Jun 9, 2017

Intel: Steer clear of our patents


Intel posted a long blog post yesterday touting the success and evolution of its 40-year-old x86 microprocessor — the one that powered the first IBM personal computer in 1978 and still powers the majority of PCs and laptops. But it wasn't just a stroll down memory lane. Intel ended the post with a reminder that it won't tolerate infringement on its portfolio of patents, including those surrounding x86."There have been reports that some companies may try to emulate Intel's proprietary x86 ISA without Intel's authorization…we fully expect other companies to continue to respect Intel's intellectual property rights."Between the lines: This is a shot across the bow from Intel. The company doesn't widely license its x86 technologies beyond a couple of agreements (AMD and Via Technologies), and it seems to be concerned that planned efforts to emulate its technology will inevitably infringe its intellectual property.Though not mentioned by name in Intel's post — and a spokesperson declined to name specific companies — Microsoft and Qualcomm have announced plans for a version of Windows 10 on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 that uses emulation to run older applications designed for x86-based Windows machines.Intel has in the past targeted those who emulate its x86 instruction set, most notably a well-heeled chip startup called Transmeta that aimed to take on Intel and AMD in laptops in the early 2000s.

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