Intel goes the extra nanometre to celebrate Hawking's birthday

Happy birthday Prof.

Intel has gone the extra nanometre in its celebration of Professor Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday, presenting the iconic scientist with a custom silicon wafer.

The chip giant felt that good old cardboard and glitter wasn't nearly good enough for Hawking - and decided that it would inscribe the message 'Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking' hundreds of time on a one-off 300mm wafer using its 32nm manufacturing process.

That meant using nano-scale copper lines for letters ten times narrower than a human hair.


Hawking is, of course, recognised as one of the scientific luminaries of our time, winning the Einstein Award, penning A Brief History of Time and theorising that black holes emit radiation.

Intel, describing Hawking as 'extraordinary', was obviously also keen to highlight that Hawking's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology uses a Cosmos Mk IX with Intel inside.

The chip giant is also working with Hawking on improving his communications - allowing the genius to communicate his ideas faster despite the motor neurone disease that has left him disabled.