The Graphics Chip Chronicles

Chronicles A Look Back at the Technology that Charted the Course of the Computer Graphics (CG) Industry

Robert Dow

Tiburon, Calif. – July 23, 2019 – Electronic Design and Jon Peddie Research have published a retrospective look at the graphics controllers that have been an important part of computer systems almost since their inception. Graphics controllers have steadily progressed from providing limited support for low-resolution displays to platforms that provide real-time ray tracing support.

Early display controllers provided features like bit splitting and sprites. Many of these features began on PCs to support gaming and other applications. These technologies migrated into cell phones that turned into the smartphones of today that are essentially supercomputers-in-a-pocket. 

“Staying abreast of the latest and greatest technology, including computer graphics, is what we do at Electronic Design but it is often interesting and useful to look back at what was and how we got to where we are. Plus, old technologies and methodologies are often useful now. For example, the 8-bit game programmers moved from PCs to cell phones as the PCs moved onto higher-end graphics controllers but the cell phones were more limited at the time.

I worked with many of these early graphics chips even before I was the first Lab Director at PC Magazine’s famous PC Labs many years ago.

One name that stands out in the graphics world is Jon Peddie who has been following and reporting on this technology area as long as I have. I have known Jon Peddie for many years. He has always been my go-to person when it comes to graphics technology.

Jon has been writing short articles about graphics chips from a historical perspective and the articles can be found online but we have collected them here so you can easily find them. This is just the beginning of the series and starts with NEC µPD7220 Graphics Display Controller.

“We hope you enjoy this series of ebooks that delve into the history of graphics.”
— Bill Wong, Senior Content Director, Informa

Volume 2 of the Graphics Chip Chronicles is coming soon and will include coverage of:
IBM's XGA, Number Nine's Imagine 128 and 3Dfx's VooDoo

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 Supercomputer Committee, and the former president of The Siggraph Pioneers. In 2015 he was given the Lifetime Achievement award from the CAAD society.

Peddie lectures at numerous conferences and universities around the world on topics about graphics technology and the emerging trends in digital media technology. He has appeared on CNN, TechTV, and Future Talk TV, and is frequently quoted in trade and business publications.

Dr. Peddie has published hundreds of papers, has authored and contributed to no less than thirteen books in his career, his most recent, “Augmented Reality, where we all will live.” He is a contributor to TechWatch, for which he writes a series of weekly articles on AR, VR, AI, GPUs, and computer gaming. He is a regular contributor to IEEE, Computer Graphics World, Siggraph, and several other leading publications. This Fall, his newest book will come out, “Ray Tracing: A tool for all,” published by Springer.

Jon Peddie Research Contacts:

Jon Peddie, Jon Peddie Research
[email protected]

Robert Dow, Jon Peddie Research
[email protected]

Media Contact
Carol Warren, Crew Communications 
[email protected]


Jon Peddie Research and JPR are trademarks of Jon Peddie Research. All other tradenames and trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.