that angle may apply for Russia, but I would doubt it for the Chinese.

The problem with reverse-engineering and designing their own chips is they can only copy what exists. Slicing and x-raying a processor is well and fine, but it won't help an iota about the processor microcode or fabrication technology. Intel's fabrication tech is the most advanced out there, but what would Russia do? Is T-platforms going to hire TSMC to create their in-house chips? That would defeat the whole security purpose. Does Russia even have plants using efficient 300mm tech on a relatively recent generation process node?

China at least has the infrastructure in place, in-country manufacturing for high-tech chips, and the revenue to fund the production. I'm not sure where T-Platforms plans to source any chips that it does design, because if they use the open market that just defeats the point.


But I'm fairly sure most or all of them are outside of Russia. They could staff the foreign plants with Russian citizens, but they would still need to retool the fab plants.

A few years ago, Russia or a Russian company bought a few fab plants from AMD before GF was spun off.


This wouldn't be any different than say the NSA or associated agencies would do with Intel, who has fabs around the world, if indeed they reach that far. I don't think they need to, but if one wants to be free from another government's influence, they'll have to control the whole pipeline, wherever it's located.
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