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Video card - History of the, The Evolution of the, Components of the

graphics memory cards released

In the 1960s, printers were newly replaced with screens as an element for visualization. Video cards were now required to make the very first images. Released with the first IBM PC, was the first video card which was made by IBM in 1981. The MDA, or Monochrome Graphics Adapter, was only able to work in text mode. It had a 4KB video memory and only one color- green. VGA was widely utilized and lead to some businesses like ATI, S3 and Cirrus Logic to work with the video card. The resolution was soon improved and the number of colors greatly increased. The Super VGA standard had 2MB of memory.

The Evolution of the Video Card

In 1995, the first 2D and 3D video cards were released. These cards were developed by Matox, Creative, S3 and ATI. These new video cards included 3D capable functions. In 1997, the company 3dfx released a graphics chip named Voodoo. The Voodoo graphics chip was powerful and capable of utilizing 3D effects. Voodoo2 was released soon after, making room for comparable releases such as TNT and TNT2. Intel created an accelerated graphics port, or AGP, which solved the gap between the video card and the microprocessor. NVIDIA, makers of TNT and TNT2, took over the video card market from 1999, well into the new century. Improvements implemented in these years were focused mostly in 3D algorithms. DDR technology was incorporated after a need to improve the data rate was needed. The video memory capacity was then increased from 32 MB to 128 MB.

Components of the Video Card

Graphics Processing Unit

A video card is made up of a printed circuit board with mounted components. Components include, a GPU, or graphics processing unit, which is a graphics microprocessor. It is optimized for floating point computing which is common to 3D functions. The GPU attributes is known as the information within the video card specification. The GPU consists of a core clock rate between 200 and 700 MHz. A number of pipelines are used to translate a 3D image into a 2D image. .

Video memory

When a video card is connected within the motherboard, it will utilize the computer RAM. If it is not connected to the motherboard, the video card often has its own memory known as Video RAM or VRAM. The capacity of VRAM in modern video cards ranges from 125 to almost 800 MB. In 2006, DDR technology was the base of the VRAM. The clock rate of the memory was between 300 MHz and 1.7 GHz. The Z-buffer is an important part of the video memory. It takes care of the depth coordinates in 3D graphics.

Video Coding Techniques and Standards - Introduction, The need for compression, Perceptual Redundancies, The Human Visual System, Sensitivity to Temporal Frequencies [next] [back] Video-Based Face Recognition

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