Part 1: (1976 - 1995) The Early Days of 3D Consumer Graphics
Part 2: (1995 - 1999) 3Dfx Voodoo: The Game-changer
Part 3: (2000 - 2006) The Nvidia vs. ATI Era Begins
Part 4: (2006 - 2013) The Modern GPU: Stream processing units a.k.a. GPGPU
Ganzer Artikel: http://www.techspot.com/article/650-history-of-the-gpu/
weiter gehts auf: http://www.techspot.com/article/650-history-of-the-gpu/1976 - 1995: The Early Days of 3D Consumer Graphics
The first true 3D graphics started with early display controllers, known as video shifters and video address generators. They acted as a pass-through between the main processor and the display. The incoming data stream was converted into serial bitmapped video output such as luminance, color, as well as vertical and horizontal composite sync, which kept the line of pixels in a display generation and synchronized each successive line along with the blanking interval (the time between ending one scan line and starting the next).
A flurry of designs arrived in the latter half of the 1970s, laying the foundation for 3D graphics as we know them.
Atari 2600 released in September 1977
RCA’s “Pixie” video chip (CDP1861) in 1976, for instance, was capable of outputting a NTSC compatible video signal at 62x128 resolution, or 64x32 for the ill-fated RCA Studio II console.
The video chip was quickly followed a year later by the Television Interface Adapter (TIA) 1A, which was integrated into the Atari 2600 for generating the screen display, sound effects, and reading input controllers. Development of the TIA was led by Jay Miner, who also led the design of the custom chips for the Commodore Amiga computer later on.
In 1978, Motorola unveiled the MC6845 video address generator. This became the basis for the IBM PC’s Monochrome and Color Display Adapter (MDA/CDA) cards of 1981, and provided the same functionality for the Apple II. Motorola added the MC6847 video display generator later the same year, which made its way into a number of first generation personal computers, including the Tandy TRS-80.