Founded in 1987, Trident Microsystems is a company that designs, develops and sells an array of display processors. Its system-on-chip solutions are designed for the fast growing consumer electronics market, mainly consisting of digital television and AV multimedia products. Though headquartered in Santa Clara, California, the company has sales, support and development facilities throughout Asian locations that include China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.
The company made a name for itself in the late 1980s with a line of low-end SVGA chipsets. In fact, many OEMs at the time built their add-in boards with Trident chipsets. With the PC graphics market shifting from basic color monitor output to more advanced multi-resolution acceleration, the manufacturer kept themselves afloat by focusing on modest performing chips at incredibly low prices.
Trident caught up with one of its main competitors in the 1990s when releasing the TGUI-9680, a chip with a feature set that rivaled the Trio64V+ by S3 Graphics. The rapid emergence of the 3D graphics card market forced the company to ramp up its offerings, leading to the release of the TGUI-9880 in the late 1990s. While the chip was competitive in terms of performance, companies such as ATI and SiS became dominant forces in the low-end market. Trident enjoyed success with its 3DImage and Blade3D series but that was all cut short as Intel’s entry into the PC graphics field marked the end of the low-end market. In 2003, the company’s graphics division was acquired by XGI.
Trident has been an early pioneer in both graphics cards and the semiconductor field with its embedded DRAM products. Today, the company is focused on manufacturing products that deliver genuine digital cinema quality to the masses of home entertainment displays. Trident video controller solutions are relied on by manufacturers such as Philips, Samsung and Sony as well as countless numbers of consumers across the world.
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