Chasing Pixels
Keep up to date on graphics chips, controllers and processors, that are changing the course of the computer graphics (CG) industry.

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By Dr. Jon Peddie
The Granddaddy of Tiling Designs In 1996 as the 3D graphics chip market was in its ascendency, with new companies declaring devices every month, Microsoft shocked the industry by introducing a radically different approach — tiling. The conventional architecture for a graphics chip had been (and still is) what’s known…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
A four-year tortuous journey that turned the company around By Jon Peddie It wasn’t an April fool’s joke in 1997 when Nvidia released the RIVA 128, based on the NV3 media accelerator. However, it was almost the company’s last gasp. The story begins in 1993 when Nvidia (which has gone…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
Voodoo changed the gaming landscape with 3D This is the latest installment of a series of short articles about graphics chips, controllers and processors, that changed the course of the computer graphics (CG) industry. 3Dfx was founded in 1994 in San Jose, California by former employees of Silicon Graphics (SGI)…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
The age of proprietary graphics chips By the early 1990s the PC industry was still expanding and offering plenty of opportunity for all. IBM had lost its position of leadership and for a few years the market existed on commercial off the shelf (COTS) graphics chips from TI, and a…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
IBM introduced the eXtended Graphics Array XGA graphics chip and add-in board (AIB) in late October 1990, and it was the last graphics chip and AIB IBM would produce after having set all the standards for the industry it created. Developed for the PS2 along with the VGA, the XGA…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
Let’s bring back the biggest and warmest. In the audiophile community and among certain elements of musicians, there is the feeling and advocacy for using vacuum tube amplifiers because of the warmth of the sound (and not from the heat from the tubes themselves). It’s an entrenched mythology similar to…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
It is said about airplanes that the DC3 and 737 are the most popular planes ever built, and the 737, in particular, the best-selling airplane ever. The same could be said for the ubiquitous VGA, and its big brother the XGA. The VGA, which can still be found buried in…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
IBM for a long time offered two levels of display capabilities, one for general purpose business users doing word processing, database entry, and Lotus spreadsheets, and one for engineering users — the latter always having higher resolution, more expensive monitors and controllers. The IBM Professional Graphics Controller (PGC) Before the…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
This is the latest installment of a series of short articles about graphics chips, controllers and processors, that changed the course of the computer graphics (CG) industry — The TI TMS34010 and VRAM introduced in 1986 by Texas Instruments. In 1984 Texas Instruments introduced TI’s VRAM, the TMS4161. The TMS34010…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
Intel saw the rise in discrete graphics controllers such as NEC’s µPD7220 (and even licensed it), Hitachi’s HD63484, and the several clones of IBM’s EGA, and conclude Intel was leaving a socket unfilled by them. Intel’s intention always was, and still is, to provide every bit of silicon in a…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
When IBM introduced the Intel 8080-based Personal Computer (PC) in 1981, it was equipped with an add-in board (AIB) called the Color Graphics Adaptor (CGA). The CGA AIB had 16 kilobytes of video memory and could drive either an NTSC-TV monitor or a dedicated 4-bit RGB CRT monitor, such as the IBM 5153 color display. It didn't have a dedicated controller and was assembled using a half dozen LSI chips. The large chip in the center is a CRT timing controller (CRTC), typically a Motorola MC6845.
By Dr. Jon Peddie
With the advent of large-scale integrated circuits coming into their own in the late 1970s and early 1980s, fueling the PC revolution and several other developments, came a succession of remarkably powerful graphics controllers. NEC introduced the first LSI fully integrated graphics chip in 1982 with the NEC µ7220, and…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
The original use and development for the GPU was to accelerate 3D games and rendering. The acceleration of the game’s 3D models involved geometry processing, matrix math, and sorting. Rendering involved polishing pixels and hiding some of them. Two distinctive, non-complimentary tasks, but both served admirably by a high-speed parallel…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
This is the first in a series of short articles about graphics chips, controllers and processors, that changed the course of the computer graphics (CG) industry. In buzzword talk, they were disruptive devices, and in addition to changing how things were done, the application of those chips made a lot of companies successful. Ironically, all of them gone now.
By Dr. Jon Peddie
I was reminiscing last week about the GPU and having a friendly debate with my pals at Nvidia about the origin of the acronym. They of course claim they invented it, the device and the acronym, and within certain qualifications they did.
By Dr. Jon Peddie
Anyone who follows the mainstream technical press will have noticed the recent wave of stories and editorials about the decline in interest and sales of VR hardware. This is not surprising to me, and in a “told-ya-so” way it has been my forecast for a couple of years.
By Dr. Jon Peddie
Crypto-Mining’s Impact on PC Sales Crypto mining only in one small segment All the industry, if not the entire world is talking about crypto-mining, and the value of Bitcoins. One of the benefactors of this explosive commodity market bubble has been the suppliers of add-in boards (AIBs) and subsequently the…
By Dr. Jon Peddie
How Did We Ever Live without GPUs? From Graphics to Crypto Currency and Scary Autonomous Devices, the GPU is Everywhere Programmable graphics controllers have been with us since the Hitachi HD63484 in 1984, but it was limited and addressable only in basic binary code. Earlier in 1981, Jim Clark (founder…
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   About the Author
Dr. Jon Peddie is one of the pioneers of the graphics industry and formed Jon Peddie Research (JPR) to provide customer intimate consulting and market forecasting services where he explores the developments in computer graphics technology to advance economic inclusion and improve resource efficiency.

Recently named one of the most influential analysts, Peddie regularly advises investors in the technology sector. He is an advisor to the U.N., several companies in the computer graphics industry, an advisor to the Siggraph Executive Committee, and in 2018 he was accepted as an ACM Distinguished Speaker. Peddie is a senior and lifetime member of IEEE, and a former chair of the IEEE Super Computer Committee, and the former president of The Siggraph Pioneers. In 2015 he was given the Life Time Achievement award from the CAAD society.