Russia's T-Platforms shows MIPS-based SMARC board

February 29, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Russian personal and server computer vendor T-Platforms JSC (Moscow, Russia) has developed a SMARC-compliant computer module, the SF-BT1, based on the Baikal-T1 MIPS32-based SoC.

T-Platforms is the parent company to Baikal Electronics JSC, a fabless developer of SoCs based on ARM and Imagination Technologies cores. The Baikal-T1 SoC is the world’s first silicon implementation of the MIPS Warrior P5600 core from Imagination and has a power consumption of less than 5W.

The computer module is intended to be used a daughter board building block so that customers can focus on creating application-specific carrier boards in areas such as transport control systems, industrial automation, healthcare and networking equipment.

The SF-BT1 module is based on the SMARC (Smart Mobility ARChitecture) v1.1 specification, a small form factor computer-on-module definition targeting applications that require low power, low costs, and high performance. The modules are already used in T-Platforms products for industrial automation and desktop computing.

The module offers multiple interfaces for communication with active devices (10GbE and GbE, USB, PCIe), as well as interaction with sensors, relays and other terminal equipment (GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI). JTAG and EJTAG interfaces are included for diagnostic and debugging purposes. When in mass production, SF-BT1 modules will feature up to 8Gbytes of RAM and optional nonvolatile memory. The first production lot will be manufactured in Russia and is scheduled for delivery in 3Q16.

The virtualization technology present within the Warrior P-class CPU allows multiple Linux OS instances to run in parallel on the SF-BT1, each in its own domain protected from lateral data movement attacks. T-Platforms has demonstrated the running of the prplSecurity framework from the Prpl Foundation, a collection of open source APIs providing hardware-level security controls such as root of trust, secure boot, secure hypervisor and secure inter-vm communications.

T-Platforms is also using the SF-BT1 modules as developer kits. They come with 2Gbytes of RAM, software development tools, technical design guides, and sample carrier boards for testing purposes.

"We view this product as a cornerstone of an ecosystem we want to help building around Baikal CPUs, promoting and speeding