The Cypress Tree

The Cypress Tree

The Cypress Semiconductor Corporation logo was found on a very small high speed (15 nanosecond) CMOS static RAM chip organized as 8192 words by 8 bits. This logo is very artsy and contains a nice rendition of a Cypress tree as well as the chip part number.

Brenor Brophy, Product Engineering Section Manager at Cypress, tells us the company puts the tree logo on every chip it sells. He also points out that it is unlikely there is anything else on their chips because the general attitude at Cypress is: "If you are not laying out active circuits than you are wasting money - that is a bad thing". Brenor makes reference to the fact that unnecessary artwork makes it difficult to verify the layout for design rule violations, prior to making the actual masks. The artwork can generate a number of errors during testing, which is probably why over 95 percent of the chips we examine are devoid of silicon creatures. These errors also make it quite unlikely that a designer can add artwork to a chip without his boss knowing.


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