The Slide Trombone

The Slide Trombone

This tiny rendition of a slide trombone was discovered near the pad ring on a 1983 vintage Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) 7990 Ethernet controller integrated circuit. The letter "K" in the trombone bell is the surname initial of Stephen Kolbacher and was created by mask designer Teresa Lester, who drew it on a section of Mylar during down time in the design. At the time, mask design was being done at AMD both on Mylar and on the newly introduced Calma GDSII Cad system because there were more designers than computer stations with the software. Steve liked the idea of the customized trombone bell so he digitized it (making some spatial modifications to ensure it was design rule clean) and placed it on at least a dozen chips between 1981 and 1987.


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