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.
This all makes sense now, doesn't it?
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