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Thread: History of Intel graphics card

  1. #1

    Default History of Intel graphics card

    History of Intel graphics card

    This article is about the history of Intel's graphics and display chips based on hardware collections. In order to reflect the authority of this article, the intel graphics cards in the text are mostly representative engineering samples from myself and Tibetan friends. Thanks to the computer hardware collection, such rare computer hardware can get rid of destruction.
    This article introduces the history of Intel graphics cards into four periods.
    1. 12 years of drifting ( 1977-1988 )
    Intel's original graphics card is for VIDEO/GRAPHICS MODULE on Intel Single Board Computers, a display module with display capabilities. Although it is only the prototype of the graphics card, it has an important position in the history of Intel graphics. After Intel released several display chips, it was used by many manufacturers to make graphics cards, but Intel still disdain to enter the PC graphics market, because Intel's business focus at this time is memory and processor.
    1.1 8275 Chip
    C8275 Engineering sample

    Pictured above is Intel's first display-related chip C8275 CRT Controller, which is an engineering sample chip with a date of 7735, indicating that the C8275 chip first appeared in the 35th week of 77 (late mid-August). Used in Intel's iSBX270 VIDEO DISPLAY CONTROLLER MULTIMODULE Board. The iSBX 270 VDC contains 4K bytes of high speed static RAM.

       Processor II 2217605132

    The iSBX270 was well-known in the past and was also used on the Processor II 2217605132 Multibus card from non-intel Machine Technology Inc.

    Later, Intel also introduced the 8275 chip upgrade version 8276 chip.It is small system CRT controller. It is meant to interface CRT raster scan displays with Intel 8085, 8086, 8088 microprocessors and 8051 single chip microcomputer. It has 4 types of cursor control, programmable screen and character format, 6 independent visual field attributes. It contains all necessary counters,buffers, raster timing circuitry and video control, etc.

  2. #2


    1.2 82720 Chip
       Launched in 1982 iSBX275 VIDEO GRAPHICS CONTROLLER MULTIMODULE Board.The iSBX275 VGC contains 32K bytes of high speed display memory.

    Some people think that the iSBX275 is INTEL's first graphics card. Perhaps this view is from Intel Corporation annual report 1982:“The 82720 Graphics Display Controller enhances both development and execution speed of color graphics applications, making high quality color graphics affordable for general purpose business systems. It is the first in Intel's family of high-performance CRT controllers.”
       In 1981, after entering the PC era, intel did not immediately intervene in the field of PC graphics. Because Intel's main business is CPU, and Intel Single Board Computers an important task is to test and evaluate the CPU.
    iSBC 86

    NEC started the 7220 project in 1979 and released μPD7220 in 1981.NEC’s µPD7220 was the first integrated graphics controller chip.The chip aincorporated all the CRT control functions (known as the CRTC) as well as graphics primitives for arcs, lines, circles and special characters.At that time, the μPD7220 was very advanced. Intel was used to improve the display performance of the system. The μPD7220 directly cloned NEC was 82720.Announced in 1982, it was the first of what would become a long line of Intel graphics processing units.

  3. #3


    1.3 82730 Chip
       In 1982, Intel introduced the 82730 chip. The Intel System Development Kit SDK-186 has 82730 chips. 82730 chip is Text coprocessor:Supports high-quality text displays with proportional spacing, subscript/superscript, character attributes, etc.Supports high-quality graphics with manipulation and display of bitmap strings.
       The picture above shows the C82730 chip used on the REGNECENTRALEN RC759 PICCOLINE computer. Intel 80186 (or 80186) is Intel's embedded market for industrial control/communication. It is very rare for PCs like this, let alone the 82730 chip application.
       C82730 Chip


    (Source from collectibles)

  4. #4
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    The 8275 (and 8276) chips weren't graphics chips at all; just text-mode using DMA and interrupts. You could, with external logic, produce line-drawing characters. A little bit cumbersome; attributes were severely restricted--you could have "visible" attributes where an attribute byte displayed as a blank on the screen; you could also elect to have "invisible" attributes, where they didn't occupy a space, but then you were limited to no more than 16 attributes on a line. This is IIRC; I've got a machine here that uses the 8275 and I've programmed it. One curious (!) aspect is that if your code crashed or disabled interrupts for too long, the screen would go blank. Made for fun debugging. Some of the low-cost terminals used the chip.

    The NEC 7220 and the Intel 82720 were from a time when NEC and IBM had a cozy cross-licensing agreement. The NEC D765 floppy controller (Intel 8272) were also part of that arrangement.

    The NEC APC used two 7220s--one for text and the other for a graphics overlay.

