[NetBehaviour] What art is hiding on your microchip?

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Oct 15 16:07:00 CEST 2005

*What art is hiding on your microchip?*

More than 10 years ago, Michael Davidson went looking to capture the 
beauty of microchip circuitry in photographs. In among the transistors 
and wire traces, he found something unexpected: Waldo.

"When I first saw him, he was upside-down, and I didn't recognize his 
face," the Florida-based cell biology researcher said.

Davidson suspected at first that the tiny design he saw was circular 
patterns added to the chip to thwart attempts by reverse-engineers to 
deduce its inner workings. But a second inspection showed it to be the 
characteristically hard-to-find character from the children's book 
series. "I realized, 'This is a doodle of some kind.' Then I started 
looking over the whole chip. I discovered Daffy Duck and other things on 
that chip," Davidson said.

That was just the start of a catalog that now holds more than 100 images 
of extremely small automobiles, dinosaurs, birds of prey, cartoon 
characters and even a wedding announcement silhouette--all tucked away 
among microchip circuits. Davidson calls the collection the Silicon Zoo.


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