Sinclair Research Ltd is a British consumer electronics company founded by Clive Sinclair in Cambridge. It was incorporated in 1973 as Westminster Mail Order Ltd, renamed Sinclair Instrument Ltd Science of Cambridge Ltd Sinclair Computers Ltd, Sinclair Research Ltd, it remained dormant until 1976, when it was activated with the intention of continuing Sinclair's commercial work from his earlier company Sinclair Radionics, adopted the name Sinclair Research in 1981. In 1980, Clive Sinclair entered the home computer market with the ZX80 at £99.95, at that time the cheapest personal computer for sale in the United Kingdom. In 1982 the ZX Spectrum was released, becoming the UK's best selling computer, competing aggressively against Commodore and Amstrad. At the height of its success, inspired by the Japanese Fifth Generation Computer program, the company established the "MetaLab" research centre at Milton Hall near Cambridge, in order to pursue artificial intelligence, wafer-scale integration, formal verification and other advanced projects.
A combination of the failures of the Sinclair QL computer and the TV80 led to financial difficulties in 1985, a year Sinclair sold the rights to its computer products and brand name to Amstrad. Sinclair Research Ltd still exists as a one-man company, continuing to market Clive Sinclair's inventions. On 25 July 1961, Clive Sinclair founded Sinclair Radionics Ltd. in Cambridge. The company developed hi-fi products, radios and scientific instruments; when it became clear that Radionics was failing, Sinclair took steps to ensure that he would be able to continue to pursue his commercial goals. In February 1975, he changed the name of Ablesdeal Ltd to Westminster Mail Order Ltd; the name was changed to Sinclair Instrument Ltd in August 1975. Finding it inconvenient to share control after the National Enterprise Board became involved in Radionics in 1976, Sinclair encouraged Chris Curry to leave Radionics, which he had worked for since 1966, get Sinclair Instrument operational; the company's first product was a watch-like Wrist Calculator.
In July 1977, Sinclair Instrument Ltd was renamed Science of Cambridge Ltd. Around the same time, Ian Williamson showed Chris Curry a prototype microcomputer based on a National Semiconductor SC/MP microprocessor and parts from a Sinclair calculator. Curry was encouraged Sinclair to adopt it as a product. In June 1978, Science of Cambridge launched its MK14 microcomputer in kit form. In May 1979, Jim Westwood, Sinclair's chief engineer, designed a new microcomputer based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor. Sinclair Instrument Ltd introduced the computer as the ZX80 in February 1980, as both a kit and ready-built. In November 1979, Science of Cambridge Ltd was renamed Sinclair Computers Ltd. In March 1981, Sinclair Computers was renamed Sinclair Research Ltd and the Sinclair ZX81 was launched. In February 1982, Timex Corporation obtained a license to manufacture and market Sinclair's computers in the USA under the name Timex Sinclair. In April the ZX Spectrum was launched. In July Timex launched the TS 1000 in the United States.
In March 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd made an £8.55m profit on turnover of £27.17m, including a £383,000 government grant to develop a flat screen. In 1982 Clive Sinclair converted the Barker & Wadsworth mineral water bottling factory at 25 Willis Road, into the company's new headquarters. In January 1983 the ZX Spectrum personal computer was presented at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. In September the Sinclair TV80 pocket television was launched, but was a commercial failure. In 1983 the company bought Milton Hall in the village of Milton, for £2m, establishing its MetaLab research and development facility there. In late 1983 Timex decided to pull out of the Timex Sinclair venture which, due to strong competition, had failed to break into the United States market. However, Timex computers continued to be produced for several years in other countries. Timex Portugal launched improved versions, the TS 2048 and 2068; the Sinclair QL was announced on 12 January 1984. The QL was nowhere near as successful as Sinclair's earlier computers.
It suffered from several design flaws, Your Sinclair noted that it was "difficult to find a good word for Sinclair Research in the computer press". Working QLs were not available until late summer and complaints against Sinclair regarding delays were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority in May of that year. Severe were allegations that Sinclair was cashing cheques months before machines were shipped. In the autumn Sinclair was still publicly predicting it would be a "million seller", that 250,000 would be sold by the end of the year. QL production was suspended in February 1985, the price was halved by the end of the year; the ZX Spectrum+, a repackaged ZX Spectrum with a QL-like keyboard, was launched in October 1984 and appeared in WHSmith's shops the day after release. Retailers stocked the machine in large numbers in expectation of good Christmas sales. However, the machine did not sell as well as expected and, because retailers still had unsold stock, Sinclair's income from orders dipped alarmingly in January.
