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China has learned to clone Intel processors

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China has learned to clone Intel processors

China’s Powerstar P3-01105 processor looks strikingly similar to Intel’s Core i3-10105
(photo: IT Home)

The Chinese company Baode Group has unveiled the Powerstar P3-01105 chip, which looks like two drops of water with the Comet Lake generation (2021) Intel Core i3-10105 processor. At the same time, Baode denies all rumors that this is the same processor and that it simply copied the development of the American chipmaker.

Powerstar P3-01105 came out in early May 2023, and the developer immediately called it “triumphant”, claiming that a computer based on it can run all kinds of desktop programs. The company is positioning the chip for use in the business segment, but specifies that it is also quite suitable for the public sector.

However, experts from Tom’s Hardware proved that the Powerstar P3-01105 and Core i3-10105 have a lot in common, including the results in the GeekBench benchmark. The two chips are very similar in appearance and design.

Many began to accuse the Baode Group of simply showing off old Intel chips with new markings on the heatsink cover, and that there were actually no proprietary technologies in them.

The developers of the Powerstar P3-01105 have been silent for about a month, but now they have decided to speak up. They openly stated that this processor is not a clone of the Intel chip at all, but specified that it was developed with the direct participation of the American corporation.

Baode does not reveal exactly how such cooperation was implemented, and Intel itself does not comment on the words of its potential Chinese partner. Since 2018, the US and China have been waging a trade war that has resulted, among other things, in a ban on the supply of various American technologies to China. This also applies to the technologies used to develop and manufacture processors.

In the context of anti-Chinese sanctions, Intel will have to apply for a license to export its technology to China and wait for the authorities’ response.

If Intel really had a hand in the creation of a Chinese processor, this would not be unusual, The Register commented. And so far there have been custom versions of Intel processors, one of which might be the Powerstar P3-01105. For example, 2015 saw the release of dedicated Xeon server processors for Oracle’s cloud infrastructure.

Powerstar P3-01105 and Core i3-10105 really have exactly the same characteristics: frequency up to 4.4 GHz, four cores, eight threads, etc., but most importantly, the same 14-nm process technology. Baode isn’t saying where it will manufacture the chip, but it’s clear that the choices are pretty limited.

For example, Baode can seek help from Chinese contract chipmaker SMIC, which has mastered 14nm manufacturing in time and is independent of foreign technology.

The Core i3-10105 is from Intel’s Comet Lake series, which, like Ice Lake, is the American corporation’s 10th generation of processors. So far, Intel has managed to release three more generations of its chips, excluding the interim revisions – Tiger Lake, Alder Lake and Raptor Lake.

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