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Could Intel be partnering with a local company to produce/sell CPUs in China?
A Chinese company has presented a processor whose proximity to Intel's Core i3-10105 intrigues.
While relations between the governments of the two countries are clearly not at their best, a press event held in China is causing quite a few questions. Virtually unknown in the West, PowerLeader - founded in 2019 only - is said to specialize in solutions for the data center market. However, the company is reportedly looking to diversify, as evidenced by this press event. There, PowerLeader presented a new line of processors, this time aimed at the local desktop market.
Called PowerStar, this line is mainly represented by the PowerStar P3, a model that looks like two drops of water to Intel's Core i3-10105, a 10th generation "Comet Lake" processor that the American firm launched in the first quarter of 2021. The similarities between the two processors are therefore troubling. First of all, physically, the PowerStar P3 seems to have absolutely identical dimensions, with the same integrated heatspreader ( IHS) and the same details everywhere: the copy is perfect, right down to the notches that allow insertion into the processor's support. A support that seems to be identical too, remember that the Core i3-10105 works with a LGA1200 socket. Even better, if we look closely at the IHS of the two processors, we can see that the names are very similar, with the Core i3-10105 on one side and the PowerStar P3-01105 on the other! Finally, even the internal references are in a similar format: SRH3P for Intel and SRMJR for PowerLeader.
The Chinese company does not give any technical details about its processor, but the marking on the chips allows us to notice another common point: both chips are clocked at 3.7 GHz... at this point of similarity, it can not be a coincidence. The question now is whether PowerLeader has copied everything from Intel, without any authorization, or whether, on the contrary, the two companies have signed a license agreement so that the Intel model can be copied, produced and sold in China under the PowerLeader brand. For Intel, such agreements do not seem to have taken place since the days of the 80286... more than thirty years ago!
If it mentioned its new range of chips, presented a particular processor and highlighted some machines planned to use the PowerStar P3, the Chinese brand is finally stingy with precision. There was no mention of Intel during the press event, and at no point was the processor detailed, for example, in terms of the performance it can offer. Furthermore, no release date or price was given. On the other hand, PowerLeader is very ambitious about this new program. Indeed, the company estimates to be able to produce, distribute and sell up to 1.5 million P3-01105 chips per year.