The Spectrum+ had the same technical specifications as the original Spectrum. An enhanced model, the ZX Spectrum 128, was
The Atari Jaguar is a home video game console, developed by Atari Corporation. The console is the sixth programmable console to be developed under the Atari brand released in North America in November 1993, it is the last Atari console to use physical media. Controversially, Atari marketed the Jaguar as being the first 64-bit video game console, while competing with the existing 16-bit consoles and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer platform. Development on the Atari Jaguar started in the early 1990s by Flare Technology; the console was released to test markets in New York City and San Francisco in November 1993 and to the general public in 1994. The Jaguar shipped with Cybermorph as the pack-in game; the multi-chip architecture, hardware bugs, lacking developer support tools made game development difficult. Underwhelming sales further contributed to the console's lack of third-party support. This, in addition to the lack of internal development at Atari, led to a games library comprising only 50 licensed titles + another 13 games on the Jaguar CD.
Atari attempted to extend the lifespan of the system with the Atari Jaguar CD add-on and marketing the Jaguar as the low-cost next generation console, with a price tag over $100 less than any of its competitors. With the release of the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation in 1995, sales of the Jaguar continued to fall selling no more than 250,000 units before it was discontinued in 1996; the commercial failure of the Jaguar prompted Atari to leave the video game console market. After Hasbro Interactive bought out Atari in the late 1990s, the patents to the Jaguar were released into the public domain, with the console being declared an open platform. Since the Jaguar has gained a cult following, with a developer base that produces homebrew games for the console; the Jaguar was developed by the members of Flare Technology, a company formed by Martin Brennan and John Mathieson. The team had claimed that they could not only make a console superior to the Genesis or the Super NES, but they could be cost-effective.
Impressed by their work on the Konix Multisystem, Atari persuaded them to close Flare and form a new company called Flare II, with Atari providing the funding. Flare II set to work designing two consoles for Atari Corp. One was a 32-bit architecture, the other was a 64-bit system; the Jaguar was unveiled in August 1993 at the Chicago Consumer Entertainment Show. The Jaguar was introduced in 1993 at a price of $249.99, under a $500 million manufacturing deal with IBM. The system was available only in the test markets of New York City and San Francisco, under the slogan "Do the Math", claiming superiority over competing 16-bit and 32-bit systems. A U. S.-wide release followed six months in early 1994. Computer Gaming World wrote in January 1994 that the Jaguar was "a great machine in search of a developer/customer base", as Atari had to "overcome the stigma of its name"; the company "ventured late into third party software support" while competing console 3DO's "18 month public relations blitz" would result in "an avalanche of software support", the magazine reported.
The Atari Jaguar struggled to attain a substantial user base. In 1993, Atari reported that it had shipped 17,000 units as part of the system's initial test market. By the end of 1994, Atari reported that it had sold 100,000 systems and had reduced the price to improve the competitive nature of the console. By the end of 1995, Sony and Sega had entered the marketplace with competing consoles and Atari's sales declined rapidly. In Atari's 1995 annual report, it noted: Jaguar sales were below Atari's expectations, Atari's business and financial results were materially adversely affected in 1995 as Atari continued to invest in Jaguar game development, entered into arrangements to publish certain licensed titles and reduced the retail price for its Jaguar console unit. Atari attributes the poor performance of Jaguar to a number of factors including extensive delays in development of software for the Jaguar which resulted in reduced orders due to consumer concern as to when titles for the platform would be released and how many titles would be available, the introduction of competing products by Sega and Sony in May 1995 and September 1995, respectively.
In addition, Atari Corp. had limited financial resources, so could not create the level of marketing which has backed successful gaming consoles. In a 1995 interview with Next Generation, then-CEO Sam Tramiel declared that the Jaguar was as powerful, if not more powerful, than the Sega Saturn, weaker than the PlayStation. Next Generation received a deluge of letters in response to Tramiel's comments his threat to bring Sony to court for price dumping if the PlayStation entered the U. S. market at a retail price below $300 and his remark that the small number of third party Jaguar games was good for Atari's profitability. The Jaguar's underlying hardware was crippled by a flaw in the CPU's memory controller, which prevented code execution out of system RAM. Less severe defects included a buggy UART; the memory controller flaw could have been mitigated by a mature code-development environment, to unburden the programmer from having to micromanage small chunks of code. Jaguar'
Nvidia Corporation, more referred to as Nvidia, is an American technology company incorporated in Delaware and based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing and automotive market, its primary GPU product line, labeled "GeForce", is in direct competition with Advanced Micro Devices' "Radeon" products. Nvidia expanded its presence in the gaming industry with its handheld Shield Portable, Shield Tablet and Shield Android TV. Since 2014, Nvidia has shifted to become a platform company focused on four markets – gaming, professional visualization, data centers and auto. Nvidia is now focused on artificial intelligence. In addition to GPU manufacturing, Nvidia provides parallel processing capabilities to researchers and scientists that allow them to efficiently run high-performance applications, they are deployed in supercomputing sites around the world. More it has moved into the mobile computing market, where it produces Tegra mobile processors for smartphones and tablets as well as vehicle navigation and entertainment systems.
