The China Post news staff–A total of four suspects were arrested in Taoyuan recently for alleged involvement in selling engineering sample CPUs online for profit, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) announced yesterday.
The four suspects are all engineers working for Intel’s OEM manufacturers in Taiwan, the CIB said in a statement released yesterday.
The CIB received information last September that the four were selling these sample processors at online auction website ebay for huge profit.
During a recent raid to the suspects’ residents last month in Taoyuan, police authorities confiscated a total of 178 sample CPUs, which is worth around NT$2.5 million according to estimation, the statement said.
These suspects admitted that they had sold over 500 of Intel engineering sample CPUs since 2009 during initiation investigations, the CIB said.
According to the bureau, engineering samples are the beta versions of integrated circuits that are meant only to be used for compatibility qualification tests.
They are usually loaned to OEM manufacturers prior to the chips commercial release to allow product development or display.
Engineering samples are usually handed out under a non-disclosure agreement or other types of confidentiality agreement and are not for sale, the CIB said.
However, since these samples are usually sold at relatively cheaper prices than those sold on the open market, therefore, they are quite popular online.
Also, some engineering samples rare and favored for having unlocked multipliers, the CIB said.
The CIB urged customers not to buy these engineering samples CPUs. The bureau also asked engineers not to sell these processors for illegal profit or he or she could face a maximum five-year jail term.