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Intel Patents Anti-Overclocking Technology

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the as-fast-as-we-say-it-is dept.

Intel 593

VCAGuy writes "It appears that Intel has pantented a crystal-locking technology to lock processors to the processor's clock speed. The Inquirer has a story about it, and you can read the patent description from the USPTO. Let's hope AMD doesn't try to copy this..."

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No (1)

electro_mike (658829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592595)

I got my system overclocked by 500Mhz now. I think this will deffenetly make me switch to AMD!!

Re:No (-1, Offtopic)

electro_mike (658829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592663)

Wow, Two first posts on slashdot in one day. Can you tell I am having a _VERY_ slow day at work?

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592702)

Or maybe it's because you are so FAST with your overclocked processor!

Sad news... Saddam Hussein dead at 65 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592685)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Dictator/Supreme Leader Saddam Hussein was found dead in his Baghdad home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

It will be cracked (2, Insightful)

PyrotekNX (548525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592597)

everything released as of yet has been cracked

Wrong? (3, Insightful)

spanky1 (635767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592642)

While AMD processors might "crack" when you install the heat sink incorrectly, who has cracked the Intel multiplier lock introduced so long ago? Nobody.

Re:It will be cracked (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592655)

How many people will be willing to mess around with their hardware and possibly solder. Not many i can tell you!

Re:It will be cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592696)

"How many people will be willing to mess around with their hardware" ...?

"Kathleen Fent"

Re:It will be cracked (2, Interesting)

restauff (168301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592692)

The question is, will the process of disabling the anti-overlocking measures be considered a violation of the DMCA (breaking encryption, or some loophole thereof). Well, like everyone else is saying, as long as AMD doesn't follow the same path, we have nothing to worry about.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592599)

This will stop AMD from making anti-OC chips, which means I can continue to OC them!

YES! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592600)


First Beaterz Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592602)

Voted the official slashdot car [] by CmdrTaco and his butt-buddy goatse, this car makes a bold statement by presenting true american luxury in a world filled with rice-rockets.

Pre-order yours today [mailto] and goatse will install an 8-track player with genuine, single-dashboard-speaker mono sound. He will also enlarge your exhaust pipe [] to unearthly proportions at no additional cost.

1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592603)

Is it?

curses...foiled again! (5, Funny)

Papyrus (226791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592604)

I knew I should have patented my anti-anti-oveclocking technology some years ago...

yay, overclocking locks... (2, Insightful)

digipak (647427) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592608)

Just another way to ruin the life of the geek. Go Intel, make your chips even less appealing. /me pokes his Athlon XP

Re:yay, overclocking locks... (5, Interesting)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592691)

do you think they care what you think? You aren't their market. The corporate world, where they are definately king, is who they care about.

If a 19 year old raver goes in to a mercedes dealership and buys a car, they don't turn him down. That doesn't mean they'll start marketting towards 19 year old ravers, though. Its about who they can sell the most to, at the higher price.

And I tell you, AMD has always had a heat issue, and still does. Heat will more and more be a really big deal with smaller and smaller things, too. I buy AMD when I feel generous, just to help the underdog. But of all the systems I have, the intel systems are FAR more stable.

Re:yay, overclocking locks... (2, Interesting)

ShadowDrake (588020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592777)

But you don't actively push away people when there is no tangible benefit for others to remove the feature. The only benefit I could see would be to avert remarking, but frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if other approaches were tried (i.e. cracked BIOSes that overstate clock speed)

AMD has the right idea-- allow overclocking, but make it tamper-evident (crossed L1 bridges)

Re:yay, overclocking locks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592710)

make sure you use a condom.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592613)


suck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592615)

So lemme get this straight... apple's looking at going to intel, and intel's going to be deploying anti-overclocking tech in their chips... this sucks! The only reason I'd like to run the MacOS on intel hardware is so I can overclock the shit out of it. *sigh*

Re:suck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592741)

You are stupid.

