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AMD Athlon K7 CPU Easter Egg Discovered Decades Later

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An AMD Athlon K7 "Pluto" processor has been examined by Fritzchens Fritz, a well known close-up photographer of CPU and GPU dies—his latest project has uncovered a decades old hidden secret. He posted this discovery to social media earlier this week, and made sure to include various images for context purposes: "AMD Athlon K7 Pluto Top Metal Layer. A revolver and Texas Map can be found in one of the four corners! And some explanations about the stone relief. The relief contains the AMD Athlon K7 Series from: Argon -> Pluto -> Thunderbird -> Palomino -> Thoroughbred -> Barton." Team Red's turn of the millennium mainstream processor family fought off Intel's Pentium III CPU architecture (1999 to 2000)—many contemporary reports have handed that time period's victory to AMD. Fritz's funny find received a lot of news coverage, with many authors expressing disbelief about the miniscule revolver and Map of Texas being hidden in (sort of) plain sight for nearly 25 years.

Phil Park, an AMD veteran—currently working in the memory systems department as a Fabric performance engineer—posted an insightful reply to Fritz's historical guesstimations (Greco-Roman themes via the stone relief). Another Team Red revelation was revealed: "The original Athlon naming scheme (Mustang, Thunderbird, Spitfire) had a different theme (cars), but the rumor was that some companies got wind of this, so we changed themes rather than get involved in dumb trademark battles over internal codenames. So it became horses." If we read between the very obvious lines, Park suggests that Ford, Chevrolet, and BMW were keeping an eye on AMD product naming conventions.



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uh? it's more a re discovery ... (for the texas and gun )

i knew about that one since quite some years ... it was also featured in a French computer mag i bought 6 yrs ago ...
 
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Easter eggs for nerds. :laugh: It's so small you'll never know it's there.


Btw. the website "Molecular Expressions" has tons of more pictured examples of those hidden gems.
 
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Easter eggs for nerds. :laugh: It's so small you'll never know it's there.


Btw. the website "Molecular Expressions" has tons of more pictured examples of those hidden gems.
yep, saw them all in 2018 for the 1st time for the older one :)

my favorite would be the Velociraptor in the Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC 7000 series :laugh:
 
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so is the stone relief on the CPU Die somewhere? dont really understand how
 
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"The original Athlon naming scheme (Mustang, Thunderbird, Spitfire) had a different theme (cars), but the rumor was that some companies got wind of this, so we changed themes rather than get involved in dumb trademark battles over internal codenames. So it became horses."
I think most people don't remember the "Triton" trademark battle Intel lost concerning the codenames of their i430FX & i430HX chipsets.
As a reminder since it happened before computer related news were posted on the WWW as primary source, some now-defunct German IT-related company sued Intel for the use of the word "Triton" as codename for those chipsets. Although the company actually had a slightly different name, they still won the trademark dispute, because the court agreed that the German pronunciation of "Triton" was too similar to that company's name. Although they didn't win any silly amount of punitive damages, because their lawsuit was before a German court, that company started sending out cease and desist letters to pretty much any business that used the word "Triton" in connection with any motherboard using those chipsets.
They even tried to pull that shit with some of the larger computer magazines like PC Welt, the German branch of PC World, which meant that a lot of business and print publications stopped using any codenames which was fairly confusing for a while, because like now, even back then most folks liked to refer to product codenames instead of actually using the retail product name.
During the original Athlon (K7) area, AMD invested a lot of money into their Dresden fab (now owned by Global Foundries) which meant they had quite a large exposure to the German market and the German courts. Therefore, they pretty much knew what was waiting for them, in case they used a trademarked term as a codename.
And that, my young ones, is the backstory why codenames for hardware products are always names that can't be trademarked like the names of lakes, famous scientists, or famous painters.
 
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