Father of the Pentium Chip
Vinod Dham is one of the famous Indians to leave a global impression through his great deeds. He is an inventor, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. His works in chip designing and several other semi-conductor fields have created a revolution in Information Technology. Thus, he is known as the Father of the Pentium chip for his contribution to the development of highly successful Pentium processors from Intel. He sits on the boards of many companies including promising start ups funded through his India based fund – Indo-US Venture Partners, where he is the founding Managing Director.
Vinod Dham’s accomplishment as the “Father of the Pentium Chip” and as an Indian-American technology pioneer from Silicon Valley has been celebrated at a first-ever exhibition on South-East Asians in the National Museum of Natural History at the storied Smithsonian in Washington DC, highlighting Indian-Americans who have helped shape America. He was born in India and left for the US in 1975 with just $8 in his hand. He went to United States and obtained his masters degree in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. After completing his masters degree in 1977, Dham worked with NCR Corporation at Dayton, Ohio, where he carried out cutting-edge research in developing advanced non-volatile memories. Vinod was fortunate enough to join Intel and there he led the development of the world-famous Pentium processor and was christened as the “Father of the Pentium Chip.” At present, Dham is the managing director and founder of Indo-US Venture Partners.
Vinod Dham is married to Sadhana Dham. The couple is blessed with two sons. Sadhana has been actively participating in various social activities with her husband. They have been donating towards many noble causes in the US and India. For the past ten years, Dham has been serving as a trustee of the American India Foundation. He is actively involved with Teach AIDS, a foundation where a team of researchers from various fields like education, public health, communications and medicine have been working together for spreading awareness on AIDS. He has also devoted ample time to promote HIV-AIDS prevention measures. Vinod and Sadhana have been supporters of Home of Hope – a charity with a mission to provide basic necessities of life to underprivileged and orphan children in India.
Vinod Dham left Intel in 1995 and joined a start-up, NexGen. He could have chosen a safe course and stayed at Intel for the rest of his career. But playing it safe has never been his style. According to him, Intel could have been a comfortable place. The design team at NexGen was very good but the company did not have a chip that was compatible with Pentium. Dham, with his wide-ranging Intel experience, turned around NexGen’s fortunes. And in April 1998, he joined Silicon Spice as its president and CEO.
Dham was named one of the top 25 executives in the US computer industry in 1993. In 1999, he was named one of the top 100 most influential Asian Americans of the decade. In 2000, he was appointed to serve on the President’s advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders by US President Bill Clinton. Vinod has bagged many awards including the NRI Achievement Award at the NRI Global Summit in 2009. He was also profiled at the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in 2007.