Graphic Cards

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Posted by pompos 03/24/2009 @ 18:11

Tags : graphic cards, components, hardware, technology

News headlines
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List of monochrome and RGB palettes


This list of monochrome and RGB palettes includes generic repertoires of colors (color palettes) to produce black-and-white and RGB color pictures by a computer's display hardware, not necessarily the total number of such colors that can be simultaneously displayed in a given text or graphic mode of any machine. RGB is the most common method to produce colors for displays; so these complete RGB color repertoires have every possible combination of R-G-B triplets within any given maximum number of levels per component.

For specific hardware and different methods to produce colors other than RGB, see the List of 8-bit computer hardware palettes, the List of 16-bit computer hardware palettes and the List of videogame consoles palettes. For various software arrangements and sorts of colors, including other possible full RGB arrangements within 8-bit color depth displays, see the List of software palettes.

Each palette is represented by a series of color patches. When the number of colors is low, a 1-pixel-size version of the palette appears below it, for easily comparing relative palette sizes. Huge palettes are given directly in one-color-per-pixel color patches.

For each unique palette, an image color test chart and sample image (truecolor original follows) rendered with that palette (without dithering) are given. The test chart shows the full 256 levels of the red, green, and blue (RGB) primary colors and cyan, magenta, and yellow complementary colors, along with a full 256-level grayscale. Gradients of RGB intermediate colors (orange, lime green, sea green, sky blue, violet, and fuchsia), and a full hue spectrum are also present. Color charts are not gamma corrected.

These elements illustrate the color depth and distribution of the colors of any given palette, and the sample image indicates how the color selection of such palettes could represent real-life images. These images are not necessarily representative of how the image would be displayed on the original graphics hardware, as the hardware may have additional limitations regarding the maximum display resolution, pixel aspect ratio and color placement. For simulated sample images for notable computers, see the List of 8-bit computer hardware palettes and List of 16-bit computer hardware palettes articles.

These palettes only have some shades of gray, from black to white, both considered the most possible darker and lighter "grays", respectively. The general rule is that those palettes have the following number of grays: 2 raised to the power of the number of bits needed to represent a single pixel.

Monochrome graphics displays typically have a black background with a white or light grey image, though green and amber monochrome monitors were also common. Such a palette requires only one bit per pixel.

In some systems, as Hercules and CGA graphic cards for the IBM PC, a bit value of 1 represents white pixels (light on) and a value of 0 the black ones (light off); others, like the Atari ST and Apple Macintosh with monochrome monitors, a bit value of 0 means a white pixel (no ink) and a value of 1 means a black pixel (dot of ink), which it approximates to the printing logic.

In a 8-bit color palette each pixel's value is represented by 8 bits resulting in a 256-value palette (28 = 256). This is usually the maximum number of grays in ordinary monochrome systems; each image pixel occupies a single memory byte.

Most scanners can capture images in 8-bit grayscale, and image file formats like TIFF and JPEG natively support this monochrome palette size.

Alpha channels employed for video overlay also use (conceptually) this palette. The gray level indicates the opacity of the blended image pixel over the background image pixel.

Here are grouped those full RGB hardware palettes that have the same number of binary levels (i.e., the same number of bits) for every red, green and blue components using the full RGB color model. Thus, the total number of colors are always the number of possible levels by component, n, raised to a power of 3: n×n×n = n3.

The color indices vary between implementations; therefore, index numbers are not given.

Often known as truecolor and millions of colors, 24-bit color is the highest color depth normally used, and is available on most modern display systems and software. Its color palette contains 2563 = 16,777,216 colors.

This can be imagined as 256 stacked squares like the following, every one of them having the same given value for the red component, from 0 to 255.

The color transitions in these patches must be seen as continuous. If you see color stepping (banding) inside, then probably your display is using a Highcolor (15- or 16- bits RGB, 32,768 or 65,536 colors) mode or lesser.

This is also the number of colors used in true color image files, like Truevision TGA, TIFF, JPEG (the last internally encoded as YCbCr) and Windows Bitmap, captured with scanners and digital cameras, as well as those created with 3D computer graphics software.

