Digital Equipment Corporation Verse

Digital Equipment Corporation Verse

Chip designers from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) added their signatures to the surface of this integrated circuit in a manner similar to that of an artist signing a work of art, such as a painting or a sculpture. The silicon circuit is a DC555, which was termed the VERSE (for VEctor Register SEt), and was designed for a vector coprocessor board intended to support the VAX 6000 line of computers. The group leader for the VERSE project was Mike Leary, and the chip was designed (in 1989) by John Redford. Four of these chips were used on the coprocessor board. They connected the floating point units (the DEC FAVOR chips) with the board memory, controlled instruction dispatch, and contained the vector registers. The logo contains the scanned-in signatures of all the employees who worked on the chip, and was done in the polysilicon layer of a 1.5-micrometer CMOS process. John Redford, who loaned the chip for photomicrography, said that a major challenge for the team was making sure the chip passed the design rule check.


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