Orchid Technology

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Orchid ProDesigner IIS graphics card

Orchid Technology was a privately held company founded by Le Nhon Bui in 1982.[1][2][3] The company's original flagship product was its PCNet card, a 1 megabit-per-second LAN (networking) card for IBM PCs and clones.[4] Notably, the acronym LAN (Local Area Networking) is the Vietnamese word for "Orchid". Hence, the origin of the company name.

After this successful product, the company embarked on introducing high-performance add-in cards, most notably the LIM (Lotus, Intel Microsoft standard) which extended DOS out to 1M, Multi-purpose network cards that included RAM, clock, serial printer ports and Network COAX TCPIP capabilities. Orchid developed its own operating system as well as one of the first 5 OEM's of Novell. Other products included PC Turbo, TinyTurbo and TurboVGA enhancement cards that included 186 and 286 processors. As the operating systems took on more resources Orchid made a switch back to its roots as PC board manufacturer. From 1984 1986 the company switched to an Autocad video board manufacturer. Later, a variety of memory and video cards were introduced.

In 1988, Orchid started designing and selling back-plane motherboards under the Privilege Systems Division. However, Orchid could not garner any significant marketshare due to stiff competition from motherboard makers Micronics Computers, Inc., Mylex Corporation and American Megatrends Inc.(AMI), the original motherboard brand names in the industry.

In August 1994, it was acquired by motherboard maker Micronics Computers, Inc.[5] Orchid was known for its Righteous 3D, Fahrenheit Video3D and Kelvin 64 graphics accelerators. They also manufactured an array of multimedia products including SoundWave 32 and GameWave 32 and the award-winning Vidiola line of digital capture and playback systems.

Orchid sold their products through Direct to Fortune companies, OEMs, System Integrators and National Distributors such as Gates/FA, Techdata, Ingram and Micro D.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sector 5: Computing : Orchid Technology Inc., Page 155, Stoy Hayward Unlisted Securities Market Year Book, Contributor:Cecil Parkinson, Publisher:Springer, 1990, ISBN 1349112852, 9781349112852
  2. ^ Add-on Boards compete for slot space, By Stephen Outing, InfoWorld, 2 Dec 1985, Page 26, ...says Le Nhon Bui, president of Orchid Technology, a Fremont, California, board maker. Orchid was on of the early pioneers in LAN technology...
  3. ^ Advert: Orchid Technology, PC Mag, Aug-Oct 1982, Page 203
  4. ^ Getting Hooked On PCnet, By Ron Jeffries, PC Mag, Nov 1983, Page 107
  5. ^ Micronics merges with Orchid in an $11 million deal, By Tom Quinlan, InfoWorld, 20 Jun 1994, Page 39