Founded in 1985, Chips and Technologies is the very first in a long line of semiconductor companies to follow. Outside of IBM, it was the first company to produce a compatible VGA chipset, essentially creating the market for IBM compatible graphics. Chips and Technologies chipsets set a trend that was followed up by companies such as Oak Technologies, Cirrus Logic, Trident Microsystems and many others. From this course of action the industry inevitably became saturated.
Upon first being established, the main objective of Chips and Technologies was to come up with more cost-effective ways to design and produce microcomputer system components for a fast growing market. Its portfolio consisted of an extensive line of Chips and Technologies chipsets and circuits, graphics controller circuits, interface circuits, PC-to-mainframe communications controllers and a variety of circuits for mass storage control. In the early 1990s, Chips and Technologies set its focus on single-chip systems to capitalize on the anticipated growth of sub-notebook and handheld computers.
The company is well known for the Chips and Technologies Wingine video card, a high-speed framebuffer which resided in a proprietary local bus slot on compatible motherboards. JCIS and Epson were two of several companies who offered motherboards integrated with the Wingine local bus slot. The Chips and Technologies Wingine was a big a hit among users of the NEXTSTEP for Intel processors due to its reputation as one of the most efficient video cards for the system.
In the mid 1990s, Chips and Technologies fail on hard times, making significant cuts to both its staff and product line. Though it looked as if the company would be able to make a comeback, it was eventually acquired by Intel in 1997. Because of its strong presence in the graphics chip business, Chips and Technologies products are still largely supported by a number of third-party vendors.
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