In addition to AMD, its competitors include Intel and Arm. In the early 1990s, the three co-founders hypothesized that the proper direction for the next wave of computing would be accelerated or graphics based, they believed that this model of computing could solve problems that general-purpose computing fundamentally couldn't. They observed that video games were some of the most computationally challenging problems, but would have high sales volume. With a capital of $40,000, the company was born; the company had no name and the co-founders named all their files NV, as in "next version". The need to incorporate the company prompted the co-founders to review all words with those two letters, leading them to "invidia", the Latin word for "envy". Three people co-founded Nvidia in April 1993: Jensen Huang, a Taiwanese American director of CoreWare at LSI Logic and a microprocessor designer at Advanced Micro Devices Chris Malachowsky, an electrical engineer who worked at Sun Microsystems Curtis Priem a senior staff engineer and graphics chip designer at Sun MicrosystemsThe company received $20 million of venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital and others.
The release of the RIVA TNT in 1998 solidified Nvidia's reputation for developing capable graphics adapters. In late 1999, Nvidia released the GeForce 256, most notably introducing on-board transformation and lighting to consumer-level 3D hardware. Running at 120 MHz and featuring four pixel pipelines, it implemented advanced video acceleration, motion compensation and hardware sub-picture alpha blending; the GeForce outperformed existing products by a wide margin. Due to the success of its products, Nvidia won the contract to develop the graphics hardware for Microsoft's Xbox game console, which earned Nvidia a $200 million advance. However, the project took many of its best engineers away from other projects. In the short term this did not matter, the GeForce2 GTS shipped in the summer of 2000. In December 2000, Nvidia reached an agreement to acquire the intellectual assets of its one-time rival 3dfx, a pioneer in consumer 3D graphics technology leading the field from mid 1990s until 2000; the acquisition process was finalized in April 2002.
In July 2002, Nvidia acquired Exluna for an undisclosed sum. Exluna made the personnel were merged into the Cg project. In August 2003, Nvidia acquired MediaQ for US$70 million. On April 22, 2004, Nvidia acquired iReady a provider of high performance TCP/IP and iSCSI offload solutions. In December 2004, it was announced that Nvidia would assist Sony with the design of the graphics processor in the PlayStation 3 game console. On December 14, 2005, Nvidia acquired ULI Electronics, which at the time supplied third-party southbridge parts for chipsets to ATI, Nvidia's competitor. In March 2006, Nvidia acquired Hybrid Graphics. In December 2006, along with its main rival in the graphics industry AMD, received subpoenas from the U. S. Department of Justice regarding possible antitrust violations in the graphics card industry. Forbes named Nvidia its Company of the Year for 2007, citing the accomplishments it made during the said period as well as during the previous five years. On January 5, 2007, Nvidia announced that it had completed the acquisition of Inc..
In February 2008, Nvidia acquired Ageia, developer of the PhysX physics engine and physics processing unit. Nvidia announced. In July 2008, Nvidia took a write-down of $200 million on its first-quarter revenue, after reporting that certain mobile chipsets and GPUs produced by the company had "abnormal failure rates" due to manufacturing defects. Nvidia, did not reveal the affected products. In September 2008, Nvidia became the subject of a class action lawsuit over the defects, claiming that the faulty GPUs had been incorporated into certain laptop models manufactured by Apple Inc. Dell, HP. In September 2010, Nvidia reached a settlement, in which it would reimburse owners of the affected laptops for repairs or, in some cases, replacement. On January 10, 2011, Nvidia signed a six-year, $1.5 billion cross-licensing agreement with Intel, ending all litigation between the two companies. In November 2011, after unveiling it at Mobile World Congress, Nvidia released its Tegra 3 ARM system-on-chip for mobile devices.
