Intel Patents 'Multiplying Two Numbers'

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.  

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  • ikefu
    Patenting math seems like seems like a very bad and corrupt patent. You didn't invent the math, you just discovered it. How can you prevent other companies from multiplying numbers in one way or another. That's bad for the industry and bad for consumers

    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.
  • gcaughey
    I just hucked a lugie, where's my patent?
  • K2N hater
    I guess whoever approved it can barely do 1+1.