Some newer graphics cards support 30-bit RGB. Its color palette contains 10243 = 1,073,741,824 colors. However, there are hardly any operating systems or applications that support this mode.

These also are full RGB palette repertories, but either they do not have the same number of levels for every red, green and blue components, nor are bit levels based. Nevertheless, all of them are used in very popular personal computers.

For further details on color palettes for these systems, see the article List of 8-bit computer hardware palettes.

The 4-bit RGBI palette is similar to the 3-bit RGB palette but adds one bit for intensity. This results in each of the colors of the 3-bit palette to have a dark and bright variant giving a total of 23×2 = 16 colors.

This 4-bits RGBI schema is used in several platforms with variations, so the table given below is a simple reference for the palette richness, and not an actual implemented palette. For this reason, no numbers are assigned to each color, and color order is arbitrary.

This palette is used by the Amstrad CPC 464 series of personal computers.

This palette is used by the MSX2 series of personal computers.

Most modern systems support 16-bit color. It is sometimes referred to as Highcolor (along with the 15-bit RGB), medium color or thousands of colors. It utilizes a color palette of 32×64×32 = 65,536 colors. Usually, there are 5 bits allocated for the red and blue color components (32 levels each) and 6 bits for the green component (64 levels), due to the greater sensitivity of the normal human eye to this primary color. This doubles the 15-bit RGB palette.

The Extended Graphics Array (XGA) for IBM PS/2 also uses the 16-bit RGB palette.

It must be noticed that not all systems using 16-bit color depth employ the 16-bit, 32-64-32 level RGB palette. Platforms like Sharp X68000 or the Neo Geo videogame console employs the 15-bit RGB palette (5 bits are used for red, green, and blue), but the last bit specifies a less significant intensity or luminance. The 16-bit mode of the Truevision TARGA/AT-Vista/NU-Vista graphic cards and its associated TGA file format also uses 15-bit RGB, but it devotes its remaining bit as a simple alpha channel for video overlay.

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HDMI Type A socket

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It represents a digital alternative to consumer analog standards such as Radio Frequency (RF) coaxial cable, composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video, D-Terminal, and VGA. HDMI connects digital audio/video sources such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, personal computers (PCs), video game consoles, and AV receivers to compatible digital audio devices, computer monitors, and digital televisions.

HDMI supports, on a single cable, any TV or PC video format, including standard, enhanced, and high-definition video, up to 8 channels of digital audio, and the Consumer Electronics Control signal. It is independent of the various digital television standards such as ATSC and DVB as these are encapsulations of compressed MPEG video streams (which can be decoded and output as an uncompressed video stream on HDMI). A Digital Visual Interface (DVI) signal is electrically compatible with an HDMI video signal; no signal conversion needs to take place when an adapter is used, and consequently no loss in video quality occurs.

HDMI products started shipping in autumn 2003. Over 850 Consumer Electronics (CE) and PC companies have adopted the HDMI specification (HDMI Adopters). In Europe, either DVI-HDCP or HDMI is included in the HD ready in-store labelling specification for TV sets for HDTV, formulated by EICTA with SES Astra in 2005. HDMI began to appear on consumer HDTV camcorders and digital still cameras in 2006. Shipments of HDMI are expected to exceed that of DVI in 2008, driven primarily by the CE market.

HDMI supports, on a single cable, any TV or PC video format, including standard, enhanced, and high-definition video, up to 8 channels of digital audio, and the Consumer Electronics Control signal. HDMI encodes the video data into TMDS for uncompressed digital transmission over HDMI.

HDMI devices are manufactured to adhere to various versions of the specification, where each version is given a number such as 1.0, 1.2, or 1.3a. Each subsequent version of the specification uses the same kind of cable but increases the bandwidth and/or capabilities of what can be transmitted over the cable. For example the previous maximum pixel clock rate of HDMI interface was 165 MHz which was sufficient for supporting 1080p at 60 Hz and WUXGA (1920x1200) at 60 Hz. HDMI 1.3 increased that to 340 MHz which allows for higher resolution, such as WQXGA (2560x1600), across a single digital link. An HDMI connection can either be single link (Type A/C) or dual link (Type B) and can have a video pixel rate of 25 MHz to 340 MHz for a single link connection or 25 MHz to 680 MHz for a dual link connection. Video formats with rates below 25 MHz (e.g. 13.5 MHz for 480i/NTSC) are transmitted using a pixel-repetition scheme.

