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Intel Developing New Chip Designs in India 306

An anonymous person noted that "Intel Corporation, the $39-billion largest chip maker in the world, is developing new chip designs and processors at its India development centre to roll out the next generation of notebooks and servers, says a top company official."
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Intel Developing New Chip Designs in India

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @10:02AM (#16392301)
    This seems unfortunate to me. Other than people from India, the world's top minds simply don't want to live in India. This means that the chips will be designed almost exclusively by people from India. There is no lack of intellect in India. However, a monocultural design team was fine back in the days of the 8086 when a small team or even an individual could design a microprocessor, but nowadays you need extremely large groups of people working in concert. When all of these people have the same background, you stifle innovation. Why Intel is willing to limit innovation by essentially ignoring Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia is hard to speculate, unless they really and truly believe this is a cost saving measure. It seems odd, though, to attempt to save money in R&D rather than in production and support. It seems an R&D laboratory in Switzerland, for example, would make more sense if they are hoping to attract top talent.
  • by Veetox ( 931340 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @10:04AM (#16392331)
    I wonder how much of this projected inovation is the result of a renewed effort, spurred by AMD's earlier challenges. I really hope that AMD keeps competing at the same level, otherwise, we'll see prices go right back up again, and definitely more of Intel's cheesy marketing.
  • fer'ners (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @10:12AM (#16392469)
    Weren't the latest round of Intel chips (Conroe, Woodcrest, Merom) developed by Intel's Israel development center? So why is it news that they're having their Indian branch work on some newer things? I thought that was the entire point of creating development centers in various places around the globe...
  • by El Torico ( 732160 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:29AM (#16393671)
    Wow, you really do want to go to GITMO, don't you? Proposing that "the People" reassume control of the US is a very risky position to take. Right now, most of "the People" are doing well enough to not think there is a problem.

    Actually, I agree with you. What you propose (Fair Trade vs. Free Trade) is what the European Union has done. There are very specific criteria for membership; items such as worker and environmental protections are included. Here's the wikipedia entry on the criteria - [].

    Unfortunately, the US has embraced the "Race to the Bottom" approach and we now can see the results. Globalization is a mixed blessing; on the one hand it does raise GDP for participating nations, but on the other hand, it can have serious repercussions. Of course, I'm expecting to be flamed and modded down now for attempting to be truly "fair and balanced".
  • Sign of weakness? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:31AM (#16393709) Homepage
    Anything involving chip design depends heavily not just on your patent portfolio, but on accumulating a set of minds with deep experience. Yes, you need to keep bringing in fresh genius; but you also need to retain the old, both for its continued insights and to help cultivate the new talent. So if Intel is really shipping out any of its major chip design work (as compared to testing, where the more different angles you test from the better - and which may really be all that's involved here), that's a sign that it currently values its accumulated "live capital" - its stock of engineering geniuses - low enough that it figures it might as well start over again with virgin staff elsewhere.

    Now, there can be reasons for that. The American car makers are crashing because they should have fired their engineering staffs a couple of decades ago and simply started over. But has Intel really reached a similar point?
  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:43AM (#16393895) Homepage Journal
    The unspoken side is that the MOST overpaid jobs are not the R&D, but the executives.

    Obviously as you offshore the workers, you end up offshoring the first-line managers next. At some point, it becomes sensible to offshore some second-line managers, and so on. This continues up the chain, until those left see the logical conclusion, circle the wagons, and say, "It doesn't make financial sense to offshore any higher-level jobs." Or course they mean, "financial sense for me" to offshore higher-level jobs.

    But by this time, there will be a lot of experience - some of it quite high-level, walking around the streets of India, which another post has suggested has more of a revolving door than Silicon Valley in its heyday. So how long before fully Indian semiconductor companies emerge? They won't have the Intel name, but that isn't as important outside the US and Europe, especially at a much lower price.

    Once we've offshored every aspect of technical operation, what's left? Is the corner office really that valuable, especially outside the US?
  • by MarkKnopfler ( 472229 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:59AM (#16394175)
    I would like to point out that your ideas about validation are pretty wrong. Hardware verification is not quality assurance. It is a complete and difficult part of hardware development apart from the fact that it also is a rather difficult subject in engineering. Think of traversing all simple paths in of a really really huge graph and making sure all paths work perfectly. That is just a trivial description of the problem. It also requires a deep understanding of the functionality that the RTL is out to deliver. This is not testing/validation as is thought of by us in the software world.

  • Re:Work Visa (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @01:05PM (#16395237)

    lets thank all our elected republicans for helping out the middle class families out there /end sarcasm. .|..

    Traditionally, Republicans have been protectionist. Free-trade Republicans are a new breed. There are also free-trade Democrats.

    a great example of how capitalistic free open market with lots of competition can bite us in the ass. sure its great to have competition, unfortunately one way to be competitive is to reduce your expenses(costs). overseas is cheaper then the u.s., so everything is moved overseas to help reduce costs, increase profits, and potentially be more competitive since you will have more flexibility in your prices.

    This is a good thing.

    goodbye american jobs

    Not true. Granted, if an Indian engineer can design a circuit for $15 an hour and an American won't work for less than $50, the American is going to lose his job to the Indian.

    However, free trade also creates jobs, especially in my home state of Wisconsin. With tariffs and other protections removed that make offsourcing and exporting possible, our dairy industry now sells a great deal overseas. This is especially true for the smaller farmers - they didn't have the infrastructure the corporate farms did to effectively deal with trade barriers; now, they have a market to sell to that they didn't before.

    Trade works both ways. American engineers may lose jobs in the short run, but everyone who uses a computer will benefit from cheaper microprocessor prices. European farmers may lose jobs, but the EU gets cheaper milk. Although it sure sucks to be the Engineer, the offshoring, in effect, made the rest of the world richer - if everything costs less, you can buy more than you could before, even though you don't make any more money.

    Free trade isn't as simple as "goodbye American jobs" - it's a choice between protecting a few industries or seeing a widespread reduction in the price of, well, everything.

  • Re:Work Visa (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @01:24PM (#16395621) Homepage Journal
    However, free trade also creates jobs, especially in my home state of Wisconsin. With tariffs and other protections removed that make offsourcing and exporting possible, our dairy industry now sells a great deal overseas. This is especially true for the smaller farmers - they didn't have the infrastructure the corporate farms did to effectively deal with trade barriers; now, they have a market to sell to that they didn't before.

    This seems to me to be a huge negative from a few different angles.
    1. Energy usage- is it really a good thing to be selling parishable dairy products a half a world away at all, essentially creating huge multinational corporations, where millions of local dairies served before and created a fresher product for the mere reason that it didn't have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get to you?
    2. If we're selling dairy overseas, what is happening to local dairies overseas? Are they losing their market to US Government subsidised dairy products?
    3. And what happens to those overseas dairy farmers? Do they end up coming here to compete with us for land and resources (by coming here illegally, as the Oxacan Chicano Indians did when the same thing happened in Mexico) or by committing suicide (as farmers in India are doing)?

    None of this seems very positive to me.
  • by imagin8r ( 950808 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @03:18PM (#16397969)
    BTW, India is hardly "monocultural" -- the country has 23 official languages, and numerous "unofficial" ones, each spoken by more people than live in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia and other such "different" cultures. The Indian subcontinent (including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives) has more than three times as many people who live in Europe, and if you exclude Russia, the subcontinent is larger than all of Europe. BTW, there is no reason for Europe to be called a "continent" -- it is not an independent land mass at all. There are more cultures to be found in the Indian "continent" than in all of Europe.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain