MIPS CPUs and Debian 8 power T-Platforms’ Tavolga Terminal

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.

Comments closed
    • Pancake
    • 4 years ago

    I’d be curious how “Russian-constructed” this thing is. Most of the components would have come from east Asia. A breakdown would be fascinating.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder what they’re doing that makes 8GB of RAM on a 32-bit system a sensible option? Unless the flash based storage is woefully slow there’s not much point in setting 4GB aside for a RAMdisk.

    Using Debian as the OS means there’s a ton of software available for it though. (Just not commercial Windows software…)

      • Rza79
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Advanced addressing extensions for Enhanced Virtual Address (EVA) and eXtended Physical Address (XPA) - EVA enables 3GB+ Linux (and similar OS) implementations without use and overhead of HIGHMEM - XPA extends physical addressing up to 1 Terabyte (40-bits)[/quote<]

        • just brew it!
        • 4 years ago

        If my Google-fu is up to par tonight, EVA doesn’t let you use 8GB; it just extends user address space to 3GB (from 2GB). XPA sounds like x86 PAE. Kludge, kludge, kludge. Disgusting.

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    You should genuinely get one in to benchmark. It would be interesting to see how MIPS measures up, and Imagination would probably appreciate the PR.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 4 years ago

      A decade ago I was writing data flow streaming/checksumming/etc programs on Linux and Irix, I found that 350mhz of MIPS was a lot more than it sounded like. A stout 4-stage integer pipeline, big caches, robust NUMA implementation, strong IO all around. Though I suspect Intel gets higher IPC these days. 🙂

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    MIPS inside is cool.
    But who will buy this machine?
    Vladimir Putin?

      • dodozoid
      • 4 years ago

      Nope. The great president of great Russian empire have developed and built this himself

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Cool. Can it play.. er… King’s Quest?

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      DOSbox is a thing that runs on ARM, so probably.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    1) Buy stronk Tavolga Terminal
    2) Listen to [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlQ6KqTlyfk<]song for stronk men[/url<].

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 4 years ago

    One way to make sure you don’t have any NSA backdoors. Of course, it probably come with the Russian equivalent installed.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Of course, it probably come with the Russian equivalent installed.[/quote<] Which would, of course, still be the lesser of two evils.

        • dodozoid
        • 4 years ago

        Are you sure about that ???
        I understand you live so CLOSE to NSAs nest, but for us europeans, KGB or whatever they call themselves (same guys anyway) is fucking scary…

          • ermo
          • 4 years ago

          Indeed, the FSB (nee KGB) is not to be trifled with.

    • robliz2Q
    • 4 years ago

    Presumably Ed Snowden will want one of these

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