Vinod Dham known as the Father of
is the CEO of Silicon Spice Inc.
In 1975, the Indian born Vinod Dham arrived in the
U.S. on an engineering scholarship at the University of Cincinnati, with
less than $10 in his pocket. His first job at NCR was in 1977, working for
the memory design group. Impressed with his paper on reprogrammable
memory, Intel took him on.
As the leader of Intel's Pentium team in the early 1990s he earned the sobriquet of "Father of the Pentium" Later he quit to join a start up, Nexgen.Nexgen, which was targeting the Intel-clone market, was later acquired by Advanced Micro Devices in 1995 for about $500 million. Three years later, AMD's K6 chip, based on the Nexgen technology, has become a major irritant for Intel. These two achievements alone have made Dham somewhat of a star in the clandestine world of chip design.
He then, turned his back on the PC-world and left AMD. Dham says that he originally quit Intel to work with a startup (Nexgen), and after AMD bought Nexgen he found himself working for another big company. Silicon Spice, a Mountain View, Calif. startup started in March 1997 focuses on communications chips seems to suit Vinod Dham just fine. "Silicon Spice is developing a radically new communications technology," Dham said in a statement. "I chose to join Silicon Spice due to the potential it offers in the emerging communication-centric information industry."
Vinod Dham, a man who has made a career out of microprocessors, is not interested in microprocessors, which is an integral part of personal computers. He is now interested in communications processors. With demand for communications-related chips growing at 20% per annum, Dham & Silicon Spice's three co founders want a piece of the pie. Last year alone, $16 billion worth of communications chips were sold around the world.
"The microprocessor business has become less interesting business to me," says Dham. In his opinion, the Internet is the mother of all killer applications, which could utilize most computing power if there were no bandwidth bottleneck. Anyone, who can help unclog this bottleneck, holds the key to a multibillion-dollar bounty.
"The personal computer was designed for computing, and not for communication. The microprocessor has gone beyond its use," he says. In other words, the hardware is far ahead of the current computing requirements. So is Silicon Spice competing with Intel? "No we are not competing with Intel, instead we are complementing Intel by solving the bandwidth bottleneck," says Dham.
"My heart really was to go back and run a company on my own," Dham said. "For me personally, it's very intellectually challenging to be here. You don't get a chance like this when you're inside Intel or AMD or Cyrix. The job descriptions get sliced so thin that at the end of the day, you wonder what your contribution was."
Copyright DCEAlumni.net 2000