|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2015)|
Engineering samples are the beta versions of integrated circuits that are meant to be used for compatibility qualification or as demonstrators. They are usually loaned to OEM manufacturers prior to the chips commercial release to allow product development or display. Usually, they are picked out of a very large batch and perform correctly. However, rarely they may have faults that were fixed in the production model.
Engineering samples are usually handed out under a non-disclosure agreement or an other type of confidentiality agreement.
Some engineering samples, such as Pentium 4 processors were rare and favoured for having unlocked multipliers. More recently, Core 2 engineering samples have become more common and popular. Asian sellers were selling the Core 2 processors at major profit. Some engineering samples have been put through strenuous tests.
Engineering sample processors are also offered on a technical loan to some full-time employees at Intel, and are usually desktop extreme edition processors.
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