HDMI 1.0 to HDMI 1.2a uses the CEA-861-B video standard and HDMI 1.3+ uses the CEA-861-D video standard. The CEA-861-D document defines the video timing requirements, discovery structures, and data transfer structure. The color spaces that can be used by HDMI are ITU-R BT.601, ITU-R BT.709-5, and IEC 61966-2-4. HDMI can encode the video in xvYCC 4:4:4 (8–16 bits per component), sRGB 4:4:4 (8–16 bits per component), YCbCr 4:4:4 (8–16 bits per component), or YCbCr 4:2:2 (8-12 bits per component).

HDMI supports up to 8 channels of audio at sample sizes of 16-bit, 20-bit, and 24-bit with sample rates of 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, and 192 kHz. HDMI also supports any IEC61937-compliant compressed audio stream such as Dolby Digital and DTS and up to 8 channels of one-bit DSD audio, which is used on Super Audio CDs, at rates up to 4x that of Super Audio CD. With version 1.3, HDMI supports lossless compressed audio streams Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

In the U.S., HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support is a standard feature on digital TVs while in the PC industry it can depend on the specific model. The first computer monitors with HDCP support started being released in 2005 and by February 2006 a dozen different models had been released.

The HDMI Founders are Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic/National/Quasar), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson (RCA), and Toshiba. Digital Content Protection, LLC provides HDCP (which was developed by Intel) for HDMI. HDMI has the support of motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., and Disney, along with system operators DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network), and CableLabs.

The HDMI Founders began development on HDMI 1.0 on April 16, 2002, with the goal of creating an AV connector backward compatible with DVI. At that time DVI-HDCP (DVI with HDCP) and DVI-HDTV (DVI-HDCP using the CEA-861-B video standard) were being used on HDTVs. HDMI 1.0 was designed to improve on DVI-HDTV by using a smaller connector and adding support for audio, enhanced support for YCbCr, and CE control functions.

The first Authorized Testing Center (ATC), which tests HDMI products, was opened by Silicon Image on June 23, 2003 in California, United States. The first ATC in Japan was opened by Panasonic on May 1, 2004 in Osaka, Japan. The first ATC in Europe was opened by Philips on May 25, 2005 in Caen, France. The first ATC in China was opened by Silicon Image on November 21, 2005 in Shenzhen, China. The first ATC in India was opened by Philips on June 12, 2008 in Bangalore, India. A list of all of the ATCs is on the HDMI website.

According to In-Stat the number of HDMI devices sold was 5 million in 2004, 17.4 million in 2005, 63 million in 2006, and 143 million in 2007. HDMI is becoming the de facto standard for HDTVs and according to In-Stat around 90% of digital televisions in 2007 included HDMI. In-Stat has estimated that 229 million HDMI devices will sell in 2008. HDMI Licensing, LLC announced on January 7, 2009 that HDMI had reached an installed base of over 600 million HDMI devices. In-Stat has estimated that 394 million HDMI devices will sell in 2009 and that all digital televisions by the end of 2009 would have at least one HDMI input.

In 2008 PC Magazine awarded HDMI the 25th Annual Technical Excellence Awards in the Home Theater category for an innovation that has changed the world. Ten companies were given a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for their development of HDMI by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) on January 7, 2009.

The HDMI specification defines the protocols, signals, electrical interfaces, and mechanical requirements of the standard.

There are three HDMI connector types with Type A and Type B defined since the HDMI 1.0 specification and Type C defined since the HDMI 1.3 specification.

The Type A connector has 19 pins with bandwidth to support all SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV modes. The plug's outside dimensions are 13.9 mm wide by 4.45 mm high. Type A is electrically compatible with single link DVI-D.

