Feeds

Intel's Xeon chip kill is result of chaos in India

Server chief leaves India and Intel behind

Top three mobile application threats

Exclusive While stunning in its own right, Intel's cancellation this week of the multicore "Whitefield" processor stands as a more significant miscue that simply excising a chip from a roadmap. Whitfield's disappearance is a blow to India's growing IT endeavors.

Originally discovered by The Register, Whitefield stood as a major breakthrough for Intel and its Indian engineers. The much-ballyhooed chip would combine up to four mobile processor cores and arrive in 2007 as the very first chip designed from the ground up in India. In the end, engineering delays and a financial audit scandal killed the processor, leaving Intel to develop the "Tigerton" replacement chip here and in Israel.

El Reg has discovered that Srinivas Raman, former general manager of Intel India's enterprise products group, left the company in early August and joined semiconductor design tools maker Cadence - the home of former Intel global server chip chief Mike Fister. Raman declined to return our phone calls, but insiders confirm that he was the lead of the Whitefield project. The executive became distressed about the project when Intel's audit resulted in close to 50 of his staff being let go from the company, one source said.

Of the 50 staffers, close to 20 of them were sent to India from Portland in 2001 to work on Whitefield. The cancellation of the project has since resulted in much of the work being sent back to Portland.

Whitefield had been meant to serve as Intel's most sophisticated response to the rising multicore and performance per watt movements. The company has fallen well behind rivals IBM and Sun Microsystems on such fronts in the high-end server market and behind AMD in the more mainstream x86 chip market. The Whitefield chip was designed to give these competitors a real run for their money as it made use of Intel's strong mobile chip technology to deliver a high-performing product with relatively low power consumption.

Instead of wowing customers, Intel has disappointed them and created a painful situation for its India staff.

Local paper The Times of India commented this week on the situation.

"India's ambitions of emerging (as) a global chip design and development hub has just suffered a big knock," the paper wrote. "Intel has killed its much-hyped Whitefield chip, a multicrore Xeon processor for servers with four or more processors that drew its name from Bangalore's IT hotspot, Whitefield, and which was being developed almost wholly in this city.

"Intel had invested heavily in the project, both in infrastructure and people, drawing in some of the brightest talents. Some 600 people are said to be employed in the core hardware part of the project."

Chip staffers in India currently fear losing their jobs and morale is very low as a result of the Whitefield cancellation. Many of the staffers had only been told that Whitefield would be delayed by six to nine months. They learned of the project's end in the press.

The difficulties here show how complex global operations can be with sophisticated products. India hoped to take on more and more of Intel's design work, but such plans look iffy now to say the least.

These disruptions hurt Intel during a very difficult period for the company. It had appeared that Intel managed to correct the chip delay issues and strategy mistakes that plagued it during 2004. Instead, the company this week delayed work on both its Itanium and Xeon lines, giving AMD a chance to take even more market share from the giant.

Intel declined to comment for this story.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.