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U Wisconsin Alumni Cheesed Off At Intel

From the Let's-See-How-Long-This-Lasts Department: The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) at the University of Wisconsin sued Intel last Wednesday for patent infringement, claiming a technology that Intel used a technology in the Core 2 processor that UW researchers first created in 1998.

The technology is for code prediction technology, allowing instructions to be broken into separate strands for more efficient processing. In particular, it allows instructions to be processed without having to wait for data on which it is dependent.

So task B can begin processing even though it doesn't have the results of task A because the processor takes what can best be described as an educated guess to get the task of processing code started.

WARF said in a statement that it had been trying to sell the technology to Intel since as far back as 2001 but Intel wasn't interested. WARF stepped things up when it noticed Intel was heavily promoting the Core 2 and its Wide Dynamic Execution, which uses predictive technology.

Chuck Mulloy, Intel's legal spearcatcher, tells me Intel has been served with the complaint and is evaluating the complaint, and that Intel has been in communication with WARF on this matter "for more than a year."

Intel's defense, one analyst tells me, can be that the patent is invalid because of prior art, the patent is invalid because it���s obvious, and the claims in the patent are overly broad. And if that fails, then Intel will threaten to terminate any and all research grants with U of Wisc. That will likely work.

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