The Type B connector has 29 pins (21.2 mm by 4.45 mm) and can carry double the video bandwidth of Type A for use with very high-resolution future displays such as WQUXGA (3840x2400). Type B is electrically compatible with dual link DVI-D but has not yet been used in any products.

The Type C mini-connector is intended for portable devices. It is smaller than the Type A connector (10.42 mm by 2.42 mm) but has the same 19 pin configuration. The number of pins is the same but the signal assignment is different because of the different shielding requirements due to the signals being in a single row. The differences are that all positive signals of the differential pairs are swapped with their corresponding shield, DDC/CEC Ground is assigned to pin 13 instead of 17, CEC is assigned to pin 14 instead of 13, and the reserved pin is assigned to pin 17 instead of 14. The Type C mini-connector can be connected to a Type A connector using a Type A-to-Type C connector cable.

The HDMI specification does not define a maximum cable length, but because of signal attenuation there is an upper limit to how long HDMI cables can be made. The length of an HDMI cable depends on the construction quality and the materials used in the cable. Adaptive equalization can be used to compensate for the signal attenuation and intersymbol interference caused by long cables.

To reduce the confusion about which cables support which video formats, HDMI 1.3 defines two categories of cables: Category 1 certified cables, which have been tested at 74.5 MHz (1080i/720p), and Category 2 certified cables, which have been tested at 340 MHz (1600p). Category 1 HDMI cables are to be marketed as "Standard" HDMI cables, and Category 2 HDMI cables are to be marketed as "High-Speed" HDMI cables. This labeling guideline for HDMI cables went into effect on October 17, 2008. Category 1 and 2 cables can either meet the required parameter specifications for inter-pair skew, far-end crosstalk, attenuation, and differential impedance or they can meet the required non-equalized/equalized eye diagram requirements. A cable of about 5 meters (16 ft) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications easily and inexpensively by using 28 AWG (0.081 mm²) conductors. With better quality construction and materials, including 24 AWG (0.205 mm²) conductors, an HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 ft). The HDMI website has stated that many HDMI cables under 5 meters of length that were made before the HDMI 1.3 specification can work as a Category 2 cable but cautions that only Category 2 tested cables are guaranteed to work. Long cable lengths can cause instability of HDCP and blinking on the screen due to the weakened DDC signal which HDCP requires. HDCP DDC signals must be multiplexed with TMDS video signals to be compliant with HDCP requirements for HDMI extenders based on a single Category 5/Category 6 cable. Several companies offer amplifiers, equalizers, and repeaters that can string several standard HDMI cables together. Active HDMI cables use electronics within the cable to boost the signal and allow for HDMI cables of up to 30 meters (98 ft). HDMI extenders that are based on dual Category 5/Category 6 cable can extend HDMI to 50 meters (164 ft) while HDMI extenders based on optical fiber can extend HDMI to 100+ meters (328 ft).

The Display Data Channel is a communication channel based on the I²C bus specification. HDMI specifically requires support for the Enhanced Display Data Channel (E-DDC) which is used by the HDMI source device to read the E-EDID data from the HDMI sink device to learn what audio/video formats it supports. HDMI requires that the E-DDC support I²C standard mode speed (100 kbit/s) and allows optional support for fast mode speed (400 kbit/s). HDMI has 3 separate communication channels which are the DDC, TMDS, and the optional CEC.

Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) on HDMI carries video, audio, and auxiliary data via one of three modes called the Video Data Period, the Data Island Period, and the Control Period. During the Video Data Period, the pixels of an active video line are transmitted. During the Data Island period (which occurs during the horizontal and vertical blanking intervals), audio and auxiliary data are transmitted within a series of packets. The Control Period occurs between Video and Data Island periods.