Nvidia claimed that the chip featured the
Nuon (DVD technology)
Nuon is a technology developed by VM Labs that adds features to a DVD player. In addition to viewing DVDs, one can play 3D video games and use enhanced DVD navigational tools such as zoom and smooth scanning of DVD playback. One could play CDs while the Nuon graphics processor generates synchronized graphics on the screen. There were plans to provide Internet access capability in the next generation of Nuon-equipped DVD players. Nuon started off as "Project X," and was featured in Electronic Gaming Monthly's 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide. One of the Nuon's main software developers was Jeff Minter, who created a version of Tempest titled Tempest 3000 for the system and the built-in VLM-2 audio visualizer. However, the Nuon platform was marketed as an expanded DVD format. A large majority of Nuon players that were sold in fact resembled typical consumer DVD players with the only noticeable difference being a Nuon logo. Nuon players offered a number of features that were not available on other DVD players when playing standard DVD-formatted titles.
These included smooth forward and reverse functionality and the ability to smoothly zoom in and out of sections of the video image. In addition, Nuon provided a software platform to DVD authors to provide interactive software like features to their titles. In North America, Nuon was used in the Samsung DVD-N2000 models. Toshiba released the SD-2300 DVD player, there are two RCA models, the DRC300N and DRC480N; the Nuon was used in Motorola's Streamaster 5000 "Digital DNA" set-top box. However, the format has appeared to have died off. Nuon was created by VM Labs, whose assets were sold to Genesis Microchip in April 2002; as of November 2004, there were no Nuon-enabled DVD players shipping and no new Nuon software titles, meaning that it was discontinued. 32/128 bit 54 MHz or 108 MHz quad-core VM labs Nuon MPE hybrid stack processor (Media Processing Element, supporting 128-bit SIMD floating point and 32-bit integer but both share the same IEEE 754 floating point register stack to store both flop and integer instructions similar to the Intel MMX technology through contact switch.
Each contains a 128-bytes unified cache, with 32-kilobyte shared cache and maximum 2 GB physical memory addresses. Some report suggested that a certain model had sported a 333+ MHz clock frequency but it was never released widely. MCS-251 microcontroller for background task 32-megabyte 8-bit Fast DRAM at 33 MHz, 512-kilobytes sound RAM and 24-kilobytes programmable ROM 2x 3d Media GL MPE with 8-megabyte video ram 64~256 MB writable rom and optional hard drive Optical drive support DVD or CD-R Peripherals for Nuon-enhanced DVD players included the following: Logitech Gamepad Pro-elite controller AirPlay wireless controller Stealth controller Warrior Digital-D pad controller extension cable port replicator to move the Nuon ports to anywhere desired Only four DVD releases utilized Nuon technology. All of them were released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Bedazzled Dr. Dolittle 2 Planet of the Apes Only eight games were released for the Nuon: Tempest 3000 Freefall 3050 A.
D. Merlin Racing Space Invaders X. L. Iron Soldier 3 Ballistic The Next Tetris Crayon Shin-chan 3 Interactive Sampler Nuon Games + Demos Nuon-Dome PhillyClassic 5 Demo Disc During late 2001, VM Labs released a homebrew SDK which allowed people to be able to program apps/games for their Nuon system. Only the Samsung DVD-N501/DVDN504/DVDN505 and RCA DRC300N/DRC480N can load homebrew games; some homebrew titles have been ported to Nuon. They are not commercially available and require the user to burn the material to a Nuon-compatible CD-R. Moss, Richard. "Remembering Nuon, the gaming chip that nearly changed the world—but didn't". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 January 2016. Moss, Richard. "Life after death: meet the people ensuring that yesterday's systems will never be forgotten". Edge Online. Future plc. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016. NUON's homepage Nuon—Dome Page Nuon Alumni Page Entry at Video Game Console Library Entry At Giant Bomb "A Fan’s History – The NUON" blog post at arcryphongames.wordpress.com
Atari Corporation was an American manufacturer of computers and video game consoles from 1984 to 1996. Atari Corp. was founded in July 1984 when Warner Communications sold the home computing and game console divisions of Atari, Inc. to Jack Tramiel. Its chief products were the Atari ST, Atari XE, Atari 7800, Atari Lynx, Atari Jaguar; the company reverse-merged with JTS Inc. in 1996, becoming a small division, which itself closed after JTS sold its intellectual property to Hasbro Interactive in 1998. The company was founded by Commodore International's founder Jack Tramiel soon after his resignation from Commodore in January 1984. Named Tramel Technology, Ltd. the company's goal was to design and sell a next-generation home computer. On July 1, 1984, TTL bought the Consumer Division assets of Atari, Inc. from its owner Warner Communications, TTL was renamed Atari Corporation. Warner sold the division for $240 million in stocks under the new company. In order to halt the massive losses Atari, Inc. had been yielding under Warner's ownership, Tramiel shut down nearly all of their 80 domestic branches, laying off the staff and liquidating the inventory.
