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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