# Intel Patents 'Multiplying Two Numbers'

There are countless ways of multiplying two numbers such as 15 * 15.

Even if you don't live in mathematics, you just need to be the parent of a third grader to know that there are simple, complex, confusing and very efficient ways how to calculate the product of two numbers. In fact, efficiency is a big deal still today, especially in computer sciences, and it is quite fascinating to watch the work that is going on in this area.

Intel was granted today a patent that is simply headlines as "multiplying two numbers." It is based on the fast Karatsuba algorithm, which has been around for about 50 years and has been improved several times since its publication in 1962. Intel's patent addresses extremely large numbers for cryptography applications and the bottleneck of 32-bit and 64-bit processors when they are dealing with protocols that include numbers ranging from 1024 to 4096.

The patent does not reveal exact numbers on how much faster the technique could work when compared to previous approaches. However, at least partial tests mentioned in the patent suggest that just modular reduction approaches can accelerate 512 bit number operations by 27% and up to 177% for 4096 bit numbers.

Now, if you want to patent a particular circuit that uses said approach of multiplying the numbers. More power to you! You actually invented that and its yours by rights. But you need to patent the invention and not the discovery.

Just because Newton discovered gravity doesn't mean he had exclusive rights to it and could sue anyone else who decided to use gravity to in their inventions.

Now, if you want to patent a particular circuit that uses said approach of multiplying the numbers. More power to you! You actually invented that and its yours by rights. But you need to patent the invention and not the discovery.

Just because Newton discovered gravity doesn't mean he had exclusive rights to it and could sue anyone else who decided to use gravity to in their inventions.

Don't cross me or i'll divide by 0. that will destroy EVERYTHING!!!

Now, if you want to patent a particular circuit that uses said approach of multiplying the numbers. More power to you! You actually invented that and its yours by rights. But you need to patent the invention and not the discovery.

Just because Newton discovered gravity doesn't mean he had exclusive rights to it and could sue anyone else who decided to use gravity to in their inventions.

Im equally indignated. What's next, patenting ways to breathe?? Patents are private, and gradually, they're patenting freedom..

It seems clear to me that Intel has come up with a specific method of manipulating bits to come up with a result that's much quicker than previous methods.

For example, you can't patent a word processor, but if your word processor uses specific algorithms to make it perform better than someone else, then you should be allowed to patent those specific algorithms. And you should be allowed to have some form of recourse if another company somehow obtained your code and used it to improve their products. Hence getting a patent on an algortihm.

Anyway, an algorithm IS mathematic. In fact, every aritmethic/logical ecuation you use for a function IS an algorithm.

So where is that slim line where you can say "this is universal, and this what I discovered". There shouldnt be any.

Should read "...1024 to 4096 bits in length"

4096 x 4096 is only 16,777,216 and almost any calculator can do that math.

A 4096 bit number is something in the range of 1 with a thousand 0's after it. Now try multiply 2 of them together.

Using your logic no software should be allowed to be copyrighted or have a patent. No method for doing video/audio compression. No security algorithms. Not even a game, since all software, no matter what it does, can be broken down into mathematics.

And on the other side of the logic even 1+1 should be able to be patented then?

Put simple: Let's say you make cakes and start selling them. You're making them -> they're Yours. But those cakes can be "broken into" ingredients, but does that give you the right to patent the ingredients for Your cakes? No, just sell the cake, which is the sum of those parts.

You are truly clueless about software development.

If I invent a new ingredient and use it to make tastier cakes, then I should be able to patent the formula to make that ingredient. Nobody can patent a cake.

Ok, we clearly have different conceptions about it. I understand an ingredient(algorithm) as a factor, not a product. So (in my opinion) should not be patentable. The cake (program), on the other hand, is your product, so you should be able to get the patent.

I actually have a clue about SD, since thats what i've been doing for the last few years.

Point being that companies issue very broad and general patents in order to 'protect' their intellectual property but also shaft the public and the competition by doing so for years down the line. Is this the same deal? it's not a patent on multiplying two numbers, but maybe still general enough that they cover a wide range of bases?

I think it is. I'm not against their protecting they're intellectual property, which is a right, but I guess that the discussion here has more to do with The line between science and technology, and where each of us consider it to be.. Science IS universal, non-patentable; on the other hand technology is/can be private, therefore patentable. And im not 100% sure where this algorythm sits on.

generally speaking, corporations tend to be very very broad with patents and have a number of lawyers looking into the technicalities of it to stretch that patent as far as it can go, often time issuing patent after patent derived from the initial patent.

I call BS on you being in software development. Unless you call working with Visual Basic or designing web pages as SD. Nobody with a clear understanding of software would make statements such as yours. The entire software industry operates on the concept that you can really only protect the building blocks of your application (algorithms). Nobody owns a patent on a word processor or spreadsheet. Microsoft would have several patents on underlying code in Word, however.