Intel marks Hawking’s birthday with custom 300mm silicon wafer

22 Jan 2013

Intel vice-president and director of Intel Labs Europe Martin Curley presents Prof Stephen Hawking with a 'Happy Birthday' silicon wafer

Chip giant Intel has presented a custom 300mm silicon wafer inscribed with ‘Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking’ hundreds of times to the physicist and professor.

Intel gave Hawking the gift yesterday as a follow-up to a symposium and to mark his 70th birthday, at a ceremony at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in Cambridge, England.

The messages on the silicon wafer, typically used for the mass production of Intel chips, were ‘printed’ using Intel’s 32nm manufacturing technology and nano-scale copper lines.

Each letter is 10 microns wide, which is about 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair, Intel said.

“This is a very special gift for an extraordinary scientist and an extraordinary man,” said Prof Martin Curley, Intel vice-president and director of Intel Labs Europe.

“Prof Hawking’s ground-breaking scientific contributions and his remarkable resilience are an inspiration to us all.”

Hawking, who actually turned 71 on 8 January 2013, is director of research and founder of The Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic