Intel Engineers Arrested for Hawking Engineering Sample CPUs on eBay

Intel Engineers Arrested for Hawking Engineering Sample CPUs on eBay

Four Intel engineers have been arrested by Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) for allegedly selling engineering samples of Intel CPUs on eBay. Their business activities were solely for personal financial gains.

An engineering sample Intel Core i7-3960X processor. Note that such processors are labeled 'Confidential' and 'ES' by Intel.

The suspects were engineers for Intel's Taiwanese OEM manufacturers and were arrested in the city of Taoyuan. According to the statement released by CIB, the suspects had been under CIB's surveillance since September last year. They were arrested at their homes and with a total of 178 engineering sample CPUs worthy US$82,500.

The suspects admitted that they have been plying their illegal trade since 2009 and have sold more than 500 such processors. Engineering sample CPUs are often times sent out to various parties ahead of commercial releases. The recipients have to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and either return the chip or agree not to sell it after initial testing.

The CIB is urging potential buyers to steer clear of engineering sample processors and reminded parties under such NDAs to avoid running similar schemes as they could face up to five years' imprisonment. EE Times said that Intel has refused to comment on the situation.

Source: EE Times

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