LDS-1 (Line Drawing System-1)

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LDS-1 (Line Drawing System-1) was a calligraphic (vector, rather than raster) display processor and display device created by Evans & Sutherland. This model was known as the first graphics device with a graphics processing unit.[1]


Block diagram of Evans and Sutherland Line Drawing System 1

It was controlled by a variety of host computers. Straight lines were smoothly rendered in real-time animation. General principles of operation were similar to the systems used today: 4x4 transformation matrices, 1x4 vertices. Possible uses included flight simulation (in the product brochure there are screenshots of landing on a carrier), scientific imaging and GIS systems.


The first LDS-1 was shipped to the customer (BBN) in August 1969. Only a few of these systems were ever built. One was used by the Los Angeles Times as their first typesetting/layout computer. One went to NASA Ames Research Center for Human Factors Research. Another was bought by the Port Authority of New York to develop a tugboat pilot trainer for navigation in the harbor. The MIT Dynamic Modeling had one, and there was a program for viewing an ongoing game of Maze War. [2][3]

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  1. ^ Evans, David C (March 1971). "Graphical Man-Machine Communications (semi-annual technical report for 1 July 1970 to 31 December 1971" (PDF). Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "DigiBarn Events: David Lebling describes Maze at MIT (1974+)". Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  3. ^ Moss, Richard (2015-05-21). "The first first-person shooter". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-08-04.

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