Chip Fun V

"... 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 - Idaho
NMAH Chip Art - Sesame Street Bert holding cell phone-Analog Devices 2171 DSP
"Sesame Street Bert holding cell phone"
Analog Devices
2171 Digital Signal Processing
NMAH Chip Art - Mount Med-NCR Microelectronics logo
ca. 1985 "Mount Med"
NCR Microelectronics Division logo
NMAH Chip Art - FF-Frederico Faggin's initials on Intel's 4004
ca. 1971 "FF"
Frederico Faggin's initials
Intel's 4004 Microprocessor
NMAH Chip Art - Sonic the Hedge Hog-Analog Devices 2181 DSP
ca. 1991 "Sonic the Hedge Hog"
Analog Devices
2181 Digital Signal Processing
"BIT SUN Dragons"
NMAH Chip Art - All Together At Last
"All Together At Last"
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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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