More on WARF going after Intel . The patent in suit was US 5,781,752, first
named inventor Andreas I. Moshovos; Gurindar Sohi is a named inventor.
An interesting aspect is that support for this work came from both the US government and from Intel (see below).
Of the government: This invention was made with United States government support awarded by the following agencies:
ARPA Grant No. DABT63-95-C-0127;
ONR, Grant No. N00014-93-1-0465; and
NSF, Grant Nos.: CCR-9303030 and MIP-9505853.
The first claim of the '752 patent:
In a processor capable of executing program instructions in an execution order differing from their program order, the processor further having a data speculation circuit for detecting data dependence between instructions and detecting a mis-speculation where a data consuming instruction dependent for its data on a data producing instruction of earlier program order, is in fact executed before the data producing instruction, a data speculation decision circuit comprising:
a) a predictor receiving a mis-speculation indication from the data speculation circuit to produce a prediction associated with the particular data consuming instruction and based on the mis-speculation indication; and
b) a prediction threshold detector preventing data speculation for instructions having a prediction within a predetermined range.
Within the AP article titled UW-Madison's patenting arm settles suit with Intel:
The lawsuit claimed the microarchitecture of the Intel Core family of processors infringed on a 1998 patent based on work by four researchers including Gurindar Sohi, a computer science professor. Intel had supported Sohi's research with about $90,000 in gifts in the 1990s and argued it was entitled to the intellectual property that resulted from the funding.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb rejected Intel's argument in a ruling last month and ordered the case to trial. She said the funding agreements did not specifically give Intel the right to use patents resulting from the work but any infringement by Intel was not willful because the funding agreements were ambiguous.