Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Qimonda was once a major provider of computer memory. The company was formed when splitting from Infineon Technologies in 2006, which itself was a spin-off division of Siemens AG and still has a stake in the company. It sells Aeneon-branded memory products to retail markets and uses the Qimonda brand for its OEM customers. Some of its clients have included Dell and Hewlett Packard, while most of its sales originated in the Asia Pacific and North American markets.
At the time, it was said to be the second largest DRAM company in the world and a top supplier of memory products for the personal computer and server markets. In its glory days, the company had an estimated 13,500 worldwide employees, including nearly 1,800 in research and development with access to multiple R&D facilities and manufacturing sites spanning three continents.
The successful run for Qimonda DRAM products was short to say the least. Starting in 2008, the price of DRAM declined steadily due to an oversupply on the market. This in turn resulted in significant financial losses. In October of 2008, the company announced major changes in order to reduce losses and reposition itself in the struggling DRAM business. Qimonda signed on for a joint venture with Nanya Technology and also shut down one of its sites in Richmond, Virginia, an R&D facility in Raleigh, North Carolina and a major location back in Dresden. Lacking resources and capital, its situation worsened, leading to reports that the company had filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2009.
Despite an EETimes report starting that Qimonda DRAM products were no longer in production, the company has released statements that it is still in existence and looking for “fresh capital.” Unfortunately, without anyone interested in making an acquisition or investing in the company, the future of Qimonda appears quite bleak.
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Founded in 1997, LifeView is a subsidiary of the graphics solutions and multimedia specialist Animations Technologies Incorporated. The headquarters in Fremont, California serves as the company’s U.S. headquarters and is responsible for handling all sales, marketing and customer support activities in both North and South America.
LifeView encompasses three major product lines: the USB video capture series, the PC Camera series and the Fly Video/Capture Series, each of which are designed to support desktop and portable video, imaging, multimedia and other applications. The award-winning LifeView line has consisted of many industry firsts, with products geared for major PC interfaces that include CardBus, PCI, Mini PCI, PCI Express, ExpressCard and USB products.
One of the most successful lines to be released is its premium certified Vista tuners, such as the LifeView FlyTV ExpressCard M5. Launched in 2007, this dual hybrid TV tuner provides notebook users with true PIP viewing capabilities on any two channels at the same time, be it analog or digital. Unlike competing hardware, the LifeView Express solutions were among the first to allow the viewing of two digital television channels simultaneously on different transport streams. Another standout feature of the FlyTV Express card series is the ability to record one program while viewing another. These solutions were also some of the first to offer seamless compatibility on Microsoft Windows Vista.
Established in 1990, the parent company, Animation Technologies Incorporated, is an industry leader and one of the pioneers in the development and manufacturing of multimedia and video capturing technology. Headquartered in Taiwan, the company is dedicated to developing and marketing innovative multimedia and video solutions that suit the needs of customers in the consumer, corporate and OEM markets. Animation Technologies is backed by an expert R&D team, along with a knowledgeable management staff, that allows it to deliver cutting edge video capturing solutions.
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Founded in1988, Palit Microsystems is a leading manufacturer of innovative, high-performance motherboards and graphics accelerators. As one of the major providers of PC components, the company has a wide variety of award-winning products based on industry-leading NVIDIA and ATI chipsets. With headquarters in Hong Kong, branch offices in Germany and Taiwan, and factories in Mainline China, it has established a global network to meet the demanding needs of the PC hardware market. Banking off the overwhelming success of Palit graphics cards in both Asia and Europe, the company recently started operations in the Americas with a Palit Multimedia division based in Toronto, Canada.
Palit has an award-winning history in the development and manufacturing of PC graphics cards. For over 20 years, it has been marketing products under its worldwide brands, such as Gainward and XpertVision, two companies it acquired to strengthen its overall presence in the market.
