Chip Fun IV

"... 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 - Point That Finger
"Pointing That #1 Finger"
NMAH Chip Art - Memory
NMAH Chip Art - Silicon General - confederate and/or southern military officer
"confederate and/or southern military officer"
NMAH Chip Art - Elsie the Cow-Analog Devices 2101 DSP
"Elsie the Cow"
Analog Devices
2101 Digital Signal Processor
NMAH Chip Art - Convertable
NMAH Chip Art - Concorde-AMD chip of unknown function
Advanced Micro Devices
NMAH Chip Art - Holiday Presents Under The Tree
"Holiday Presents Under The Tree"
NMAH Chip Art - Texas Flag-AMD chip of unknown function
"Texas Flag"
Advanced Micro Devices
NMAH Chip Art - Shark
page: 1  2  3  4  5

from: Richard Anderson, July 29, 2011
I came across your web site with the chip art collection and having seen some of these over the years was fascinated. On page 4 you have an image titled “cowgirl/cowboy” – I think it was really intended to be a confederate and/or southern military officer as it appeared on numerous chips from a company by the name of Silicon General.
Editor's note: this has proven to be correct - the top right image has been re-identified.

COMMENT: 10-6-2009

I was looking at 'The Chip Collection' of 'Chip Art' on your website, specifically page four (4). You have a picture labeled "Concord" from Advanced Micro Devices. However, despite the flag, I'm quite sure the aircraft pictured is actually a XB-70 Valkyrie, an experimental Mach 3 strategic bomber. The giveaways include the canard flaps (little wings just behind the cockpit - The Concorde didn't have them), the location of the exhausts (centered at the rear, while the Concorde's were underneath the wings, outboard), and the intake just under the leading edge of the wings (again, the Concorde didn't have that lump).

Thank you for your time, Ian Stedman


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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