  5. #5


    1.4 82716 Chip
       The 82716 chip appeared in 1984.It is a video storage and display device. It is a low cost, highly integrated video controller. It displays texts and graphics. It can manage upto 16 display objects on the screen at any time. It can select upto 16 colours from a range of 4096.It contains on-chip DRAM controller and on-chip D/A converters. It can support upto 512 KB of display memory. It is compatible with 8.and 16-bit microprocessors and microcontrollers.
    I have not seen the graphics card of the 82716 chip, maybe it is used on professional equipment.
    N82716 Chip
       (Image courtesy of hitech-components from

  6. #6


    1.5 82786 Chip
       In 1986, Intel introduced the 82786 chip, the first discrete graphics coprocessor. The 82786 integrates a graphics processor, a display processor with a CRT controller, a bus interface unit (BIU), and its DRAM/VRAM controller. Support 4 MB of DRAM / VRAM memory. Supporting up to 256 colors, systems with multiple 82786 designs can support virtually unlimited colors and resolutions.
       The 82786 chip is used in the iSBX279 of the Intel Single Board Computers system.
       The A82786 chip has also been produced by many manufacturers, such as the NUMBER NINE Pepper graphics card of the ISA interface of the PC system.

         There is also COPLE SPACE graphics card from APPLE's NUBUS interface MASS MICRO SYSTEMS.

      It is a CHMOS graphics coprocessor. It is compatible with all Intel microprocesors. It can support multiple graphics applications from multiple graphics bitmaps. It has high speed character drawing, fast polygon and line drawing capability. It can support upto 200 MHZ CRTs. It provides upto 256 simultaneous colours. It contains DRAM/VRAM controller for graphics memory upto 4 MB. It contains shift registers and DMA channels. It is a powerful device developed for microcomputer applications including PCs, engineering workstations, terminals and laser printers. High integration makes it cost-effective.

  7. #7


      1.6 i750 Chip
       Intel's i750 chip consists of i750PA (82750PA pixel processor) and i750DA (82750DA display processor). The technical parameters are:The 82750PA is a 25 MHz wide instruction processor that generates and manipulates pixels. When paired with its companion chip, the 82750DA, and used to implement a DVI Technology video subsystem, the 82750PA provides real time (30 images/sec) pixel processing, real time video compression, interactive motion video playback and real time video effects.
         Intel's i750PA/DA chip was made in December 1986. The i750 design is so advanced that it is only viewed by DVI Technology (Digital Video Interactive), with the DVI (Digital Video Interactive) concept (all digital sound, text, graphics processing system, can support a variety of multimedia information sources and information formats.) Developed a DVI Pro 750 graphics card. Intel is optimistic about this concept and is more optimistic about the development prospects of digital multimedia technology. On November 14, 1988, it acquired the pioneer of digital media DVI Technology.
         The picture below shows the main card of the DVI/intel Pro 750 graphics card. The full set has 3 ISA interface boards and 3 daughter cards.
         Pro 750 Engineering sample
       The full DVI/intel Pro 750 is at least 3 boards (Video, Audio, Utility/CD-ROM) and 3 daughter cards(Video Digitizer, Audio Digitizer, 4MB of VRAM memory) “actually three boards (Video, Audio, Utility/CD-ROM) in three slots (with possible overhang), plus add-in piggyback modules for a Video Digitizer, Audio Digitizer, and 2 GB of VRAM memory.” DVI/intel Pro 750.
           In my collection of DVI/intel Pro 750 engineering samples, the date is the Utility card and the PCB date is 8809. Explain that in March of the same year, DVI has produced the Pro 750 prototype card, but it was not officially released by INTEL and Microsoft until July 21, 1989.

  8. #8


      1.7 KAMA 芯片
         See only the Vlask collection of Intel Kama graphics cards from
         Failed to find information about the KAMA chip. However, it is judged from the shape and label of the chip that it is associated with the i750DB chip.
         The KAMA chip is labeled as:
         KAMA SX094
         K8909B-25 V1.6
         INTEL m © '87
         Can be seen:
         The "-25" in K8909B-25 has a meaning of 25MHz. It can be seen that it is also a display processor.
         2. I9082207 shows that the production date is 08th week of the year 89.
         3, INTEL m © '87, indicating the development of 87 years, i750DA, PGA pin structure developed later than 86 years. In 1989, the i750DB chip was upgraded to the PQFP patch structure.
      It can be seen that the KAMA chip is based on the i750DB chip and is improved using the DRAM memory display chip.Also similar to the 82706 chip.

  9. #9


      1.8 82716 chip
      This chip and graphics card are not seen. There is a small amount of information on the Internet showing that the 82716 chip appeared in 1987, and there are some data:t is a video storage and display device. It is a low cost, highly integrated video controller. It displays texts and graphics. It can manage upto 16 display objects on the screen at any time. It can select upto 16 colours from a range of 4096.It contains on-chip DRAM controller and on-chip D/A converters. It can support upto 512 KB of display memory. It is compatible with 8.and 16-bit microprocessors and microcontrollers.

  10. #10


      1.9 82706 Chip
       Intel launched 82706 in 1988. It is an Intel video graphics array(VGA)compatible display controller for IBM PC/XT/AT and PS/. All video monitors developed for IBM PS/2 system are provided with VGA controller. The 82706 can support 256 KB video memory. It is designed to be compatible with 80286 and 80386 and other microprocessors. It has EGA/CGA/MDA BIOS compatibility. It acts as CRT controller and video memory controller.
       Only Hercules VGA card is made by Hercules with this chip.
      Hercules VGA

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