Electronic – How realistic is the famous “Bill sux” picture of a chip internals artwork


There's an urban legend that some version of Intel Pentium chip had "Bill sux" caption somewhere on the circuit. The legend is accompanied with this picture:

enter image description here

Now let's assume for a moment that the legend is in fact true.

How realistic is the picture? Specifically why are all the elements of the same color? Why don't traces differ in color from the surroundings?

Best Answer

It is a hoax, you can read more at Snopes and here.

But to add a bit of info, the story became popular in 1998, so the scale they would be working in was at best 250 nano-meters, so the picture would have been taken with an electron scope.

Here is the original picture:

enter image description here

The image is a clever digital manipulation of an image that appears on the cover of Darrell Duffie's book


It's a clever prank playing off the idea that a couple of Apple aficionados could surreptitiously sneak an anti-Bill Gates message onto the world's most popular CPU, where it could be seen only through a powerful microscope, but it's a hoax.

Here's another link with more information.

Semiconductor manufacturing improvements by year:

10 µm — 1971
3 µm — 1975
1.5 µm — 1982
1 µm — 1985
800 nm (.80 µm) — 1989
600 nm (.60 µm) — 1994
350 nm (.35 µm) — 1995
250 nm (.25 µm) — 1998
180 nm (.18 µm) — 1999
130 nm (.13 µm) — 2000
90 nm — 2002
65 nm — 2006
45 nm — 2008
32 nm — 2010
22 nm — 2012