Matrox is the oldest graphics AIB company in the world having shipped its first board in 1978, the ALT-256 XE. The company was also the first to ship a 3D PC graphics board, the SM 640 (see History of Visual Magic in Computers), in 1987, Nvidia was founded six years later. Their last chip developed by Matrox for the 3D graphics market in 2002 with the Parhelia-512, which evolved into the MGA chip, the longest-running 3D in the market (see Famous Graphics Chips: Matrox MGA). In 2014, the company announced it would start using AMD’s GPU. Then in September 2019, co-founder Lorne Trottier announced he had taken over all the ownership of Matrox. And in January 2020, the company said it would be adding Nvidia’s Quadro to its product line.
The company has had a strong position in video for decades with its software suite and boards, and earlier this year the company announced the Quadro-based Matrox D1450 AIB for high-density output video walls—now, that AIB is shipping.
Matrox says their D1450 provides OEMs and system integrators with the ability to power up to 16 4K synchronized screens from a single system, while also offering a set of developer tools for video wall control.
|Matrox D1450 quad-monitor graphic AIB|
Multiple single-slot, quad-4K HDMI AIBs can be combined to create video walls of up to 16 synchronized 4K displays. Along with the company’s video wall software and developer tools for control and application development, Matrox says the D1450 is ideal for a broad range of applications such as control rooms, enterprises, industries, government, military, digital signage, broadcast, and more.
From a single-slot, AIB, OEMs, system integrators, and AV professionals can add and synchronize displays by frame-locking up to four D-Series AIBs via board-to-board frame-lock cables. In addition, D1450 offers HDCP support to display copy-protected content, as well as Microsoft DirectX 12 and OpenGL support to run the latest professional applications. OEMs and system integrators can pair D1450 with Matrox Mura IPX capture AIBs for HDCP functionality to capture and display content-protected sources—including, says the company, set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc and media players, and video game consoles. D-Series can also be combined with Matrox QuadHead2Go multi-monitor controllers to create ultra-large-scale configurations of up to 64 × 1920 × 1080 p60 screens.
The D1450 supports four monitors, with a maximum resolution of up to 4096 × 2160 @60 Hz, whereas the D1480 adapter supports four monitors with resolutions up to 5120 × 3200 @60 Hz. The AIB consumes 47 W and only uses power supplied to it through the PCIe x16 slot.
What do we think?
Matrox has a history of firsts and longevity. We have chronicled the coming and going of almost a hundred chip and board companies over the years. Many of them went public in the process. Many of them built nice buildings, many of them sued and got sued, most of them went through several management changes.
Matrox was different. It too built a nice building, but it owns it. It never went public, and the management that founded the company still runs it. The only other company that can make that claim is Nvidia.
Matrox also developed most of its own software, the company has always tried to be self-sufficient and in control of its own destiny. The net result of that philosophy is the longest standing graphics firm in the world that is still producing leading-edge products.