Hewlett-Packard is closing its facility in Marlborough Massachusetts. It's the old Digital Equipment MRO building, and many of the people here are Digital-vintage employees. In the process of cleaning out offices to prepare for the move, people find stuff they've had for a long time and no longer want. It goes into dumpsters or otherwise set out for others to consider. Most of it is true trash, empty pendaflex folders, boxes of floppies, manuals for products no one even remembers.
But occasionally there's something truly interesting. Here's one I found. I don't know what it is, and am hoping someone has an idea.
It's not large (5.5 inches square), but heavier than you'd expect:
The connectors on the side seem made for heavy-duty current, but are connected to fine traces in the ribbon material wrapped over the edges. The gold area between the chips is etched with perpendicular lines, but they don't seem like circuitry, just a texture:
The "chips" seem permanently placed, and eight of them are stamped "Mechanical Sample", with a Motorola logo:
Underneath looks like a heat sink, though it isn't aluminum, with a hex nut for each of the nine chips on top:
Anyone know what this is? Can you explain its mysteries?