Desktop and All-in-One Arm Linux computers launched with Baikal-M processor

The last time we wrote news about Baikal Electronics, the Russian company was offering MIPS-based processors, but they’ve now announced that several iRU-branded desktops and one all-in-one computer had been introduced with Baikal-M octa-core Cortex-A57 processor with Mali-T628 GPU, and support for up to 32GB DDR4 RAM, up to 3TB HDD.

The computers target the Russian market, especially business to business (B2B) and business to government (B2G) customers, with the use of Astra Linux distribution that contains Russian “data protection tools” such as ViPNet SafeBoot, PAK Sobol, and others.

iRU Opal Baikal-M Arm Linux SFF & microtower computers

We’ve used to find Arm processors into really compact fanless systems, but it’s the case for iRU Opal computers with two form factors offered: SFF (Small Form Factor) and MT (Microtower).

The company says the systems are offered with up to 32 GB DDR4 DIMM memory, up to 1TB SSD storage, and up to 3 TB HDD storage, but not much else information, also from the photo those looks like standard computers.

Since I don’t know Russian at all, I went to look for information on the Baikal-M processor directly from Baikal Electronics website to get a better understand of what’s under the hood.

Baikal BE-M1000Baikal-M appears to be a family of Arm processors, and the exact part name is Baikal BE-M1000 with the following key features and specifications:

  • CPU – 8x Arm Cortex-A57 cores @ up to 1.5 GHz with 4 MB (L2) + 8MB (L3) cache
  • GPU – 8-core Mali-T628 GPU
  • Memory I/F – Dual-channel 64-bit DDR3/4 interface with ECC support up to 32GB
  • Storage – 2x SATA III controller up to 6 Gbps
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to WQXGA (2560×1440) @ 60Hz (so no 4K?) and LVDS video interfaces
  • Networking – 2x 10Gbps Ethernet and 2x Gigabit Ethernet controllers with support for VLAN and traffic shaping
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0 interfaces
  • PCIe – PCI Express Gen. 3 root complexes (4+4+8 lanes)
  • Other peripherals – 32x GPIO, UART, SPI, I2C, SMBus, I2S, etc…
  • Estimated TDP below 30 Watts
Baikal-M block diagram
Baikal-M block diagram

There’s all you need to make an Arm PC with support for up to 32GB RAM, two SATA interfaces, USB 3.0, PCIe, etc…, as well as 10GbE interfaces that make it suitable for microservers, and a good amount of I/Os for embedded systems. The processor is clearly not optimized for low power with a fairly high TDP, maybe because of the 28nm manufacturing process.

iRU Agat All-in-One(AiO) computer

The all-in-one version of the computer pretty much has the same features with up to 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 3TB HDD, and a 23.8-inch IPS display with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

The AiO computer runs Astra Linux Special Edition with “myoffice_ru” Russian office application package, and some unnamed web browser and email client, all approve by the “Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications” as required for the work of civil servants in Russia.

Astra Linux
Astra Linux Special Edition and Common Edition

We should not expect to see those for sale outside of Russia any time soon, and I’m not sure they’ll sell to individuals considering the B2B and B2G markets targeted by the new computers. Looking ahead, server company Yadro and silicon design company Syntacore have joined hands to develop RISC-V processors for computers, laptops, and servers for the Russian market with the goal of having RISC-V government and education systems by 2025.