Integrated Circuit with Chip Art

Description (Brief)
Integrated circuits consist of electric components such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, and metallic interconnects manufactured at a nanometer scale on a silicon chip. Chip designers are constantly seeking to pack more components into less space making the engineering requirements of chip design almost an art. In the 1970s and early 1980s design engineers began to personalize their chip designs by leaving microscopic images etched inside the chips’ functioning design. These images took a variety of forms; company logos, funny animals, comic characters, or inside jokes between the engineering team. This hidden art helped to show that chip layers were correctly aligned and could prove that a competitor had stolen a chip design. Once chip designs were covered by copyright in 1984, chip art became a way for engineers to assert their individuality into the mass production of chip manufacturing.
This 21msp50/55/56 digital signal processor chip was created by Analog Devices Incorporated around 1994. The chip contains an image of a fire-breathing Godzilla.
date made
ca 1994
maker
Analog Devices, Inc.
Physical Description
silicon (substrate material)
Measurements
overall: .025 cm x 3.1 cm x 1 cm; in x 1 7/32 in x 13/32 in
ID Number
1996.3017.32
nonaccession number
1996.3017
catalog number
1996.3017.32
Credit Line
from Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation, thru Glen R. Madland
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Computers & Business Machines
American Stories exhibit
Exhibition
American Stories
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

I designed ic's in the 70's...a drafting/engineering job. I did a "tenasity devil" on a chip (unrecognizable as layers were drafted...but seen once " grown"). I also put my initials on many chips. I have some pieces of original mylar drafted cells for proms from the 70's MMI chips and other early memorabilia. Maybe these should be in a museum? And not just taking space in my file cabinet.

Add a comment about this object