The domestic ARM processor “Skif”, which came to Russia the other day in the form of the first serial batch, will find application in a Russian reliable mobile phone for confidential communication. The Scientific Research Institute “Masshtab”, which is part of Rostec, through its “daughter”, Smartecosystem, has in the past developed a smartphone for this chip in a foreign processor similar in parameters. Now you just need to customize it to “Skif”. On a foreign chip, the smartphone will be released in a few days.
Trustphone for communication
As it became known to CNews, the Research Institute Scale, owned by the state-owned company Rostec, and its subsidiary Smartecosystem have created their own smartphone, which in the future will be able to work on the latest Skif home processor developed by Zelenograd Research. and Production Center Electronic Computers and Information Systems “(SPC” Elvis “).
The creators call their phone a reliable phone – conceptually, it is placed as a “trusted” smartphone for confidential communication. As explained to CNews in the concern Avtomatika (a structure of Rostec, the direct control loop of which includes the Scale), the privacy is achieved, among other things, due to the ability to turn off the camera and microphone function, which excludes unauthorized collection of information by these sections.
At the same time, the telephone does not focus exclusively on the military or its use for working with state secrets. At the corporate level, developers see their consumers as any organization that cares about data security, such as personal data.
Trustfon Ayya T1 modified with foreign chip
As the CEO of Smartecosmetics told CNews Vladislav Ivanov, part of the first release of the trust phones should be released in retail within a week – negotiations are underway with the largest Russian stores and online platforms. According to him, the estimated price will be set within 19 thousand rubles. (no more). Ivanov is not yet ready to name the approximate price of the future modification of the device in Skif, but he believes that it will not differ much.
First a foreign chip, then ours
At present, the device is implemented in chips of the Taiwanese company MediaTek – Helio P70. As CNews and. about. general director of the institute Alexander Lysenko, The development of the phone was completed at the end of 2020 and in 2021 this modification will be released in small batches of several thousand pieces – for the specific needs of customers. Ivanov clarifies that a batch of three thousand devices has already arrived in Russia from abroad, another eight thousand are expected by the end of 2021. In the future, the direct release of the trustphone may begin in Russia.
So, in anticipation of the appearance of “Skif”, “Scale” and “Smartekosistema” they chose in advance for their phone a chip available on the market, the most similar in its parameters to the Russian processor that was not yet available at that time (at the documentation level, the capabilities of “Skif” were known in advance). This option should have allowed developers to then start using the home processor with the lowest latency immediately after it hits the market.
We remind you that the engineering samples of Skif were received from SPC Elvis in 2019. However, the first series of chips was available to the company only in July 2021 – with a delay of about seven months due to the global crisis of conventional components due to overload capacity as the industry emerges from the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of September 10, 2021, the Research Institute Scale was among the top five organizations to which Elvis delivered fully finished processors as part of debugging tables for end-device development and software customization. Two of the companies are associated with software: the Avrora mobile OS and the AltLinux OS line. Two more – ICL and Bayterg – have set their sights on tablet release on Skif. So obviously, in terms of building a Russian smartphone on a Russian chip, Scale has gone further than anyone else.
In an interview with CNews, Alexander Lysenko said that based on the study of the sample taken, the institute will be able to place an order for Elvis for the first batch of smartphones in them by the spring of 2022. at that time no has yet to be completed and will continue. Lysenko is not yet ready to name the exact dates for the appearance of the phones on Elvis chips. They will largely depend on how quickly NPC will be able to pick up the processors it ordered from a contracted foreign factory.
How much does development cost?
In open sources, you can find traces of the official market of the Research Institute “Masshtab” dated 31 January 2020 for the implementation of an integral part of the development (R&D) work for the creation of a “smartphone platform and software for mobile devices based on a domestic circuit “(code” Trustphone-SES-T1 “). The formality of the process is due to its method: purchase from the only possible supplier. They became “Smartekostema”.
There are no traces of the procedure on the official website of the public procurement. In various commercial resources related to procurement, the documentation related to it is either already transferred to the file or presented as empty files.
All indications are that at that time, Scale already exercised the right of strategically important companies to Russia not to disclose the details of their purchases in order to avoid known Western sanctions. In the Kontur.Focus database, the latest public procurement procedures of this research institute are dated 2019.
One way or another, the price of the R&D item to build the trust phone was put on the market at the level of 45 million rubles. That is, it makes sense to assume that the total budget for developing a reliable Skif phone will be a bit larger.
As Alexander Lysenko and Vladislav Ivanov told CNews, the set is 45 million rubles. concern a larger grant from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued to Scale for the development of various mobile telephony technologies.
According to CNews, in a modification based on a foreign MediaTek chip, the Scale phone was named Ayya T1.
The trustphone is now equipped with a 6.56-inch HD screen with GorillaGlass 3 protective glass. The model is equipped with a main dual camera with 12 and 5 megapixel units, as well as a 13 megapixel front camera. The lithium-polymer battery has a capacity of 4000 mAh. Built-in NFC unit for contactless payment for services. The amount of RAM is declared at the level of 4 GB.
The trustphone now runs on the Android operating system. The Russian OS “Aurora” will be used soon. In the future, the use of the protected operating system of Kaspersky Lab – Kaspersky OS will be considered.
The telephone module of the telephone supports 2G networks (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G (900/2100 MHz), 4G – LTE (FDD1 / 3/7/20, TDD 38, 40). It is possible to operate two SIM cards simultaneously on the LTE network, including VoLTE.
The body of the device is a metal frame with plastic parts on it. Other parameters include material noise reduction, fingerprint scanner, autofocus, gyroscope, magnetic compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, vibration motor. The level of protection against dust and moisture is IP43 (relatively low, related to splash resistance, but without guarantee of safe immersion under water).
The Smartecosystem as a mobile technology developer
According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Smartecosystem LLC was registered on April 16, 2019 in Moscow. Now the place of registration is Sochi. According to Vladislav Ivanov, the company is a resident of the innovative Sochi Sirius Science and Technology Center. In addition, Smartecosystem is a member of the Trusted Platform Association, which brings together market participants in Russian trust and security technologies.
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In LLC, 51% of the shares are owned by Scale, 39% by Zashchitnik LLC (the sole founder is Valery Yurievich YakovlevCEO – Alexander Yurievich Yakovev), 10% – Inna Pushkina.
At the end of 2020, the company’s revenue amounted to 214.7 million rubles. with an increase of this index by 146% compared to the previous year. Net profit was 4 million rubles. There are no government contracts of any kind, including the “Scale” contract in the “Kontur-Focus” database.
As Ivanov told CNews, the Smartecosystem was created specifically for the development of mobile devices. Specifically, after the smartphone, a tablet should appear soon. Its creation is already in progress. Initially it will be applied to a foreign chip, but then it will be adapted to “Skif”. The company intends to produce the device in Russia.