Time for Christmas - Silicon Wafer, Chips, Christmas Tree, Ornaments, Gift, Art


Availability: 5 in stock

About this Artwork

"Time for Christmas" is a mixed media artwork that combines Chip Art from a Real-Time computer chip, computer chips, and silicon wafer pieces to create a Christmas-themed artwork. The following sections provide information about each of the parts of the artwork. All of this information is also placed on the back of the artwork.

About the Background

The background circuitry art is from a Dallas DS1485 real-time clock/calendar used in IBM PCs and compatibles. This chip allowed the PC to keep track of the time and days of the calendar.

About the Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree superimposed over the background circuitry came from a Chip Art on the DS1485. The designers of the DS1485 also created two other related chips, the DS1495 and DS1491. They created the chip artwork showing the three chips as Christmas presents for their managers. The picture below shows the original chip art on the DS1485 and where to find it.

About the Ornaments

The ornaments are all IBM chips, except those mounted on clear quartz bases, which are logic chips used in the automotive industry. The IBM chips are custom logic chips used in their computers. The silver chips are logic chips from IBM's large systems. The star is a 12-lead hybrid logic chip.

About the Presents

The presents are all rectangular pieces of silicon wafers (see below to learn how chips are made). Many of the wafers change colors depending on the type and angle of light. Starting at the farthest left, the chips on this wafer are test chips. The blue/green wafer is polished with no chips. The next wafer has test chips. The large square wafer in the center has DS1485 chips. The magenta wafer is polished with no chips. The gold wafer is tiny logic chips. The silver wafer has custom IBM logic chips. The rightmost wafer has test chips.


About Making Computer Chips

Computer chips start as ordinary sand, which is silicon dioxide. The first step is to melt the sand in a furnace that reaches about 3200o F. The silicon is purified to create 99.9999% pure silicon. The silicon is broken up into chunks and melted in a crucible. A silicon crystal seed is dipped in molten silicon and slowly drawn out to create a silicon cylinder. These silicon cylinders are some of the purest crystals on the planet. Once the silicon cylinder is grown to the desired diameter, it is sawed into wafers and polished to achieve a very flat mirror surface. Transistors and other microelectronic parts are built on the polished wafer in layers in an etching process. The wafer is then sawed/diced into its individual chips. Each chip is mounted in an electronic package that protects it and connects it to the outside world. We essentially take a pile of sand and change it into thousands of dollars worth of computer chips.

About ChipScapes

ChipScapeTM artworks are pictures taken of computer chips, sort of microscopic chip landscapes, or ChipScapes for short. This artwork was created by photographing computer chips on this silicon wafer using a microscope and special lighting.


The artwork is framed in an 8"x10" black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique.