Trivia

Hard

Early Microchips Included What To Protect Chip Manufacturers?

Serial Numbers
Temperature Sensors
Artwork
Air Vents
A buffalo etched on a digital filter chip from the HP3582a audio spectrum analyzer.
Lou Scheffer/Michael W. Davidson/Wikimedia

Answer: Artwork

In the early days of microchip design and distribution, chip manufacturers struggled to prevent their designs from being ripped off. In order to establish that a chip mask was their property, companies would include microscopic artwork hidden in the mask such as a company logo, pop culture figure, or other symbols. Then, when in court, they could point to the duplicated artwork within their competitor’s chip as proof that the design had been lifted.

In 1984, a revision to U.S. copyright law, courtesy of the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, made the on-chip artwork unnecessary since, from that point forward, all chip masks and designs were considered automatically copyrighted. Although no longer necessary as a tool to protect intellectual property, chip art lives on as designers continue to leave their mark within their microscopic works.

Trivia

Easy

Despite Their Massive Size, Which Of These Animals Only Lives A Few Years?

Trivia

Hard

A Group Of Off-The-Shelf Computers Run In Parallel As A Super Computer Is Called A?

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Scientist To Accurately Measure The Distance Between Stars Was?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Film Where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny Appear Onscreen Together Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Efficient Wheelbarrow In The Ancient World Was Invented By The?

Trivia

Hard

In The Early 2000s, Which Of These Productivity Guidebooks Took The Tech Community By Storm?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which U.S. State Has The Lowest Average Elevation?

Trivia

Hard

Time Warping Is A Process Used By TV Stations To?

Trivia

Hard

What Is The Only Other Body In Our Solar System With Surface Liquid?

Trivia

Hard

Which Country Was The First To Ban Video Games?