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Ohh, I didn't know that, seems they do that since 2000.
A special chip ?
I guess that means a special CPU-microcode ?
Yep, just checked on Wikipedia it says:
"The specialty processors are all identical and IBM locks out certain functions based on what the processor is characterized as" ... "reduced cost"
Seems the special chips are optional, has stuff disabled so you can only use it for Linux but at a reduced cost.