Gallery: Microscopic Art Hides Inside Computer Chips - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Techist Forum Information > News
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
Destroyer of headlines
Megatron's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Headlines
Posts: 629
Default Gallery: Microscopic Art Hides Inside Computer Chips


Considering the expense, precision and difficulty of manufacturing computer chips, you would think the engineers designing them are pretty serious people.

But it’s not all business inside a chip fab, as these microscope photos reveal. In fact, the designers of microchips frequently hide tiny cartoons, drawings and even messages alongside the super-tiny circuits and semiconductors they create.

Chipworks, a company that analyzes microchips by peeling them apart and looking at them under microscopes, has discovered many examples of silicon art. We’ve selected a few highlights here from the firm’s extensive galleries of silicon art, but check the Chipworks website for more.

The images in this gallery are magnified 200 to 500 times.

As Chipworks explains, these drawings are made with the same processes used to assemble the rest of a computer chip. Designs are etched onto photolithography plates which are then used to “print” the chips’ circuitry, layer by layer, in thin films of silicon, silicon dioxide, aluminum and other materials. It’s a complicated process that takes hundreds of steps and millions of dollars worth of machinery, and it requires incredible degrees of precision and repeatability.

But if there’s a little unused space in a chip, why not fill that with an entertaining design? It’s not as if most of the chip companies’ customers will ever notice. The only people likely to see these designs are the chip engineers’ supervisors and analysts at companies like Chipworks.

“The mass production of these works of art as parasites on the body of a commercial IC goes unnoticed by most observers,” writes Chipworks. “Their existence is a tribute to human resourcefulness and creativity, surfacing from deep within a complex process.”

(More pictures)
Megatron is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scientists Successfully Embed Silicon Chips Inside Human Cells joelm3103 Polls 2 03-18-2010 03:42 AM
Gallery Mage Easy Gallery Creator Osiris Tips, Tricks & Tutorials 0 07-29-2008 07:20 AM
java animation starts 10M light years away, zooms in to microscopic levels Vincenzo Off Topic Discussion 2 10-04-2005 07:18 AM
computer chips freechus9 Monitors, Printers and Peripherals 4 01-24-2003 03:57 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.