They aren't switching to Intel.

only a matter of time (2, Insightful)

petronivs (633683) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592616)

It's only a matter of time before the overclockers find a way around this. Intel will likely have some kind of undocumented override in place to make it easier, even.

Just like multiplier locking? (1)

spanky1 (635767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592728)

Oh wait, there's no way around that on Intel procs.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592618)

Why the hell would you take the time and bother to do this?

Re:Why? (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592630)

To prevent people from burning out processors and claiming warranty.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592699)

Amen to that. I bet they have lost *billions* on "bad" chips that were simply pushed too far. I think they should cause the chip to burn up with a big "O" on the surface so they can ID when a chip has been damaged due to overclocking.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

sethaw (598206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592730)

Why the hell would you take the time and bother to do this?

Intel does this mainly because in the past there have been retailers sell a slower chip that has been overclocked as a faster chip. This gives some consumers a lower quality chip than they paid for. It can give alot of bad PR for the company if when someone's processor has problems (which may not be very obvious). A few problems can cause alot of people to be skeptical about buying intel or not (whether or not their fears are justified). The solution is just lock everything into the speed that they are actually advertising. Like it or not, overclocker's are a very small portion of their market and so they can allow a small portion of people to be angry while most of their customers are happy.

My processor is my processor... (2, Interesting)

st0rmcold (614019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592619)

This reminds me alot like a form of DRM, you buy the chip, but Intel tells you what you can and can't do with it, which type of motherboard you're allowed to use it in maybe? Who the hell knows anymore...

ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592621)

well, AMD probably wants my business anyway

Re:ha ha (1)

duck_oil (645053) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592657)

And they will get my business when/if I ever buy a PC. I'd think Intel would love for people to OC their chips to the point of destruction and then buy another one.

Donald Rumsfeld, Between Press Briefings (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592622)

I cant wait (2, Funny)

FireChipmunk (447917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592623)

I can't wait until tom's hardware has a howto on overclocking your Pentium 5 by opening up the chip and changing out the overclocking prevention crystal.

Typos as bad as me! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592625)

"It appears that has pantented a crystal-locking technology " Hmmm who?

Good thing it had the intel banner..

And i thought i was the only one that doesnt proofread :)

AMD (1)

h4x0r-3l337 (219532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592626)

Let's hope AMD doesn't try to copy this...

If anything, AMD should use this as a marketing ploy: "Want to overclock? Use AMD!".

I give it two days.... (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592627)

After the chip containing this protection is released and these guys [] manage to get 'round it.

Re: A challenge (1)

JaxGator75 (650577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592778)

I don't know if they'll alienate their customer-base or sell more chips than ever as THG, anandtech and everybody else experiment and eventually post the hack!

What will it be this time? #2 pencil and black sharpie have been done... Isopropyl Alcohol??? White Out! No... I bet it's something abstract like Silly Putty... ;)

Oh well, I've been AMD since the K5 was the cheaper Intel alternative... Vote with your wallets!

How Long... (1)

0biJon (593687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592628)

Before somebody cracks this?

i can't drive 55 (3, Interesting)

aberant (631526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592629)

i stopped trying to over clock my processor when i blew up a perfectly fine Pentium II 233 when i tried to get it to run at 266.. it worked for a month and then never worked again.. *sniffle* So now unless i have a spare processor lying around i don't risk it.

Hard to in a Model-T.... (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592711)

What you probably didn't know was it was a pentium 133 that was already overclocked by Intel and sold to you :) I've never had much luck with OC'ing intel stuff either, though I've some buddies that swear by it, I prefer AMD's.

AMD (1)

radon28 (593565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592631)

"Let's hope AMD doesn't try to copy this..."

They can't. Intel patented it.

Re:AMD (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592673)

Technically, they still can. Now legally they can't.

Anyway, why would thay do such a stupid thing ?

Re:AMD (2, Insightful)

jimm (5532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592677)

Yes they can if they license the patent.

