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Leading Scientist Punished over Chip Research Fraud

Shanghai Jiaotong University told Xinhua Friday that the Hanxin computer chip series are fake and the state-funded chip research is fraudulent, and a leading scientist has been punished.


The government-organized investigation said that Chen Jin was leading his team to conduct fraudulent research and development of the Hanxin chips for digital signal processing (DSP).


Chen, who formerly chaired the Micro-electronics School at Shanghai Jiaotong University, was found to be deceiving technological appraisal teams from the government, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai municipal government and relative ministries that invested public funds in his research project.


Shanghai Jiaotong University has dismissed Chen from his post as the dean and professor.


The Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Development and Reform Commission announced they would stop financing Chen's research project. Chen was ordered to give back the investment.


In December 2005, the university received a letter reporting possible fraudulence in the research project of Chen, who is also general manager of the Hanxin Sci-Tech Company. The university management began primary investigations and then asked the state authorities to investigate.


The Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and government of Shanghai organized a joint investigation team on Jan. 28, 2006.


Over the past two months, the investigation team has extensively interviewed Chen himself, whistle-blowers, research team members and other people who had access to inside information. They verified technical reports on the research, analyzed technical data and verified performance of the chips in the series from Hanxin I to Hanxin IV.


A few days ago, the investigation team notified Shanghai Jiaotong University of its technological appraisal of the Hanxin chips.


The team recognized that the Hanxin I, a simply-designed DSP chip developed by Chen, could not fulfill the functions of verifying fingerprints or playing MP3s.


The computer chip Chen displayed in Shanghai was the one the research team claimed they had worked out.


Hanxin company was mandated by another company to design the DSP soft core, which was named as Hanxin II. But the key technologies of the whole DSP are not possessed by the company.


The so-called Hanxin III was just a simple extension of Hanxin II, which could not perform well enough, the investigation team said.


Hanxin company claimed that their chips were at the high-end of world-level DSPs, but this was not proved by the investigation.


The company was also found to have made false claims that their system-on-chip (SOC), which was based on central processing units manufactured by other companies, had dual DSP cores.


On the basis of the investigation summaries, the university concluded that Chen's deeds had flaunted academic, ethical codes and the university constitution, and had brought the research community into disrepute.


The Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Development and Reform Commission have also banned Chen from conducting any further state research and development projects.


Shanghai Jiaotong University has warned its professors and researchers to be disciplined and to comply with ethical codes in scientific research.


(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2006)



'Ground-breaking Chip' Faces Investigation
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