Trivia

Hard

Early Microchips Included What To Protect Chip Manufacturers?

Air Vents
Serial Numbers
Temperature Sensors
Artwork
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

Hard

In Russia It Is A Tradition For Cosmonauts And Astronauts To Do What Before Blasting Off Into Space?

Trivia

Easy

The Primary Function Of Water Towers Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Now-Ubiquitous “Times New Roman” Font Was Originally Commissioned By?

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Most Ported Video Game Of All Time?

Trivia

Hard

The Outer Case Of The Atari Jaguar Game Console Lived On As A?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The Easter Egg Inside Microsoft Excel 95?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Mega Movie Franchises Started Off As An Amusement Park Ride?

Trivia

Easy

What Famed Geeky Television Show Was Originally Known As “Owl Stretching Time”?

Trivia

Hard

Which Widely Used Internet Acronym Is Coincidentally Self-Referential In Dutch?

Trivia

Hard

The Largests Nests In The World Are Built By?