HAhAhA! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592734)

They wouldn't-

Not only does not having anti-overclocking buy them street credibility with the geeks, overclocking kills a lot of processors out there, thus necessitating a re-purchase.

So instead of a single-sale to one person for 3-4 years, AMD can sell 5 chips to the same schmuck in under a year!

Re:AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592742)

Whatever the "mp3 consortium" thinks, you still patent a particular implementation, not concepts.

Sooooo... (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592762)

It's official, " Intel owns the patent on stupidity "?

Bad idea? (1)

danimrich (584138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592634)

I hope this processor will not sell well, as a lot of companies cater to overclockers.

AMD Won't... (5, Insightful)

C0LDFusion (541865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592635)'s not in their best interests. The people that they get much of their profits from are overclocking enthusiasts, or at least people who consider the ability to overclock to be a plus. AMD most likely won't follow Intel in this, just like it most likely won't hold back 64-bit.

It's just another reminder that AMD+Linux=Good!

Re:AMD Won't... (4, Insightful)

bartman (9863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592794)

The funny thing is, that if AMD even wanted to stop people from overclocking using this patented technology, they would have to pay royalties to Intel. So as a result AMD will probably not follow that route and the consummer wins!

AMD+Linux=Good in deed.

so? (5, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592637)

I am *totally* with the anti-pantent bloat movement. But...what's the complaint on this one? That the technology is being used, or that its being patented? If its that its being used...wah. If its that its being patented - can someone explain why it isn't a valid patent?

Sure, crystals have been used to lock frequencies forever...but processes are what are generally patented, and the process of locking a processor speed with a crystal (versus locking a signal frequency, or whatever) it not new? Can someone explain prior art? Or is this just a case of complaining about any old patent that gets approved at all?

Re:so? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592719)

It's that it's being used.
You're paying extra for a device which lets you do less Waah!
You're not allowed to do something you want to with something you bought Waah!
You can't improve on a product you legally purchased anymore, driving prices up even more Waah!

I tend to think (2, Interesting)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592644)

this will fall by the wayside, but what logic prompts this kind of thing ??? EVERYONE already knows if you mess with the multiplier and OC hardware you ash the warranty on the spot. Does Intel feel the need to do this for legal protection or is it a precursor to somthing darker... ****sinister chuckle****

AMD has been my CPU of choice for quite sometime, I just really hope they keep up the good work.

Re:I tend to think (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592682)

How do they know that you overclocked it when you send it in for warranty replacement?

Is there a thing that burns out the moment it goes above its rated speed?

Re:I tend to think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592764)

no, so what ends up happening is all the OC dumbasses burn out their processor and then send them to Intel to get a new one. But it's okay because you are giving it to the Man. Download pirated software, because the Man shouldn't be charging you. Burn those MP3s, how dare they charge for music.

That's silly (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592645)

Honestly, anyone that overclocks their CPU is someone who buys CPU's individually and not bundled in a computer. Doesn't intel make more of a profit selling individual CPUs? Especially from geeks that are constantly upgrading and overclocking?

Overclocking = good for CPU makers (2, Interesting)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592780)

Exactly. The way I see it, CPU manufacturers should want people to try to overclock their processors! Overclocking means the CPU runs more risk of failing, which means another CPU will be bought to replace it. Overclocking is all at the end-users' risk anyhow! Just because a person can overclock a CPU doesn't mean he's not going to go out and get the next fastest processor when it comes out and overclock that.

The only good thing Intel could announce about this technology is that they're trying to protect the consumers from frying their CPU's while doing something they may not have the expertise to do.

Re:That's silly (4, Interesting)

blakestah (91866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592800)

Well, there are a few issues.

1). Resellers that act with very limited warranty that sell overclocked machines. The machine fails, Intel's reputation suffers. Intel wants to prevent this.

2). People who overclock and then send in the CPU for a replacement for free.

