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Intel wishes Stephen Hawking microscopic Happy Birthday

23 Jan 2013

At a ceremony at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in England, Intel presented a unique birthday gift to Professor Stephen Hawking.

The gift featured the message “Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking” inscribed hundreds of times on a one of a kind 300mm silicon wafer typically used for mass production of Intel chips.

Intel says the messages were “printed” using Intel’s 32nm manufacturing technology with nano-scale copper lines used to create the messages.

Each letter is ten microns wide, which is approximately ten times smaller than the width of a human hair.

“This is a very special gift for an extraordinary scientist and an extraordinary man,” says Professor Martin Curley, cice president and director, Intel Labs.

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

Hawking is currently the director of Research and Founder of The Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, with the centre's new supercomputer COSMOS Mk IX, built using Intel technology, aimimg to solve some of the most complex mathematical challenges facing researchers in cosmological research.

The supercomputer will contribute to answering key questions such as: What happened in the first moments after the Big Bang? What were the primordial seeds that lead to the formation of galaxies, stars, planets and, ultimately people?

“We have a long standing relationship with Professor Hawking,” says Justin Rattner, chief technology officer, Intel Labs.

“We are very pleased to continue to support the work of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and to work closely with Professor Hawking on improving his personal communication system.”

The silicon wafer was presented to Professor Hawking as a follow-up to the State of the Universe symposium, held to celebrate his 70th birthday and contributions to fundamental physics and cosmology.

The event was streamed live by Intel on the Internet.