CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK?

INTEL MAY BE INSIDE MOST PCS, BUT A LAWSUIT CLAIMS THAT DIGITAL'S TECHNOLOGY IS POWERING THE PENTIUM

Behind every great fortune," Balzac wrote, "there is a crime." That's the contention of the stunning lawsuit filed last week by Digital Equipment Corp. against microchip giant Intel. The great fortune in this case comes courtesy of the Pentium microprocessing chip, which runs 85% of the earth's personal computers and helped feed Intel $6.45 billion in revenues in the first quarter of 1997 alone. The alleged crime is Intel's "willful infringement" on 10 Dig-ital patents in building the Pentium series. And the suggested punishment: damages that could run into the billions and an injunction against continued use of Digital technology.

Digital's...

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