Presumably, Intel will still sell CPUs without this protection on a no-warranty basis so people can overclock if they like, and Intel loses neither money nor reputation.

validity (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592646)

that doesn't look like a valid patent to me. AMD could still implement a similar system using a slightly different technique and should be ok. Besides surely there MUST be prior-art on this shit! :^)

What's the point? (1)

wikkiewikkie (596205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592648)

I don't understand how preventing overclocking helps Intel. Aren't most of their sales to OEM's who wouldn't think about overclocking processors? How does this affect their bottom line? Anyone?

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

spanky1 (635767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592698)

Instead of someone buying a 2.4GHz processor, for example, they'll get a 1.8 and overclock it to 2.4 (or whatever the exact numbers are). Basically Intel is wanting to ensure people buy the more expensive processor instead of overclocking a cheaper one. But what percentage of people actually overclock? 0.1%?

underclockers left out (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592649)

I really really want to underclock my cpus to hardware emulate old machines.

now if i can get a p4 down to 8mhz and in 286 mode

Re:underclockers left out (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592792)

... how about underclocking to keep them cool?

Who cares. (1)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592652)

All this means is Intel can add a silly patent to their arsenal, while AMD continues to gain more and more support from the overclocking community. Heck, if Intel really does lock out overclockers, AMD may own the overclocking community...


Re:Who cares. (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592776)

woot! and such a HUGE market share the "overclocking community" is, too!

Here in the real world though, every time something new comes out every director, assistant director, and upper end manager here immediately gets 2 of them purchased by the company (one for home, one for work) and their old one goes to someone down the totem pole. You'd think the economy would have stopped that, too...

again, you're not who they care about. Intel will gladly give up the "overclocking community."

Overclocking = $$ for Intel?? (1)

jeffersonebell (248978) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592653)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't overclocking good for Intel? When you burn out your chip and then have to buy a new one, isn't that more money for them? What am I missing here?

Re:Overclocking = $$ for Intel?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592804)

You're missing the part where all the overclocking numbnuts send their processors back to Intel and claim that "it just stopped working". Because the retail box (i.e. warranteed) chips OC better, Intel is forced to replace the chips.

moron va lairIE's patentdead PostBlock(tm) device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592656)

it just doesn't work.

Point of a Patent? (1)

halo8 (445515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592659)

Ummm... ??

Isnt the Point of a Patent.. is so other companies DONT/CANT copy it?

A good side to this (1)

spanky1 (635767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592662)

Now companies and other unscrupulous individuals won't sell overclocked systems at a higher price to people who don't know any better.

A.K.A. "Suicide" (3, Insightful)

Michael_Burton (608237) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592667)

Patenting the technology isn't the same as bringing it to the marketplace, and maybe it's intended for some other purpose, like guaranteeing the reference frequency for some time-sensitive circuitry or radio-transmitter chips or something like that.

But if they're trying to tie the hands of hardware hackers, then Intel is shooting themselves in the foot, and AMD has just got a big win on a forfeit.

My new patent... (1)

ites (600337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592670)

Describes a business model for creating money by (1) registering obfusticated patents (herein described as the "STEP 1"), (2) consolidating opportunity horizons for collateral interest parties (described herein as "???"), and (3) collecting scalable revenues from the aforesaid collateral interest parties (described herein as "STEP 1 - PROFIT!").
Once this patent is registered, any attempt to register a new spurious patent will be impossible.

If the patent is anything like Amazon's (1)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592674)

then the patent is the resulting process of overheating damaging the crystals and transistors.

New Patent (4, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592675)

I'm heading to my local patent office to patent my right to not buy Intel processors.

overclock AMD?? (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592678)

Jeesh - I have a hard enough time keeping my regular 2.1G Athlon XP cool enough, let alone overclocking it.

I used to overclock all of my older Intel chips. Overclocked a P90 to a 100, a PP180 to a 200, and am currently running a PII266 at 300. Nothing crazy, but they are stable.

