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AMD combats chip fraud in Asia

Advanced Micro Devices introduces a new measure to help consumers and resellers distinguish genuine products from imitations.

Advanced Micro Devices is stepping up its efforts to combat chip "remarking" in Asia.

Beyond taking legal action against retailers found selling remarked AMD processors in Asia, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has introduced a new measure to help consumers and resellers distinguish genuine AMD products from imitations. Remarked chips are illegally modified and repackaged to pass off as faster, more expensive processors.

Chips that are sold in Southeast Asia are now tagged with stickers bearing serial numbers and the names of AMD's authorized distributors in the respective countries as a sign of their authenticity, a company representative told CNETAsia.

"This is not a worldwide program, more of a regional program, specifically for Asian countries. We launched this program to ensure that consumers are aware that they are purchasing genuine AMD boxes," the representative added.

The move comes amid the discovery of a remarked chip market earlier this year. In February, AMD embarked of a series of raids in the Philippines.

With the new move, AMD now provides an added layer of verification on top of the bar codes currently found on its Athlon XP PC processors. Besides desktop and notebook chips, the bar code measure was also applied to Athlon MP processors for servers and workstations to "improve product traceability," the company said.

Winston Chai of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.