A Piñata Named Asammi

A Piñata Named Asammi

Piñatas have been a part of Latin American festivities for many generations, dating back before the arrival of Spanish explorers in Central America. These colorfully decorated fiesta icons are typically fashioned with papier-mâché in the form of a donkey, dog or other creature and are filled with party favors, gifts, and candy. We stumbled across this silicon version of an armadillo piñata named Asammi who was the mascot for the design team that engineered the chip, an Allen-Bradley/VLSI Technology "Coreless" application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

Bob Weppler, a chip designer for Allen-Bradley who drew the piñata and loaned us the integrated circuit, has also provided us with the story behind this silicon doodle: Asammi (derived from the acronym Automation Systems Architecture), an armadillo piñata brought back from Mexico by mechanical designer Mike Sturdevant, was the design team mascot and lunch token. If you wound up with Asammi in your cubicle, you had to arrange the next team lunch. For a while, we are told, Asammi had his own cubicle, complete with a nameplate of "Asammi Opus", until someone realized there was no such employee. The doodle was done in two layers: metal 1 and metal 2.

The photograph below of the original Asammi was taken by Bob Weppler.

A Piñata Named Asammi

This all makes sense now, doesn't it?


© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 04:30 PM
Access Count Since March 31, 1999: 68584