OT What is embedded on your embedded chip?

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http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/creatures/index.html Ever wonder what's lurking within the dark corners, nooks and crannies of your computer? Is some gremlin responsible for all those crashes---you know, the ones that happen when you are trying to save that critical document you've been working on so diligently for the past three hours? We wondered too, so we took a look to see what we could find. And guess what? When we put the computer chips under the microscope we found some very interesting creatures hiding there.

The Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC series of microprocessors is highly populated with silicon creatures of all shapes and sizes. We found this beautiful rendition of the Ford Thunderbird embedded within the PA-7100 microprocessor integrated circuitry, perhaps as a tribute to enthusiasts of the automobile. At over 250 microns high, it is probably the largest silicon creature that we have found to date. The caption: "The Bird is the Word" is probably derived from a 1964 hit song entitled "Surfin' Bird" by a band named The Trashmen. We have also been informed of references to rock band ZZ Top's song "Thunderbird" that sport the lyrics: Have you heard? What's the word? It's Thunderbird. Regardless of the true intentions of the caption, this silicon artwork is some of the finest that we have ever seen.

This magnificent rendition of Thor, the Norse god of thunder, was discovered on a Hewlett-Packard graphics support chip. According to legend, Thor was the son of Odin and Jord and later married Sif (a fertility goddess), although he kept a mistress named Jarnsaxa (the "iron cutlass"). It was also widely believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor could be found sailing through the heavens on his goat-powered chariot, and that lightning flashed whenever he threw his hammer (named Mjollnir). At 1.1 square millimeters in size, this silicon artwork is not only the finest we have seen to date, it is also one of the largest and required our lowest-power microscope objective (5x) to capture the entire image.

This crude rendition of a sailboat is the oldest silicon doodling that we have discovered to date. It was found on a 1970s vintage Texas Instruments chip of unknown function and the boat's rudder is one of the smallest integrated circuitry features present on the chip. Average transistor dimensions on this chip are between 10-15 microns and the entire chip is about the size of a pinhead. As simple as this sailboat is, it reached the maximum complexity available to technology of the period. We are told by HP chip design engineer Dick Vlach that the designer responsible for this sailboat is Gene Hoff, and engineer for Texas Instruments, and that the sailboat represents a Hobicat.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), February 08, 2000


Great post Cherri!

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), February 08, 2000.


-- Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.XNet), February 08, 2000.

Have you found any porno etchings?

-- (dirty@old.man), February 08, 2000.

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