Image 1 of 10
This image of Waldo from the “Where’s Waldo” children’s book series was the first silicon artwork found by Silicon Zoo curator Michael Davidson.
This image of Thor, god of thunder, appears in a Hewlett-Packard chip. It’s drawn with an unusual method: Tiny dots appear where “via” wires extend downward through the chip to connect different layers. This is the largest chip image in the Silicon Zoo.
Marvin the Martian appears on an image sensor chip used on the Mars rovers.
This cheetah appeared in a Hewlett-Packard memory controller chip. This art was problematic: The cheetah’s aluminum spots flaked off, causing short circuits elsewhere on the chip.
A rendition of a Mickey Mouse watch is shown on a Mostek 5017 alarm clock chip.
This sailboat, from a 1970s Texas Instrument chip, is the earliest example of chip artwork found so far.
In a burst of symbolism, Intel engineers crafted an image of a shepherd looking after a two-headed ram. The real purpose of the Intel 8207 chip: a dual-port RAM (random access memory) controller.
A chip used in Digital Equipment’s MicroVax 3000 and 6200 minicomputers carries a message in Russia’s Cyrillic alphabet: “VAX–when you care enough to steal the very best.” The message was intended for technicians on the other side of the Cold War who might try to reverse-engineer the VAX designs by looking closely at the originals.
A tiny train rides “tracks” that are used in charge-coupled devices to convert electrical signals into digital information.