Ex-Intel Engineer Admits of Providing Design Documents to "Rival"

Former Intel Engineer Might Have Provided $1 Billion Worth Design Details to AMD

by Anton Shilov
04/08/2012 | 03:56 PM

An engineer, who used to work at Intel Corp., has reportedly admitted in providing sensitive data to the world's largest chipmakers' rival: Advanced Micro Devices. While it is not clear what kind of information has been transferred from Intel to AMD and whether it has been used, the fact itself seems to be an important one.

 

Biswamohan Pani, an ex-Intel employee, admitted to stealing “valuable computer chip manufacturing and design documents from his former employer,” according a U.S. Justice Department statement, reports Bloomberg news-agency. Apparently, Mr. Pani "started downloading from Intel computers numerous secret documents about Intel’s manufacturing and design of computer chips" to advance his career with AMD.

The engineer notified Intel of his intention to leave in late May, 2008, and noted June 11, 2008, as his last day at Intel. He started with AMD on June 2, 2008, which gave him access to Intel's data for nine days while being employed by its main rival.

Exact ramification of the data leak is unclear. It is hard to imagine that the engineer disclosed strategically important facts as they are well known already thanks to independent analysts. Intel microprocessor design details disclosure is hardly something that AMD might have used as the two companies have chosen tremendously different approaches to chip design and manufacturing. What may be very important is Intel's roadmap and technologies that the chipmaker needs to implement new features. Unfortunately, the details are scarce at the moment.

"The FBI was able to recover these documents quickly, before Pani could use them to Intel’s disadvantage, largely because Intel reported the theft quickly and assisted the investigation. AMD also cooperated with the investigation and there was no evidence its personnel asked Pani to take the data or knew he had it, " a statement by the U.S published by the news-agency reads.

The case is U.S. v. Pani, 08-cr-40034, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Worcester).