AfterDawn: Glossary

Video Graphics Array

Video Graphics Array (VGA) refers to computer display hardware. It is also used to reference a resolution of 640x480 and a 15-pin VGA connector. It was introduced in 1987. The label of "Array" instead of "Adapter" references the reality that VGA was a single chip design, whereas it's predecessors used multiple chips on a full length ISA board, such as Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA) , Color Graphics Adapter (CDA) and Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA).

VGA was introduced by IBM, and is the last IBM standard that the majority of PC manufacturers conformed to. When operating systems such as Windows boot today, they are in VGA mode before the graphics card/hardware drivers kick in, which is why there is a noticeable difference in display without the drivers. VGA was superceded by IBM's XGA and the multiple SVGA extensions made by other manufacturers.

VGA's color system is backwards compatible with CGA and EGA. While CGA could display up to 16 colors, and EGA improved upon that by making the 16 colors selectable from a palette of 64 colors, VGA expands EGA's 64 colours to 256 colors. The 640x480 resolution brought to personal computing by VGA has been replaced by higher resolution hardware for quite a while now, but in the mobile device market, the 640x480 resolution has come to life again in mobile phones, MP3 hardware, PVPs and more.



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