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Gazprom Will Massively Introduce Computers Based on the Baikal Processors

11 February 2020

By Denis Voeykov

Gazprom has adapted its software to the PCS computer, created on the Baikal processors, and at the end of the pilot operation plans to use it widely at its facilities.

Technology on Baikals for Gazprom

As CNews found out, Gazprom was going to massively use on its facilities the Russian Fastwel modular computers, originally developed on AMD chips, but later modified for the domestic Baikal-T1 processors.

This is the MK150-02 computer for use, among other things, as a standalone computing device in automated process control systems (PCS).

To date, Kaliningradgazpriboravtomatika (KGPA), a subsidiary of Gazprom Avtomatizatsiya completed the adaptation of the general and special software of its Neman-R software complex (SC) for this computer.

According to Gazprom Avtomatizatsiya, the MK150-02 at Baikal-T1 was tested at a specialized bench, which has confirmed the possibility and prospect of its application as part of the KGPA-manufactured systems most demanding to the computing power, namely the automatic control system of the gas-compressor unit and the automatic control system of electromagnetic suspension.

“According to the results of the pilot operation of equipment based on the Neman-R software complex with MK150-02 at the Gazprom’s facilities, the upgraded complex will be put into mass production,” Gazprom Avtomatizatsiya representatives conclude.

Estimated Production Volumes

In the conversation with CNews Andrey Evdokimov, CEO of Baikal Electronics (developer of the range of the Russian Baikal processors) said that the described project had been started in 2017 when his company had purchased about 200 chips for the development of the devices based on them and the production of prototypes.

According to him, Baikal Electronics provided technical support in the project, but Gazprom’s employees made the main efforts to create the hardware.

“The tests of equipment in Gazprom began to be carried out in early 2019,” Evdokimov added. “As part of this project, we expect to produce several hundred units a year.”

Technical Details

According to the Fastwel website, in addition to the 1.2GHz Baikal-T1 processor, MK150-02 has 4GB RAM and a built-in 8GB Flash drive. The computer’s dimensions are 150x200x150 mm. The working temperatures range from -40oC to 50oC. The power consumption is less than 30 W. The voltage is 10.5-36 V. The stated lifespan is more than 15 years.

The Fastwel’s product list also includes MK150, an earlier computer modification. It is built on the AMD Geode LX 800 processors with a frequency of 500 MHz.

Fastwel Own Production

As Fastwel assures, the company has been operating since 1992 when a team of Russian development engineers with the experience in the rocket and space field was assembled. Their activities then focused on the development and production of electronic equipment for the demanding application, and the first project was a range of products in the popular MicroPC format.

In 2000, the company started to acquire its production facilities. In 2005, a surface installation line for electronic modules was put into industrial operation, which was said to be integrated with the two pre-existing lines to automatically install all types of components with optimal speed and precision required. The range of products includes both simple modules with 10 to 30 on-board components and the edition of tens of thousands copies and complex processor modules in the CompactPCI format based on Pentium M processor with a frequency of up to 2 GHz.

Traditionally, the Fastwel module components were Intel and AMD processors, as well as those produced by STMicroelectronics, an electronics developer for industrial applications; SEP’s circuit boards were also used.

The company, according to its assurances, has been experimenting with domestic chips since early 2016.

Source: CNews, 11.02.2020