The first motherboard designed for storage systems

Russian company Eliptech – the former subsidiary of the country’s largest cloud service provider, besides being a “state-controlled bank” – has developed a new motherboard for the SSI MEB form factor, the ET113-MB, which is a “sample” Baikal Electronics BE-S1000 SoC (system on-chip) that provides 768 GB of DDR4-3200 memory.

An unusual Russian motherboard is shown, built to accommodate several memory options, and powered by the Baikal BE-S1000 CPU.

The Baikal-S CPU offers 48 Arm Cortex-A75 cores and is manufactured using 16nm technology. The SoC is no longer being produced for the general public due to “geopolitical conflicts” and is now seeing use in Eliptech’s new server motherboard, reports IT Home.

The base frequency of the Baikal BE-S1000 CPU is rated at 2.0GHz with a maximum boost of 2.5GHz and a power consumption of 120W. This unique SoC supports four-way parallelism and has an embedded RISC-V architecture coprocessor to manage data and deliver secure boot. Six 72-bit memory interfaces can support a total of 768GB of memory, with 128GB in each channel.

Reports indicate that the Intel Xeon Gold 6148 and AMD EPYC 7351 CPU are closely compared to these chipsets. The Intel Xeon Gold 6148 offers 20 cores with a boost of 2.4GHz, while the AMD EPYC 7351 CPU offers 16 cores and a boost of 2.9GHz.

The new ET113-MB motherboard from Eliptech offers four U.2 ports off the mainboard, putting them to use in an unusual layout. Unless the backing is removed, mounting the outer panels on their multiple holes is impossible. The ET113-MB also provides voice communications, which is impractical for server use, but seems more suitable for a desktop enterprise workstation. However, since there is no graphics card slot, it is not known how it will be used in this configuration.

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The first Russian motherboard Baikal-S 16nm 48-Core Powers designed for storage systems 1

The motherboard includes five PCIe Gen4 x16 (4×4) slots, one USB 2.0 port, and dual 1 GbE interfaces, which allow the motherboard to control PCIe Gen4 SSDs (x4) and multiple SSD or SATA drives. If 2.5 to 3.5 inch drives are connected to the motherboard, the user will start to see the limited capabilities of the ET113-MB motherboard by Eliptech. Another limitation is that the SATA connections on the board require L-shaped jacks, which continue to limit their use.

It is not known why the motherboard was created when the Russian Baikal CPU could not be sourced from its source location, located in Taiwan. Could Russia be looking for more accessible technology within its borders to keep up with the rest of the world, especially in its current state of embargo? We may never know, and this board will remain a concept board and won’t see any real use for the time being.

News sources: CNews, IT Home, Tom’s Hardware

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