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.