Every since I got a dual PIII system, I never was interested in overclocking anymore.
It was only ever just to say that I did it instead of any crazy performance increases.

I'm curious how Intel will work it out - I thought the overclocking was a result of them making N number of processors, and then testing them - they were all slotted to be X speed, but the ones that couldn't run at that speed were then designated to be a slower speed (largely based on what demand was highest for in the market at the time). The slower chips could then be overclocked closer to their original intended speed - but would grow unstable (which is why they failed the orginal test in the first place).
If they are going to actually have a physical limit on the chip, then that means it will be produced and either work, or not work (and presumably be tossed out).
That seems like a money losing proposition over the older method of work, or... work slower.

What this prevents (1)

Ashran (107876) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592681)

I might be mistaken but it seems like its locked on to the FSB or PCI clock.
That would not prevent people from hacking the multiplier but from upping their FSB.

Overclocking is bad anyways. Destroys your CPU, fries your RAM and makes Baby Jesus Cry.

Sometimes patents arent that bad -> hopefully AMD wont copy this *g*

Not only overclocking... (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592684)

They didn't just restrict overclocking, but underclocking as well.

There are some very good reasons to underclocking processors, especially since they can be run a lot cooler than the equivalent chip rated for that clock speed, this allows passive instead of active cooling, or smaller cases.

I can see what's coming up next, like Lexmark, they implemented a way of controlling the access to the microcode on the chip, so bypassing the "overclock detector" will shortly become a DMCA violation.

Its my processor, Intel (1)

guacamolefoo (577448) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592686)

Intel and AMD are options that I considered on the last several machines that I have bought or built for my businesses. If Intel gets around to implementing technology to limit what I can do with the processors I might buy from them, the chances that the Intel option will win when I make purchasing decisions will gradually approach nil.

There is a difference between patenting and implementing technology. Perhaps Intel will do only the former and skip the latter. Somehow, I am not convinced that will be the case.

Throw in the apparent decision on Intel to wait on 64 bit processors, and I am starting to wonder whether Intel really wants my business.


Just another reason (1)

burninginside (631942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592689)

for me to stay with AMD...chip is just as good (if not better) for less money....

Not cheaper, not better (1)

spanky1 (635767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592755)

AMD's fastest processor is more expensive than an Intel 3.06GHz HT processor and it doesn't perform as well in most tests.

It's been -217 seconds since you last successfully posted a comment

The Crack?? (2, Interesting)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592704)

According to the block diagram, they compare the (divided down) system clock with a 32.768KHz reference crystal. I'm thinking they can't put the ref crystal on the CPU die, and if it's external it can be replaced with a slightly (or grossly) faster one.

I dont get it (1)

SeXy_Red (550409) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592712)

Why is Intel so concerned about overclocking anyways? I would think that it would be better for them to set the clock on the proccessor to its full potential in the factory so the user doesnt need to when they get it. I don't see how Intel thinks there losing money because of users overclocking there proccessors, because most users would spend relatively the same amount of money of a proccessor whether or not they can overclock it. I bet that if Intel took all the resourses that they put into Anti-Overclocking and put them into making better cooling methods for overclocked proccessors and then marketing that to the consumers they would make ALOT more money than they every will from restricting the user. People would be more likely to buy a Intel water cooling system for there Intel Proccessor just because of the name. Anyways that is just MHO, as always I may be 96.5% wrong.

Sounds OK to me (1)

What is a number (652374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592714)

So Intel doesn't want you to overclock their processors, and they've even gone to the trouble of devising a method to make it hard/impossible. Furthermore, they've patented the method. So...

- AMD can't use the (exact) same method (unless they licence it).
- therefore we'll all keep overclocking AMDs

- Although they are trying to make it so you can't overclock your own hardware, they are not (yet?) attempting to use the DMCA to prevent you from breaking their methods (if possible) and overclocking anyhow...

- where's the "Your Rights Online" part?

I type this every time.

