"The Little Engine That Could"

'The Little Engine That Could'

We ran into this miniature locomotive at a railroad crossing on an Allen-Bradley/VLSI standalone ASIC that was fabricated in 1994. Bob Weppler, designer of the train, has informed us that he placed the locomotive and coal car on the chip at the request of engineer Jerome Saint-Cyr to represent "the little engine that could". This was in reference to the fact that the chip has a small RISC core microprocessor allowing it to compete with its more advanced counterparts. Bob says that the locomotive was fabricated in two metal and one polysilicon layers during the chip's manufacturing process.

View this silicon artwork under brightfield and darkfield illumination.


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