Both HDMI and DVI use TMDS to send 10-bit characters that are encoded using 8b/10b encoding for the Video Data Period and 2b/10b encoding for the Control Period. HDMI adds the ability to send audio/auxiliary data using 4b/10b encoding for the Data Island Period. Each Data Island Period is 32 pixels in size and contains a 32-bit Packet Header, which includes 8-bits of BCH ECC parity data for error correction, and describes the contents of the packet. Each Packet contains four subpackets and each subpacket is 64-bits in size including 8-bits of BCH ECC parity data allowing for each Packet to carry up to 224-bits of audio data. Each Data Island Period can contain up to 18 Packets. 7 of the 15 Packet types described in the HDMI 1.3a specifications deal with audio data while the other 8 types deal with auxiliary data. Among these are the General Control Packet and the Gamut Metadata Packet. The General Control Packet carries information on AVMUTE (which mutes the audio during changes that may cause audio noise) and Color Depth (which sends the bit depth of the current video stream and is required for Deep Color). The Gamut Metadata Packet carries information on the color space being used for the current video stream and is required for xvYCC.

Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) wiring is mandatory although implementation of CEC in a product is optional. CEC uses the industry standard AV Link protocol, is used for remote control functions, is a one-wire bidirectional serial bus, and was defined in HDMI Specification 1.0 and updated in HDMI 1.2, HDMI 1.2a, and HDMI 1.3a (added timer and audio commands). The CEC feature is used to allow the user to command and control multiple CEC-enabled boxes with one remote control and for individual CEC-enabled devices to command and control each other without user intervention.

Alternative names for CEC are Anynet (Samsung), Aquos Link (Sharp), BRAVIA Theatre Sync (Sony), Kuro Link (Pioneer), CE-Link and Regza Link (Toshiba), RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) (Onkyo), Simplink (LG), HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync and VIERA Link (Panasonic), EasyLink (Philips), and NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi).

A DVI signal is electrically compatible with an HDMI video signal; no signal conversion needs to take place when an adapter is used, and consequently no loss in video quality occurs. As such HDMI is backward compatible with Digital Visual Interface digital video (DVI-D or DVI-I, but not DVI-A) as used on modern computer monitors and graphics cards. This means that a DVI-D source can drive an HDMI monitor, or vice versa, by means of a suitable adapter or cable. However, the audio and remote-control features of HDMI will not be available. Additionally, not all devices with DVI input support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Without such support by the device, an HDCP-enabled signal source will suppress output and so prevent the device from receiving HDCP-protected content.

HDMI can use HDCP to encrypt the signal if required by the source device. CSS, CPPM, and AACS requires the use of HDCP on HDMI when playing back encrypted DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and Blu-ray Disc. The HDCP Repeater bit controls the authentication and switching/distribution of an HDMI signal. According to HDCP Specification 1.2 beginning with HDMI CTS 1.3a, any system which implements HDCP must do so in a fully-compliant manner. HDCP testing which was previously only a requirement for optional tests such as the “Simplay HD” testing program is now part of the requirements for HDMI compliance. HDCP allows for up to 127 devices to be connected together with up to 7 levels using a combination of sources, sinks, and repeaters. A simple example of this is several HDMI devices connected to an HDMI AV receiver that is connected to an HDMI display.

There are devices called HDCP strippers which can remove the HDCP information from the video signal and allows the video to be playable on non-HDCP compliant displays. An example of an HDCP stripper for HDMI is the HDfury2 which can convert the video to VGA or component video and the audio to stereo analog or digital TOSLINK.

HDMI devices are manufactured to adhere to various versions of the specification, where each version is given a number such as 1.0, 1.2, or 1.3a. Each subsequent version of the specification uses the same kind of cable but increases the bandwidth and/or capabilities of what can be transmitted over the cable. A product listed as having an HDMI version does not necessarily mean that it will have all of the features that are listed for that version since some HDMI features are optional such as Deep Color and xvYCC (which is branded by Sony as "x.v.Color").

