Chip Fun III

"... a historical and operational perspective on how these photographs are captured: laboratory engineers and technicians capture these images on a catch-as-catch-can basis... many of these photographs are years old and cannot be [easily] identified... the images were simply posted on a board and then [staff] went about the business at hand ..."
Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation

These chip art images were made visible through lapping techniques, magnification and Polaroid capturing. Typically chips have a unique "signature" which we have come to recognize and expect to be logic, memory, gates, etc. However, these signatures are the designer's, the engineer's and in some cases a company logo.

They have left their mark in and for history. The chip collection is complemented with imagination which takes no space on a shelf, requires no conservation and cannot typically be exhibited.

NMAH Chip Art ca. 1989 Made in USA-Old Glory-AMD AM29C660 Logic
ca. 1989 "Made in USA " OLD GLORY
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
AM29C660 Logic
NMAH Chip Art perhaps Noon or 12 O'Clock High
"NOON" or "12 O'Clock High"
NMAH Chip Art ca. 1980 FTC Flying Goose-NCR chips (the goose is Canadian and FTC stands for Ft. Collins, CO.)
ca. 1980 "FTC Flying Goose"
NCR chips
(a Canada goose, and
FTC stands for Ft. Collins, CO.)
NMAH Chip Art perhaps a playful Porpoise
NMAH Chip Art ca. 1992 Longhorn-AMD 386 Microprocessor
ca. 1992 "Longhorn"
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
clone of Intel's 386 Microprocessor
NMAH Chip Art perhaps a Ninja Turtle
"Ninja Turtle"

an icon of Japanese culture: giant monster Gamera, which was Daei studio's answer to Toho's Godzilla

Courtesy: Sanjuro Tsubaki 1.10.2011

NMAH Chip Art ca. 1995 Tasmanian Devil-Analog Devices 2105 DSP
ca. 1995 "Tasmanian Devil"
Analog Devices
2105 Digital Signal Processor
NMAH Chip Art Leopard
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In 1996 after discovering the chip art within the Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection presented on our Chip Site we began searching our accumulated collection of exposed chips while collaborating with Michael W. Davidson, Ph.D. - Florida State University's Optical Microscopy at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory .

Several Smithsonian collected chips have been identified and professionally photographed by Dr. Davidson and his students over the years. This collaboration is an ongoing collection of high resolution photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) featuring many of the interesting silicon creatures and other doodling scribbled onto integrated circuits by engineers when they were designing computer chip masks.

The majority of chip art photographed by Dr. Davidson remain part of the University's in-house collection. We wish to thank Dr. Davidson for his continuing efforts in assisting the Smithsonian with our own collection of hidden artwork we never knew existed.

(C) Silicon Zoo - Michael W. Davidson, FSU



National Museum of American History

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