Supersonicous Siliconous

Supersonicous Siliconous

We were eating dust on this chip when we spotted a speedy roadrunner darting through the buses and around the registers, kicking up loose transistors into a sand storm. This terrestrial avian was difficult to photograph due to his rather large size (about 900 microns), which hampered our ability to capture sufficient detail of the silicon artwork in a single photomicrograph. The MIPS-X chip is a microprocessor that was the successor to the original MIPS chip developed at Stanford University by John Hennessy and his group. This chip was developed by Mark Horowitz and Paul Chow with a group of researchers at Stanford in 1986. They named the roadrunner "Supersonicous Siliconous", as can be seen in the photomicrograph above.


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