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Intel Probing Bogus Processors

The chip maker is investigating reports of potentially counterfeit i7 920 packages in the marketplace.

Intel on Monday confirmed that it was investigating whether fake Core i7 processors have been sold in the United States.

PC enthusiast site HardOCP reported Friday that the online tech retailer Newegg sold at least one possibly counterfeit Core i7 920 chip. However, HardOCP on Monday reported that Newegg had sent an email to customers, telling them that they may have received demo versions of the Intel product, if purchased between March 1 and March 4.

Newegg was unavailable for comment in time for this writing.

Intel on Monday told InformationWeek it was aware of the "potential for counterfeit i7 920 packages in the marketplace" and was trying to determine how many and where they were sold.

"The examples we have seen are not Intel products but are counterfeits," Intel spokesman Dan Snyder said in an email.

Snyder said that Intel has seen photos of the products sold by Newegg and "everything in the package appears fake."

"Some of the photos of the processor look like it is a casting and not even a real processor of any kind," Snyder said. "Newegg has moved quickly to replace the suspect units."

Indeed, Newegg's email to customers, reprinted by HardOCP, said the retailer would either refund the purchase price or replace the product, whichever the customer preferred. Intel said anyone receiving a bogus product should get a replacement from the place of purchase. If the seller refuses, then the buyer should contact law enforcement, the company said.

Counterfeiting is a major problem in the high-tech industry, with experts saying that fakes cost the industry billions of dollars in lost sales revenue.

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