HDMI 1.0 was released December 9, 2002 and is a single cable digital audio/video connector interface with a maximum TMDS bandwidth of 4.9 Gbit/s. It supports up to 3.96 Gbit/s of video bandwidth (1080p60 Hz or UXGA) and 8 channel LPCM/192 kHz/24-bit audio. HDMI 1.1 was released on May 20, 2004 and added support for DVD Audio. HDMI 1.2 was released August 8, 2005 and added support for One Bit Audio, used on Super Audio CDs, at up to 8 channels. It also added the availability of HDMI Type A connector for PC sources, the ability for PC sources to use native sRGB color-space while retaining the option to support the YCbCr color space, and required HDMI 1.2 and later displays to support low-voltage sources. HDMI 1.2a was released on December 14, 2005 and fully specifies Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) features, command sets, and CEC compliance tests.

HDMI 1.3 was released June 22, 2006 and increased the single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s). It optionally supports Deep Color with 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC, sRGB, or YCbCr compared to 24-bit sRGB or YCbCr in previous HDMI versions. It optionally supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers. It incorporates automatic audio syncing (Audio video sync) capability. It defined cable Categories 1 and 2 with Category 1 cable being tested up to 74.25 MHz and Category 2 cable being tested up to 340 MHz. It also added the new Type C mini-connector for portable devices. HDMI 1.3a was released on November 10, 2006 and had Cable and Sink modifications for Type C, source termination recommendations, and removed undershoot and maximum rise/fall time limits. It also changed CEC capacitance limits, clarified sRGB video quantization range clarification, and CEC commands for timer control brought back in an altered form, audio control commands added. HDMI 1.3b was released on March 26, 2007 and added HDMI compliance testing revisions. HDMI 1.3b has no effect on HDMI features, functions, or performance since the testing is for products based on the HDMI 1.3a specification. HDMI 1.3b1 was released on November 9, 2007 and added HDMI compliance testing revisions which added testing requirements for HDMI Type C mini-connector. HDMI 1.3b1 has no effect on HDMI features, functions, or performance since the testing is for products based on the HDMI 1.3a specification. HDMI 1.3c was released on August 25, 2008 and added HDMI compliance testing revisions which changed testing requirements for active HDMI cables. HDMI 1.3c has no effect on HDMI features, functions, or performance since the testing is for products based on the HDMI 1.3a specification.

Note that a given product may choose to implement a subset of the given HDMI version. Certain features such as Deep Color and xvYCC support are optional.

Blu-ray Disc, introduced in 2006, offers new high-fidelity audio features that require HDMI for best results. Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio use bitrates exceeding S/PDIF's capacity. HDMI 1.3 can transport Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, and DTS-HD bitstreams in compressed form. This capability allows for an AV receiver with the necessary decoder to decode the compressed audio stream. The Blu-ray specification does not support video encoded with either Deep Color or xvYCC so HDMI 1.0 can transfer Blu-ray discs at full video quality.

Blu-ray permits secondary audio decoding whereby the disc content can tell the player to mix multiple audio sources together before final output. Some Blu-ray players can decode all of the audio codecs internally and can output LPCM audio over HDMI. Multi-channel LPCM can be transported over an HDMI connection and as long as the AV receiver supports multi-channel LPCM audio over HDMI, and supports HDCP, the audio reproduction is equal in resolution to HDMI 1.3 bitstream output. Some low cost AV receivers, such as the Onkyo TX-SR506, do not support audio processing over HDMI and are labelled as "HDMI pass through" devices.

Another audio/video interface is DisplayPort, which had version 1.0 approved in May 2006 and is supported in several computer monitors. The DisplayPort website states that DisplayPort is expected to complement HDMI. Most of the DisplayPort supporters are computer companies such as Dell which has released several computer monitors that support both DisplayPort and HDMI. DisplayPort has an advantage over HDMI in that it is currently royalty free, while the HDMI royalty is 4 cents per device and has an annual fee of $10,000 for high volume manufacturers. HDMI has a few advantages over DisplayPort such as support for the xvYCC color space, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream support, Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) signals, and electrical compatibility with DVI.

