Baikal T1 MIPS Processor – The Last of the Mohicans?

Last MIPS P5600 Development Board

CNXSoft: Guest post by Blu about Baikal T1 development board and SoC, potentially one of the last MIPS consumer grade platforms ever. It took me a long time to start writing this article, even though I had been poking at the test subject for months, and I felt during that time that there were findings worth sharing with fellow embedded devs. What was holding me back was the thought that I might be seeing one of the last consumer-grade specimen of a paramount ISA that once turned upside-down the CPU world. That thought was giving me mixed feelings of part sadness, part hesitation ‒ to not do some injustice to a possibly last-of-its-kind device. So it was with these feelings that I took to writing this article. But first, a short personal story. Two winters ago I was talking to a friend of mine over beers. We were discussing CPU architectures and hypothesizing on future CPU developments in the industry, …

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Baikal T1 BFK 1.6 MIPS Development Board Tested with OpenWrt

Baikal Electronics is a Russian fabless semiconductor company specializing in ARM and MIPS-based SoC, and we’ve already covered their Baikal T1 MIPS SoC announcement, as well as Tavolga Terminal TP-T22BT Debian 8 All-in-One Computer based on the processor. The company also have Baikal T1 BFK 1.6 development board, which does not appear to be publicly available yet, but one member of Habrahabr.ru forums got hold of one sample, and tested the OpenWrt SDK in Debian 8 host computer. First, we’ll have a look at the hardware they received. I don’t have the full specs of the board, but we’ll learn a little more below, in the meantime we can see two USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, a 10GbE SFP cage, an mPCIe slot (I think), and two DB9 connector, as well as a bunch of other headers and connectors with SATA, GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI… I’ve then downloaded Baikal T1 BSP for Linux, and installed it in Ubuntu 16.04: The good …

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Imagination Solution to FCC Rules for WiFi Routers: Run OpenWrt / DD-WRT and the WiFi Driver in Separate Virtual Machines

About a year ago, discussions started about new rules from the FCC that could prevent routers from installing open source third party operating systems such as OpenWrt or DDWRT. Despite the FCC assurance that the rules were meant to prevent some users from illegally tweaking the RF settings, and that it would not have to impact installing of open source alternatives, the reality is that companies such as TP-Link ended up locking their routers up due to the new rules, while Linksys would only ensure OpenWrt/ DD-WRT compatibility on some of their routers, but not all. Companies are probably doing that due to the extra work that would be required to separate the RF settings which need to be locked, and the rest of the firmware. But Imagination Technology’s prpl security group has a solution for their MIPS Warrior P-Class processors using hardware virtualization. In order to show the concept works, they’ve developed the solution on an evaluation board based …

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Tavolga Terminal TP-T22BT Debian 8 All-in-One Computer is Powered by Baikal-T1 MIPS Processor

A Russian company called Baikal Electronics announced it was working on Baikal T1 dual core MIPS P5600 to provide an alternative to US based Intel and AMD processor last year, not too long after Edwards Snowden revaluations about the NSA malpractices. Good progress has been made as T-Platforms has now launched Tavolga Terminal TP-T22BT All-in-One computer with a 21.5″ display, up to 8 GB RAM, and the Baikal T1 processor running Debian 8. TP-T22BT specifications (derived from product brief in Russian): Processor – Baikal dual core MIPS 5600 processor @ 1.0 GHz with 1MB L2 cache GPU – Silicon Motion SM750 GPU with 16MB video memory, 2D graphics acceleration System Memory – 2 to 8GB DDR3 Storage – Optional 8GB NAND flash, optional 8GB SSD, and optional 2.5″ SATA drive (Baikal-T1 has a built-in SATA interface) Display – 21.5″ IPS Full HD (1920×1080) display with LED backlight Audio – PCM2912A codec, 2x 2.5W speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack Connectivity – 2x …

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Baikal T1 is a Dual Core MIPS P5600 Communication Processor

When allegations surfaced that the NSA messed with devices manufactured by US companies, and possibly other, government of geopolitical significance started to take measures. For instance, China may have removed Apple and Cisco products from its list of approved products due to security reasons, and Russia decided to design its own Baikal processors to replace Intel and AMD solutions. At the time of the announcement, Baikal M and M/S chip were supposed to be the first ones and based on ARM Cortex A57 cores, but Imagination Technologies recently announced that Russia based Baikal Electronics was working on Baikal T1 communication processor with two MIPS P5600 cores. Some of the specifications include: CPU – Dual core MIPS 5600 processor @ 1.2 GHz with 1MB L2 cache Memory – DDR3 controller Storage – SATA 6Gbps controller and PHY Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet controller, 1x 10Gigabit Ethernet controller and PHY USB 2.0 controller PCIe 3.0 controller and PHY GPIO, I2C, UART, SPI …

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