Integrated Circuit with Chip Art

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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
Analog Devices, Inc.
Physical Description
silicon (substrate material)
overall: .025 cm x 3.1 cm x 1 cm; in x 1 7/32 in x 13/32 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation, thru Glen R. Madland
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Computers & Business Machines
American Stories exhibit
American Stories
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History