PCs with a DVI interface are capable of video output to an HDMI enabled monitor. Some PCs include an HDMI interface and may also be capable of HDMI audio output depending on specific hardware. For example Intel's motherboard chipsets since the 945G have been capable of 8 channel LPCM output over HDMI as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce 8200/8300 motherboard chipsets. 8 channel LPCM audio output over HDMI with a video card was first seen with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 which was released in June 2008 and is supported by other video cards in the ATI Radeon HD 4000 series. Linux can support 8 channel LPCM audio over HDMI if the video card has the necessary hardware and supports the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). The ATI Radeon HD 4000 series supports ALSA. Cyberlink announced in June of 2008 that they would update their PowerDVD playback software to support 192 kHz/24-bit Blu-ray Disc audio decoding in Q3-Q4 of 2008. Corel's WinDVD 9 Plus currently supports 96 kHz/24-bit Blu-ray Disc audio decoding.

Even with an HDMI output a computer may not support HDCP, Microsoft's Protected Video Path, or Microsoft's Protected Audio Path. In the case of HDCP there were several early graphic cards that were labelled as "HDCP-enabled" but did not actually have the necessary hardware for HDCP. This included certain graphic cards based on the ATI X1600 chipset and certain models of the NVIDIA Geforce 7900 series. The Protected Video Path was enabled in graphic cards which supported HDCP since it was required for output of Blu-ray Disc video. In comparison the Protected Audio Path was only required if a lossless audio bitstream was output (such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA). Uncompressed LPCM audio though does not require a Protected Audio Path and software programs such as PowerDVD and WinDVD can decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA and output it out as LPCM. A limitation is that if the computer does not support a Protected Audio Path the audio must be downsampled to 16-bit 48 kHz but can still output at up to 8 channels. No graphic cards were released in 2008 that supported the Protected Audio Path.

Asus announced in June of 2008 the Xonar HDAV1.3 which in December of 2008 received a software update and became the first HDMI sound card that supported the Protected Audio Path and can both bitstream and decode lossless audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA), although bitstreaming is only available if using the ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre software. The Xonar HDAV1.3 has an HDMI 1.3 input/output and Asus says that it can work with most video cards on the market.

At WinHEC 2008 Microsoft announced that color depths of 30-bit and 48-bit would be supported in Windows 7 along with the wide color gamut scRGB (which can be converted and output as xvYCC).

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Gainward is a computer hardware company which produces video cards. Their graphic cards used to be exclusively based on NVIDIA chipsets. However, they also announced ATI-based graphics solutions after the successful launch of ATI 4800-series hardware. Gainward products are famous for their overclockability. The company has also recently released cards that deviate from the reference specifications set forth by NVIDIA. They have released a 20 pixel pipeline 7800GS AGPs with 512 MB of memory (based on the G70 core), and a 24 pixel pipeline 7800GS+ AGP video card with 512 MB of memory (based on the G71 7900gt core).

Gainward is well-known for their famous 'Golden Sample' range of graphics cards. These cards are overclocked past their stock speeds and tested before they are sold, to ensure quality for their customers. Current examples of 'Golden Sample' cards are; nVidia 7900GS, 7900GT, 7950GT and 8800GT and most recently ATI's HD 4850, HD 4870, and HD 4870x2. At one stage 'Golden Sample' cards came with a "Free 2 Choose" game voucher which could be redeemed for a downloaded game from . The 'Golden Sample' cards now come packaged with a free game.

Gainward had a gap in which they did not produce anything new but they started producing again with the nVidia 8800 GTS series which has brought them back up to date with other companies such as Gigabyte and PNY Technologies.

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Elisa (software)

Elisa is a project to create an open source cross platform media center solution. Primary development and deployment platform is Linux and Unix operating systems and also currently support Microsoft Windows and also hope to support Mac OS X in the future. Elisa runs on top of the GStreamer multimedia framework and takes full advantage of hardware acceleration provided by modern graphic cards by using OpenGL APIs. In addition to personal video recorder functionality (PVR) and Music Jukebox support, Elisa will also interoperate with devices following the DLNA standard like Intel’s ViiV systems.

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XFX logo

XFX is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based Pine Technology Holdings Limited Group that specializes in the manufacturing of video cards based on NVIDIA and AMD graphics processing units and motherboards. XFX is also one of the leading graphics solution manufacturers in the United States, and is ranked number one in Europe. XFX products are geared towards the mainstream, gaming, and enthusiast computing.

