The patent, 6,535,988 - was granted to Intel on March 18th last, and was invented by David L. Poisner at the Folsom, California site.
It claims to detect and deter overclocking of a signal for microprocessors which includes a detection circuit and a prevention circuit, which limits or reduces the performance of the processor when the circuit detects an overclocked signal.
There's a list of 30 different features implemented in the patent.
Most processors, explains the patent, can be clocked at frequencies much greater than the marked frequencies, and that could mean distributors and/or resellers remarking chips at higher frequencies and then selling them at higher prices.
"Unscrupulous resellers and/or distributors may purchase less expensive processors that are rated at lower clock frequencies and then remark those processor at higher clock frequencies, a procedure known as over-clocking".
We're sure not many resellers do this kind of thing.
Overclocking, continues the patent, may produce several problems including bit error and data corruptions, and may also affect random number generators".
Hard wiring chips is not secure, so Mr Poisner came up with this plan, which may or may not be used in the future.
Here's one of the diags from the patent. µ
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