Relabeled CPUs Found in China

Remarked versions of Intel's Pentium M mobile processors are circulating in China, but the problem is not widespread, the chip maker said Tuesday.

The remarked Pentium M processors that have surfaced in China were distributed to computer makers as engineering samples and were not intended to be sold to end users, said Jennifer Liu, an Intel spokesperson in Beijing. The number of remarked chips is relatively small and the problem is not widespread, Liu said.

Remarking is a process whereby a processor is relabeled and passed off as a chip with better performance and a greater value. The problem of remarking is not new, although it has become less common in recent years as chip makers have introduced measures designed to prevent remarking.

Clamping Down on Suppliers

In response to the appearance of the remarked chips in China, Intel has sent a reminder to hardware makers to remind them that sample chips provided to them are not intended for resale, Liu said.

Liu advised end users worried about buying systems based on a remarked chip to purchase computers only from reputable dealers, such as members of Intel's Genuine Intel Dealer program. GID members are easily identifiable by certificates issued by Intel, she said, noting that these certificates are prominently displayed in authorized shops.

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