XFX manufactures standard design graphic cards with NVIDIA and AMD graphic processing units. However XFX also produce non-standard design graphics cards.

In 2006, XFX acquired copyrights and partnership of the famed cyber-athlete Fatal1ty, using his name for a separate division of graphic cards that has either improved cooling or performance. In addition to using Fatal1ty's name, XFX is also sponsoring Fatal1ty.

Like many of its competitors, XFX also produces passively cooled graphic solutions, such as the XFX GeForce 7950GT 570M and the 8600GT Fatal1ty. These cards use larger heat sinks and more heat pipes to cool the cards efficiently without using fans. Although the passive coolers are completely silent, the cards that have them usually run hotter than their actively cooled equivalents.

XFX is known for offering a unique warranty program called the "Double Lifetime Warranty" This warranty implies that, if the original owner, having a registered XFX product, later transfers ownership of that product to someone else, any remaining warranty coverage is given to the new owner. However, this exclusive warranty is valid only to purchases made in the United States and Canada.

XFX previously produced an original TV show called Extreme PC Garage, in which XFX took an under-performing PC and upgraded it to a high end system. The program was similar in concept to MTV's Pimp My Ride.

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18 Wheels Of Steel Haulin

18 Wheels Of Steel: Haulin' is a trucking simulator made by SCS Software. One is able to run in Canada and in the United States. This game runs on Windows XP, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows vista. Users with the retail box version should download a patch available free of charge at the SCS Software website - see the patch changelog available at that site. It is one of the most realistic driving games available in the United States. It has since been replaced by 18 WoS American Long Haul around Dec. 20, 2007.

This installment adds more cities and has more realistic graphics than previous games in the 18 Wheels of Steel franchise. The ability to use custom soundtracks and save games during deliveries was added also. Choose from 32 rigs, 45+ cargoes and 47+ trailers.The game doesn't require a very powerful computer to operate reasonably well, but it requires an up-to-date graphics card (RAM 256MB, processor 1.4GHz, 128MB video card). 18 Wheels of Steel: Haulin' may be one of the most realistic trucking games on the market. Prism 3D may not respond on older graphic cards resulting in a game crash on the game's startup.

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Tarari is a company that spun out of Intel in 2002 . It has created a range of re-programmable silicon based on Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and ASICs that offload and accelerate really complex algorithms such as XML Parsing, scanning for Computer viruses, email spam and intruders in Intrusion-prevention systems and Unified threat management appliances. As well as inspecting content its Content Processors can also transform content and they are used for XML transformation XSLT, compression, encryption as well as HD Video encoding for WMV and VC-1 formats.

In June 2006 Tarari announced that its next generation chips that will support the AMD Torrenza initiative - and they will incorporate HyperTransport interfaces. HyperTransport based-systems offer a dramatically reduced latency and increased throughput. This is because a HyperTransport connected system allows a co-processor to have direct access to the system's HyperTransport bus, and thus as much access to system resources as other conventional CPUs.

PCI-Express and HyperTransport buses both allow systems to communicate at 20-25 Gbit/s versus 4-8 Gbit/s for Peripheral Component Interconnect PCI/PCI-X based systems. Just as the latest desktop machines are using PCI-Express for their high-performance graphic cards now servers will be able to use these high speed interconnects to add other hardware-based co-processors.

PCI-Express and HyperTransport buses both operate serially using multiple lanes - PCI-Express supports 1, 2, 4 or 8 lane connectivity at 2.5 Gbit/s per lane. Whereas PCI/PCI-X works using parallel transfers and is most efficient in the 2k - 4k byte per transfer range, PCI-Express and HyperTransport are very efficient at transfers as small as just 64 bytes. Therefore applications such as in intrusion-prevention system (IPS) and VOIP security applications which have to examine a large volume of small packets will benefit from such high-speed and highly efficient transfer capabilities.

On 5 September 2007, LSI Corporation announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tarari.

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Source : Wikipedia