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AMD has once again tried to conquer fraudsters, who remark microprocessors from the Sunnyvale, California based company to sell them at higher price. From now, AMD will barcode AMD Athlon XP stickers with a special 2D matrix that should do the re-labeling a lot harder to carry out.

The Inquirer reports about a 2D barcode serialization to be added to the existing ink swatch mark of AMD Athlon XP. See reference picture below. The bar code will be Data Matrix standard 3mm x 3mm.

The same 2D barcode exists on all AMD64-series processors, as well as on the cores of virtually all AMD Athlon XP chips. The difference between the latest family and the previous family of processors is that the 64-bit CPUs have the barcode on the heat-spreader, while the K7 chips carry the 2D matrix on the core itself.

In fact, this may really help notified customers to distinguish between the Data Matrix on the label of an AMD Athlon XP chip and on the core of the same chip (see this picture for your reference).

Unfortunately, not all AMD processors based on, at least, the Thoroughbred core have this barcode on the package of the core, as I have to say after checking out this picture

The 2D barcode itself has been on AMD chips for ages: it was first printed on the K6 processors, but disappeared on the K6-2 and K6-III series just to return on the AMD Athlon Slot A cartridges as well as Socket A “Thunderbird” and “Palomino” processors; then it again disappeared on some “Thoroughbred” Athlon XP CPUs to return on “Barton” and AMD64 chips.

The whole issue with the remarked AMD K6-2, K6-III as well as Thoroughbred and Barton processors was in the fact that there was no Data Matrix on the package at all in the former case; and was no 2D code on the sticker with the marking in the latter case, allowing fraudsters to just change the marking in order to re-label the product (check our news-story titled “Attention! Remarked AMD Athlon XP Processors On the Market” for more details). But what actually holds them from learning how to create fake barcodes as well?

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