DEC SUES INTEL, ALLEGES ARCHITECTURE PATENT INFRINGEMENT

May 16, 1997

  Worcester, Mass. -- Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) has filed a lawsuit in
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, charging Intel Corp with
willful infringement of 10 Digital patents in making, using and selling
microprocessor products, including its Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium II
microprocessor families.

  Alleging that Intel's patent infringement has caused Digital economic
injury and, if not stopped, would cause irreparable harm, the company seeks
both an injunction and monetary damages, including triple damages. The
injunction sought would prohibit Intel from using Digital's patented
technology in its present and future microprocessor products.

  "Over the years, Digital has made substantial investments in developing
computing architectures and microprocessor technology," said Digital chairman
Robert B. Palmer. "It is our duty to our shareholders, customers, partners
and employees to protect our intellectual property rights and the benefits of
our industry-leading research and development efforts."

  Intel spokesman Howard High told HPCwire that the firm's attorneys were
studying the matter and had no comment at this time.

  Grant Buckler reported in Newsbytes that Palmer said in a teleconference
that his company discussed the possibility of licensing Alpha technology to
Intel in 1990 and 1991. In the course of these confidential negotiations DEC
revealed technical information about Alpha, Palmer said. However, Intel told
Digital it was not interested. The Pentium was rolled out in 1993. "I
remember being surprised by the quantum leap in performance that Intel
achieved," Palmer noted during the press conference.

  Newsbytes reported that Palmer claimed the large performance gain in the
Pentium Pro, launched in 1995, coupled with an article in The Wall Street
Journal of August 26, 1996, made him suspicious. According to Newsbytes, the
WSJ article cited Intel officials as saying the company had done little
original microprocessor research up to that time, preferring to copy from
existing technology developed by mainframe and minicomputer manufacturers.

  Palmer said he then asked Digital's legal counsel to study the technical
and legal issues involved. The company ultimately concluded that all three
existing versions of the Pentium use Alpha technology.

  Patents cited in Digital's lawsuit protect Digital's innovations in
high-performance computing architecture and micro-processor technology. The
patents relate to cache management, branch prediction and high-speed
instruction processing. The patents were issued by the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office between 1988 and 1996.

  "In developing its VAX and Alpha products, Digital significantly advanced
computer architectures and microprocessor design," Palmer said in a news
release. "Intel's unauthorized use of Digital's technology to significantly
enhance the performance of its microprocessors violates Digital's legal
rights. As a result of its infringement of our patents, Intel has
strengthened its monopoly in the X86 market and is seeking to extend its
monopoly to higher-performance microprocessors. This conduct threatens the
competitive environment essential for continued innovation and growth in the
computer industry."

  Thomas C. Siekman, Digital vice president and general counsel, said, "This
lawsuit is essential to protect the billions of dollars Digital and its
shareholders have invested in the development of leading-edge computing and
microprocessor technology."


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