Under Tramiel's ownership, Atari Corp. used the remaining stock of game console inventory to keep the company afloat while they finished development of their 16-bit computer system, the Atari ST. In 1985, they released their update to the 8-bit computer line—the Atari XE series—as well as the 16-bit Atari ST line. In 1986, Atari Corp. launched two consoles designed under the Warner Atari: Atari 2600 Jr and Atari 7800. Atari Corp. rebounded, producing a $25 million profit for 1986. The Atari ST line proved successful selling more than 5 million units, its built-in MIDI ports made it popular among musicians. Still, its closest competitor in the marketplace, the Commodore Amiga, outsold it 3 to 2. Atari released a line of inexpensive IBM PC compatibles as well as an MS-DOS compatible palm computer called the Atari Portfolio. Atari under Tramiel had a poor reputation in the marketplace. In 1986 a columnist for Atari magazine ANALOG Computing warned that company executives seemed to emulate Tramiel's "'penny-pinching' hard-nosed bargaining, sometimes at the risk of everything else", resulting in poor customer service and documentation, product release dates that were "perhaps not the entire truth...
Pretty soon, you don't believe anything they say". He concluded, "I think Atari Corp. had better start considering how they're perceived by the non-Atari-using public". The company, was much more open to the press than its predecessor Atari Inc. which had refused to let Antic preview forthcoming announcements and opposed the magazine printing the word "Atari" on its issues. On August 23, 1987, Atari agreed to purchase the Federated Group for $67.3 million. October 4, 1987, Atari gained full control of its own retail stores. In the final quarter of 1987, Federated lost $6.4 million in day-to-day operations. A post-acquisition audit ended on February 15, 1988, identified $43 million in adjustments to Federated's balance sheet, far more than Atari anticipated; the net worth of its acquisition was reduced by $33 million. Atari's CFO claimed that they would never have done the deal had they known at the time. Federated's operational losses increased, reaching $67 million for its first full year under Atari in 1988.
The FBI began an investigation of Atari in May of that same year for an ongoing scheme involving the profitable import and resale of Japanese DRAM chips in the US, "in violation of U. S. import laws and contrary to import agreements". In March 1989, Atari announced that it would treat Federated as a discontinued operation and took an additional one-time charge of $57 million. Federated was sold to Silo in 1989. In 1988 Stewart Alsop II said that Atari was among several companies that "have been knocked out" of the GUI market by Apple, IBM/Microsoft, others, but Atari Corporation's sales hit their peak that year, at $452 million. In 1989, Atari Corp. released the Atari Lynx—a handheld console with color graphics—to critical acclaim. However, a shortage of parts kept the system from being released nationwide for the 1989 Christmas season; the Lynx lost market share to Nintendo's Game Boy, which had only a monochrome display, but a much better battery life, was available. In 1989, Atari Corp. lost a $250 million lawsuit alleging that Nintendo had an illegal monopoly.
As the fortunes of Atari Corporation's ST and PC compatible computers faded and software again became the company's main focus. In 1993, Atari Corp. released the Atari Jaguar. The Jaguar was one of the first fifth generation gaming consoles, but due to a games library, low in both quantity and quality, it was unable to compete against the incumbent fourth generation consoles. Atari Corp. sustained a net loss of $49.6 million for 1995, with $27.7 million in losses during the last quarter of the year alone. Attempting to hedge their bets, in January 1996 Atari Corp. announced the formation of a new subsidiary, Atari Interactive, which would be devoted to publishing games for PC. However, Atari Corp. would relinquish its interest in both the Jaguar and PC software within a few months. By 1996, a series of successful lawsuits followed by profitable investments had left Atari with millions of dollars in the bank, but without any products to sell because of the failure of the Lynx and Jaguar. In addition and his family wanted out.
The result was a rapid succession of changes in ownership. In July 1996, Atari merged with JTS Inc. a short-lived maker of hard disk drives, to form JTS Corp