Whitefield: farmland, ashram, Intel microchip

Om Malik and The Register reveal that Intel’s new Xeon microprocessor has Whitefield inside. Whitefield is a high-tech industrial suburb on the outskirts of Bangalore (vice versa, according to others).

In a larger context, the success of Intel’s India crew highlights some fears workers here have had about sending jobs overseas. Processor design work does not fit in the call center/low-level programming category that tends to dominate US companies offshoring plans. These are highly skilled workers going head-to-head against their US counterparts. [The Register]

On the contrary this development should worry those who are not already in Bangalore.

Bangalore’s first major success in the global semiconductor game came in 1999, when Broadcom acquired Bangalore-based Armedia for $67million. However given Bangalore’s apalling energy infrastructure, it has been able to nurture ‘fabless’ IC design firms; and unless there is a radical improvement in the power situation Bangalore’s growth will hit a glass ceiling. Nevertheless, both the Intel Xeon and Armedia stories create a compelling case for Bangalore as a node in the global semiconductor supply chain.

Aside: Whitefield was established as an agricultural settlement when the erstwhile Maharaja, Chamaraja Wodeyar gave away 3900 acres of land to the Anglo-Indian community. Ronnie, the Bangalorewalla has recounts its early history, with photographs too. It later became the site of a Sai Baba ashram before its current avatar as part of Bangalore’s high-tech corridor.