Texas Instruments Graphics Architecture
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|Entry-level||TIGA-340 (TMS34010 Graphics System Processors based)|
|Mid-range||Number Nine Visual Technology Peeper and GX series, Hercules Graphics Station and Chrome, Texas Instruments TIGA Diamond and TIGA Star|
|Successor||VESA, Super VGA|
Texas Instruments Graphics Architecture (TIGA) was a graphics interface standard created by Texas Instruments that defined the software interface to graphics processors. Using this standard, any software written for TIGA should work correctly on a TIGA-compliant graphics interface card.
Number Nine Visual Technology graphics cards using Texas Instruments' TIGA co-processors were made from about 1986 to 1992, including the Peeper and GX series.
In the early 1990s, Texas Instruments France (which had marketing control for the TIGA architecture and GSP chipsets in Europe) experimented with manufacturing and selling its own range of consumer oriented video cards based on TIGA and aimed at speeding up the user experience of Windows. These products were named TIGA Diamond (34020 based) and TIGA Star (34010 based), and provided a platform for selling TI DRAM and video palette chips as well as the GSP chips themselves.
Despite the superiority of the technology in comparison to typical SuperVGA cards of the era, the relatively high cost and emerging local bus graphics standards meant that IT distributors and PC manufacturers could not see a niche for these products at consumer level.
The (limited) success of the graphics cards paved the way for products based upon various derivatives and clones of IBM's 8514 architecture. Part of the effort to make graphics accelerators useful required TI to convince Microsoft that the internal interfaces to its Windows Operating System had to be adaptable instead of hard-coded. Indeed, all versions of Windows prior to Windows 3.0 were "hard-coded" to specific graphics hardware.
In many ways, the TMS34010 and graphics team at TI were primary contributors to the evolutionary process that lead to current windows accelerators, the APIs used by Microsoft, and 3D gaming for both consoles and PCs.
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