2016 is the year of the Linux desktop. Well, maybe the year of the Russian-constructed Linux desktop powered by a MIPS processor. T-Platforms, a Russian company specializing in high-performance computing systems, has introduced the Tavolga Terminal TB-T22BT, a desktop or thin-client machine that's intriguing for its choice of processor and operating system.
The Tavolga Terminal uses T-Platforms' own Baikal-T1 chip under the hood, a processor that integrates two 1GHz MIPS P5600 CPUs from Imagination Technologies. The MIPS architecture dates back to a research program at Stanford in the 1980s that resulted in one of the first RISC processors. These P5600 cores, which debuted back in 2013, are targeted at mobile and embedded devices. Imagination says this chip offers the highest performance-per-MHz results for 32-bit CPUs in the CoreMark benchmark.
T-Platforms envisions the Tavolga Terminal as a thin-client terminal or a workstation. The PC debuting today has a FHD 21.5" IPS display, but the company also plans to release a thin-client version without the display. The system can be had with up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage, and it runs Debian 8 out of the box.
You may not spot one of these systems at the local Best Buy, but Imagination says the Tavolga Terminal is available for pre-order now. It's expected to ship in the second quarter of 2016.