Some of its most successful products have been based on the ATI Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 series, solutions that deliver rich experiences to entry-level customers, home entertainment users, and enthusiast gamers who desire high-performance graphics. Palit has proven its commitment to quality and reliability with state of the art R&D facilities, as well ISO 9001 manufacturing certification and Microsoft’s WHQL certification. Palit graphics cards are a big hit on the market and are currently sold through select vendors, such as TigerDirect, Ingram Micro and Newegg.
As one of the most recognizable names in the business, Palit strives to continuously invest in the best design and manufacturing practices to meet the requirements of its customers. It aims to achieve these goals by leveraging an infrastructure designed with the type of flexibility that allows for seamless adjustments. Already a household name, it just may be safe to assume that Palit will maintain its leading position in the video card industry.
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Founded in 1982, Number Nine Visual Technology Corporation was one of the pioneers and a leading provider in high-performance visual technology products. Its portfolio included graphics accelerator subsystems, graphics chips and a range of productivity-enhancing software solutions. The company’s display adapters were highly regarded for bringing state of the art functionality to the market. At one time, Number Nine was very profitable with headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts along with R&D facilities, sales and marketing offices in Germany, Munich and Redmond, Washington.
This company is well known for its Number Nine Apple Booster, originally released in 1982 as one of the first graphics accelerator for the Apple II line of computers. The hardware featured a 50-pin slot card, 64 KB onboard RAM and 3.58 MHz of speed. Notoriety from the influential Apple system pushed Number Nine graphics cards into the mainstream and led to many cutting edge releases. In 1994, the company delivered the first 128-bit graphics accelerator followed up by the first 256-color and 16.8 million-color cards. These products were a part of three successful lines of 128-bit graphics chips and boards. The company wowed the industry in the late 1990s with its award-winning Number Nine Ticket to Ride product line. The fourth and final generation was a 128-bit fully integrated 2D/3D MPEG graphics coprocessor compatible with Windows 95, 98, NT and Macintosh systems. Despite its long-running success, heavy competition in the graphics card business and financial strife eventually drove Number Nine to bankruptcy.
In 1999, Number Nine’s assets were acquired by S3 Corporation, who subsequently sold its manufacturing rights to Frank Bruno and Jim Macleod, members of the company’s original engineering team. Bruno and Macleod went on to form Silicon Spectrum, a company that supplies FPGA graphics solutions for Windows and Linux platforms. As of now, Number Nine graphics accelerators no longer supported though driver downloads are available on numerous third-party sites.
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Microstar International, or MSI, is a computer hardware manufacturer based in Taiwan. Though perhaps best known for its desktop motherboards, Microstar also designs, manufactures and markets graphic cards, add-on boards, barebones, servers, notebooks, storage and communications devices and a wide range of consumer electronics products. Its impressive line of motherboards are compatible with both AMD and Intel processors and also supports the Crossfire and SLI lines of NVIDIA and ATI graphics processors. To keep up with the global market, Microstar assures its worldwide customers the best possible services with subsidiaries in China, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., U.K., Canada and several other countries.
Originally founded in 1986, MSI has been making a commitment to quality and reliability for more than two decades. Well known as the first company to produce motherboards with BIOS that could be updated directly over the internet, Microstar is now popular for a line of consumer electronic products that range from MP3 players and pen drives to web cams and USB DTV receivers. In 1995 and 1996, the company received ISO-9002 and ISO-9001 certification respectively. Highly skilled R&D teams ensure that its products undergo thorough quality control testing, achieving far beyond industry standards with 99.6% quality ratings. Through high-performance MSI graphics cards, motherboards and other award-winning products, Microstar has garnered praise from the global media, high customer ratings and numerous awards.
Over the years, MSI has not only made itself one of the most successful PC hardware manufacturers in Taiwan, but one of the most profitable in the entire industry. Producing approximately 20 million motherboards and 11 million graphics cards per year, Microstar has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers in those respective markets. Recently releasing cutting edge products like the MSI U100 PLUS and MSI N260GTX Lightning Twin Frozr, it looks as if the innovations will keep on coming.
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