Avtar Saini: Professional par excellence and good human being

Avtar Saini, prominent Indian microprocessor designer and developer who is widely known for his contributions to the Pentium processor, passed away in Navi Mumbai

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Avatar Saini

Avtar Saini

Avtar Saini, former Intel chief, Indian microprocessor designer and developer, met an untimely demise leaving the industry shocked and deeply saddened. The 68 year old innovator, who was best known was best known for his pivotal contributions to the design and development of the Pentium processor during his tenure at Intel as the director for South Asia Division, tragically passed away to an accident. A car crashed into his bicycle from behind in Navi Mumbai leading to  this unfortunate development.


Vinod Dham, popularly known as the 'Father of the Pentium Chip’, mourned the demise of Avtar Saini and recollected his relationship with him: “Avtar was a dear friend, a professional par excellence and a good human being. I have had the privilege of knowing him and his family for 35 years.He was a down to earth person who had the brilliant capacity to take complex issues and distill them into simple articulation. He was my dependable right hand man during the development of the Pentium Processor.”

Dham further said to Dataquest: “He was a beloved boss to his teammates and got along with all rank and file. His contributions were invaluable. I will sorely miss him and his easy going mannerism, and positive outlook to life. It is hard to believe that he is no more - but he will always remain in my heart as a very special soul. May God rest his soul in peace and grant strength to his son , daughter and family to bear this untimely loss.”

Why Avtar Saini And His Contributions to the Industry Will Forever be Remembered


Avtar Saini played a significant role in co-leading the development of the Pentium processor and overseeing the initial phase development of Intel's 64-bit architecture, known as the Itanium Processor. In April 1982, Avtar Saini commenced his tenure at Intel as a product engineer, specializing in magnetic bubble memories. He contributed as a circuit designer for the Intel 80386 and as a micro-architect/logic designer for the 80486 throughout the 1980s.

In 1989, Saini's dedication led to his promotion as co-leader of the Pentium processor design team, where he oversaw the design process and facilitated its transition to mass production. By 1994, his remarkable achievements earned him the position of General Manager at the Santa Clara Microprocessor Division, where he spearheaded the development of Intel's groundbreaking 64-byte architecture microprocessor.

“First, the Intel architecture group that takes care of desktops on the one hand and servers on the other. These are the CPUs, chipsets, motherboards and other such products. Then the networking group that takes care of communications and networking. Next Intel’s online services, which is about data hosting and application hosting services. And there is a group called wireless and communication component. This group works on technology needed for wireless systems. In networking, we have two business groups. One is the component part of it where we provide the critical component to companies like Cisco. The other group provides solutions at the systems level like switches and cache appliances for the Internet. So there are five groups, some of which existed before the restructuring while most of them were formed after it. Intel started in 1968 and it has since been re-inventing itself every ten years. It started as a company in memory chips. Ten years into its life, it became a microprocessor company. Ten years later, it converted itself into a computer company, and now it is shaping up as a company that will provide building blocks to the Internet economy. This is how we view ourselves, every ten years we expand our focus to look at the next big growth. Traditionally, Intel as a company has been growing at 20—25%,” Saini had said to Dataquest in 1993. Saini moved on from Intel in the year 2004.