The reason for overclocking prevention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592717)

The reason isn't that Intel doesn't want you buying a cheap chip and clocking it up, or cranking their latest and greatest past what it was supposed to do.

What Intel is trying to stop is third-rate PC manufacturers from overclocking a P4/2.53 to 3.04 and _selling it as a 3 GHz computer_ to unsuspecting consumers.

This is and has been a problem for a long time. Overclocked chips fail more often. People who overclock chips themselves know and accept this. But to Joe Blow, his "3 GHz" chip that just fried itself is "unreliable Intel crap!".

That's what they want to stop - damage to their reputation from unscrupulous vendors selling stealth-overclocked chips.

wtf is "pantented" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592720)

Why is it impossible for Slashot "editors" (ahem) to use spell check?? I can understand when it was run out of Taco's basement, but isn't this supposed to be a "real" site now?

Not much need to worry about this YET (1)

Bvardi (620485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592735)

First of all - patenting doesn't mean it will be put into production. Second of all, it would be truly insane for intel to put this into consumer based CPU's - it would just annoy people without really having a great effect on the bottom line.

When you think about it overclockers are a small segment of the personal PC market (since it requires more than average PC knowledge and usually at least some special hardware to accomplish any meaningful amount of overclocking) Those who overclock regularly usually don't do it so much for the increase in CPU speed so much as for the bragging rights.

This being said, it MIGHT be a worry later on down the line if intel does do the dumb route of completely disallowing overclocking - after all any large corporation has to do their really dumb thing at least once every 5 years or so - but even then it will affect only a small segment of the PC market, and you just know someone will find a workaround for it for the hardcore overclockers within a few days anyways.

Well, it works. (5, Interesting)

DarkMan (32280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592738)

It's a fairly simple system. You stick an oscillator of known frequency (32.768 kHz in this case) on the chip, and then use that to count the inputed clock rate.

If you count too many clock pules to each refference pulse, then you can modify behaviour on the basis of that. I's interesting to note that the patent talks about CPU's going as fast as 500 MHz, and talks about 1995 as recent. So all the talk about dodgy resellers was probably topical way back when it was written, when, if I recall, there were a few resellers overclocking chips on the quiet. I think that this is a patent whose time has come and gone.

More worrying, it talks about under-clocking detection, as if it's a symptom of faulty hardware. Well, my recent brush with a failed fan ment I underclocked my CPU, to alow it to function without overheating - I sincearly hope that Intel doesn't intend to prevent that. useful is it? (1)

writertype (541679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592748)

Since the discussion will probably wander this way anyway, I thought I'd broach the subject...

Personally, I can't see where there's too much need for overclocking a CPU any more. Specifically, I think that the other components within a PC (memory, FSB, graphics CPU speed, graphics memory interface) have become as much or more important to overall PC performance as the CPU.

Now I understand the desire to overclock (wanting to save money, the engineering challenge of it all, trying to eke out more performance, pure geekiness) but it just doesn't seem to make sense. Why spend the money on a watercooling system when the next processor step up costs about the same amount of money?

(And yes, I have overclocked before... ;) )

Personally, I'd rather undeclock my PC in most cases where I don't need 3 GHz for office apps. In the case where I'm running a 3D game, I'd rather someone come up with a way to add more texturing units to my graphics card than punch up my CPU with a few clock cycles.

Kep in mind that Nvidia's design arguments in creating GPUs were to relegate functions like physics and AI to the CPU, while reserving graphics-related functions for itself. And how many apps (games) have you seen recently where you can say, "Damn, that was some good AI?".

After all, it's for your own good! (1)

mr.nicholas (219881) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592751)

"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".

So therefore we aren't restricting what our customers can do with their property but are PROTECTING them from those damn unscrupulous resellers!

Bah. Also

Overclocking, continues the patent, may produce several problems including bit error and data corruptions, and may also affect random number generators".

