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August 19, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Sales of counterfeit Intel processors onto the ‘grey market’ in Asia market are on the increase, due in part to a shortage of Pentium PII chips, according to The South China Morning Post. Hong Kong customs officials raided three warehouses this month and netted Pentium chips worth $0.3m, while a crackdown in Taiwan located more than 1,000 counterfeit PII chips. Efforts to find the pirate chips are being hampered by more sophisticated counterfeiting methods. Typically, low speed chips were re-badged with a higher speed rating sticker, an easily detectable method of passing off older and often unsuitable CPUs. However, counterfeiters are often now sandblasting the chip casing and reprinting a higher megahertz rating directly onto the case. Reports from Europe also suggest that a way has been found to duplicate the hologram security logo on a PII plastic casing and that lower rated chips are being removed from their original cases and placed into fake PII cases, making the fake chips extremely difficult to detect.

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