A 310-foot "crop circle" in a California barley field that mystified locals this week was explained Sunday: it was a publicity stunt by Nvidia, a maker of chips for PCs and smartphones.
The crop circle near Chualar, Calif., contained a stylized image of a computer chip and the number "192" in Braille. On Sunday, the company announced the Tegra K1, a new chip for tablets and smartphones that contains 192 computing "cores," or mini-computers, for graphics applications.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said at a press conference in Las Vegas, ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show, that he had given his marketing department the mission to promote the chip on a shoe-string budget. The crop circle received wide attention. Rumors of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia's involvement appeared Sunday before the press conference.
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The circle was plowed under a few days after its discovery.