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Sun 6 Nov 2005 04:00 AM

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Intel ends Whitefield chip project in India

Intel has pulled the plug on its processor development in India, following a series of problems including an embarrassing auditing scandal.

Intel has pulled the plug on its processor development in India, following a series of problems including an embarrassing auditing scandal.

The company said last month that it was ending work on the Whitefield processor, which was expected to be the first chip developed from the ground up in India.

Named after the district in Bangalore where much of the work was being done on development, the next-generation Xeon chips were seen as a major signal of India’s IT ambitions.

Intel had invested heavily in the project, with up to 600 peop- le understood to be working on the hardware side of the project alone.

However, the project appears to have suffered from repeated engineering delays that were only exacerbated by a series of dismissals earlier this year over expenses claims.

As many as 250 employees left the firm in September, following a long audit process into expenses claims, which uncovered a multitude of problems.

According to a report in the Times of India, Intel has said it is still committed to IT development in India: “We will only be ramping up in India. There are always new projects emerging that people will be deployed into,” it quoted an Intel spoke-sperson as saying.

Whitefield, which was scheduled to be available in the second half of 2007, was seen as a major engineering breakthrough when it was conceived.

Combining up to four proces- sor cores, Intel saw the chip as giving it a powerful tool in its battle for the high-end server market. The aim was to deliver a high-performance chip with relatively low power consumption.

Intel has now sw-itched attention to its Tigerton chip, which is being developed in another country.

“Intel is strengthening the Intel Xeon processor MP platform in 2007 to further accelerate leading performance for the enterprise market segment,” Intel Middle East, said in an e-mail statement.

“Intel has added a new multi-core Xeon MP platform, codenamed ‘Caneland,’ targeted for 2007. It will include the Tigerton processor and a new chipset with a dedicated high-speed interconnectivity to provide leading performance,” the statement continued.

Last month, Intel announced plans to strengthen its commitment to the Middle East IT market, including a series of development initiatives and a promise to increase headcount in the region.

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