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My game uses "Tech" as a currency, what should it look like?

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While writing my game design document, I thought designing something that could be tech would be easy, perhaps some sort of micro chip thing. It needs to be 3D, I wasn't satisfied with the microchip I made in maya. Here's some background:

The player pilots their 3D ship around space, in two dimensions. That is, none of the objects in my game move in the z axis, only up, down, left, or right. As they destroy enemy alien ships, they drop tech. My temporary programmer asset was just a cube with an additive shader and a bright particle system. I was actually kind of satisfied with it, but now I'm adding a power-up to my game that prevents the player's blasters from over heating. It's an ice cube, and it looks too similar to the tech. 

What do you imagine the tech would look like? Do you know of any games that use tech as a currency? Because I feel like I've seen it before... Perhaps you have a better idea for a currency? Keep in mind that the idea is that the folks from the player's home planet reverse engineer alien technology and use it to upgrade the ship, so tech makes a lot of sense to me. 

 

The picture is what my current tech asset looks like in run time, as part of the UI. 
[attachment=31520:Capture.JPG]

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