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February 11, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Remember the story last year that a version of Intel Corp’s Pentium chip had escaped from the plant with the words bill sux inscribed on it and released onto the market for use in tens of thousands of PCs? That story ultimately turned out to be a hoax (CI No 3,464), and the picture of the supposed graffiti that was widely passed around the net was thought to have been faked using Adobe PhotoShop. Now, however, there is a web site of real chip graffiti, available at the silicon zoo section of the Molecular Expressions site ( Using high- magnification photomicrographs, the site shows such items as a hummingbird hidden on Hewlett-Packard Co’s 7100LC PA-RISC, a wedding announcement for Ellen & Yeuk-Hai, May 25, 1996 on the MIPS R10000, and a miniature map of the State of Maine on a National Semiconductor DP83223A Twister transceiver, as used in Ethernet cards. The MIPS R12000 breaks the record for the most graffiti on a single chip, with etchings of a California license plate, Groucho Marks, two Florida State University sports logos, a guitar-strumming Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Silicon Graphics Inc logo and the initials of the chip designers, including mask designer Kevin Kuhn, who has been credited as being responsible for much of the graffiti on MIPS chips. Ominously for Compaq Computer Corp, the first version of the Digital Equipment Corp Alpha had a signal for the Last Call embedded within its circuitry.

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