Throwback Thursday: Intel OEM Engineers Face Five Years in Jail for Selling Sample CPUs on the Sly

Seeing as today is the fourth day of the week, it’s time for a look back in the past to a memorable moment. This week we recall a day back in 2012 when the technology industry in Taiwan faced some stiff scrutiny from the law. It was revealed at that time that certain OEM engineers had been selling engineering samples of Intel processors on the sly, and making a tidy profit too. After an investigation from the Taiwan CIB, four engineers were arrested and sentenced to five years behind bars. Here is a sample of the story as reported by the media:

“The Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau swooped on the four in Taoyuan for their role in selling engineering sample CPUs online for fun and profit. Speaking to the China Post, a Bureau spokesman said the gang of four were all engineers working for Intel's OEM manufacturers in Taiwan although he did not say which ones. The Bureau had a nose around the suspects' houses last month and confiscated 178 sample CPUs, which were reportedly worth around $800,000.”

“The suspects admitted that they had sold over 500 engineering sample CPUs since 2009 during initial investigations. Each of the CPUs were beta versions of the integrated circuits that are meant only to be used for compatibility qualification tests. Intel loans them to OEM manufacturers prior to commercial releases for product development. Any samples have strict non-disclosure agreements and are not for sale, the CIB said. But the samples are sold cheap and are quite popular because sometimes they have unlocked multipliers. The engineers are facing five years of porridge.”

You can find the original newsflash that was published on January 3rd 2012 here.

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