Electronics Technology

NXP exhibits the art of semiconductors

25 August 2021 Electronics Technology

An exhibit of semiconductor history reinterpreted as art recently finished its run at ArtEZ University of the Arts in the Dutch city of Arnhem, close to Nijmegen and it was based on NXP Semiconductor’s large collection of machinery and technologies dating back to when Philips, NXP’s predecessor, opened Europe’s first semiconductor factory in 1953.

“We have so much history literally stored in the basement, starting with the very first memory chips that we made by hand,” explained Jan-Paul Kimmel, social responsibility manager at NXP’s facility in Nijmegen. “While we’ve preserved the collection over the years, our former site manager challenged us to innovate in order to make that history more engaging for people today.”

The team came up with the idea of using the drawings and technology artifacts as the basis for works of art and brought the idea to the Design, Art & Technology programme at the ArtEZ University of the Arts. From that innovative idea came an internship for fourth-year students who worked with NXP on their graduation project.

Their work, which was displayed at the ArtEZ Finals, visualised the structural beauty of microchip technology and used art to explore the social and ethical impacts of human interaction with tech.

Based on the success of this collaboration, NXP has established a foundation to engage with ArtEZ students on future project, and the Nijmegen is supportive of the idea, meaning there could be more temporary or even permanent art installations in the city’s future.

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