Yeah, but wouldn't it affect them for the better?

problems with distributors ? (0)

smeenz (652345) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592752)

"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".

The article claims that they're doing this to prevent unscrupulous resellers etc from claiming a chip is faster than what intel claim. This would only work if you're buying a complete system (or at least a preinstalled chip and motherboard), and that you never look at your chip, or know what to check in the BIOS or motherboard jumpers.

I really wonder how common this sort of thing is. Certainly the biggest occurance of overclocked chips would be the geek end-user that wants to push the last little bit of performance out of their chip, and they know what they're doing and expect instability if they push it too far.

It seems to me that intel are in fact targetting that group of people, and trying to make them purchase faster-tested 'boxed' chips so that intel can make more money off them.

The reality is that if Intel did produce chips with a clock verification circuit, then the gamers / overclockers would just move to AMD (and hope that they never do the same thing).

GOOD for AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592754)

This is a GOOD thing for AMD overclockers, since if AMD uses such technology, they would have to license it from Intel. Hopefully this fact will reduce the liklihood that AMD would consider using it.

Of course not (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592759)

"Let's hope AMD doesn't try to copy this..."

Well, of course they can't. It's patented.

why not just make Overclocking apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592760)

i understand why intel doesnt want people to do it, more specifically OEMS
that remark cpus, they dont care about me clocking the chip up, they care abotu the bad name they get by oems screwing customers.

they should just make a bios flash screen that says
"WARNING this is overclocked blah blah blah, call us and report it if you didnt do it"

Copy? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592765)

Or license?

This is a GOOD PATENT!!! (4, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592771)

OK, let's just get something out of the way. This is a good patent. It patents a specific method of achieving a technological end. It is directed, nonobvious, and something which would hurt their VALID intellectual property ownings to have given away to their competitors.

This is exactly the point of the patent office--to protect innovative technology. Intel has nothing to be ashamed of for patenting this, dammit.

Now if you don't LIKE the technology they've patented, then don't BUY it! If they put this on future CPUs, don't support them if you don't want. But DON'T WHINGE ABOUT THE PATENT BEING JUNK! It's not.

I like overclocking (1)

sevensharpnine (231974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592786)

Why don't they sell chips without these stupid measures? I rather enjoy overclocking machines (despite the risk) and I would happily buy a retail CPU that lacked this technology, including the FSB multiplier lock. Years ago when they began implementing the multiplier lock I honestly felt that, given time and the ever growing market for cooling gear, they would market an overclockable chip.

Look at the motherboard industry as an example; there was a period a few years ago where Abit was considered the number one board for serious CPU enthusiasts, since their boards contained many features that allowed easy overclocking--thermal probes, small bus speed increments, and so on. While overclockers certainly aren't anywhere near the majority of computer users, I think that they're a significant enough part of the market to warrant "unlocked" CPUs. It certainly helped motherboard manufacturers.

Am I completely wrong here? This news item certainly points me in that direction. Yes, we hate remarking chips. Yes, the patent is probably questionable. But how about moving in the other direction? Either Intel or AMD, damnit, I just want an old-fashioned unlocked CPU/keychain.

New marketing slogan (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592787)

Intel Crystal-Lock Chips

Betcha can't overheat just one.

Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5592789)

Once you run your processor over-spec, you throw reliability, accuracy, and longevity out the door. Not to mention, you end up purchasing a louder fan to cool the processor. Instead of getting that helicopter fan, you could have bought an even faster processor.

YRO? (1)

rootlocus (82271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592791)

Why is this article posted under "your rights online?"

what did they patent again? (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592795)

It looks [] like a pulse counter. How did they get a patent on an application for a widely known and used device?

what's that sound? (1)

EZmagz (538905) | more than 11 years ago | (#5592797)


Oh yeah, that's the sound of burning bridges.

From the article: It claims to detect and deter overclocking of a signal for microprocessors which includes a detection circuit and a prevention circuit,

I mean, come on Intel...was this REALLY necessary?

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