@81DF.ADF High resolution graphic adapter INFO IGP64/MCA
infotronic5.0.22.ZIP Infotronic Quasar Win2000/XP driver (no MCA support?)
Infotronic IGP64 CHROMA/MCA
Content by Wolfgang Gehl, original here.
Infotronic IGP64 CHROMA/MCA
A Infotronic IGP64 Cheetah graphics proc.
B Altera EPX780LC84-10 PLD
C IBM025171LG5B-70, IBM 4Mbit VRAM
D 40 MHz OSC
F 32 MHz OSC
H 37RGB525CF22, IBM RGB525 Palette DAC
K TI16L8, TI16R4 PAL
L AMD PAL22V10, PAL
M LT1086, LT 1.5A low-dropout reg.
N AD589, 1.23V voltage ref.
O VGA female connector
P TQ2-5V, NAIS 5V relay
Q VGA female connector
There is no VGA chip on the card. Instead there is a VGA loop
through connector, but I don't know which one of both it is.
From Wolfgang Gehl:
About four years ago I've found a pair of CHROMA/MCA graphics
adapters inside a box of micro channel IBM Token Ring Adapters. The cards have two VGA
interface connectors, which look similar to the Token Ring DE9
interface. Probably for that reason the former owner mixed up the
graphics adapters with the network cards. Of course I've got no documentation
or software together with this box.
Ever since I'm searching occasionally for the CHROMA/MCA driver
software. So far I've found nothing.
Well, that's not true actually. What I've
found is the card's Adapter Definition File @81df.adf, which is essential
to make the card available to the micro channel system. That's a good
start. Alas the CHROMA/MCA is no VGA compatible adapter, so operating
system specific device drivers are a must to make use of the card.
To my surprise the Italian manufacturer
Infotronic is still doing
business as against other famous graphics
adapter manufacturers of that period, like miro, ELSA, SPEA, and many
others. As you may guessed right already, there is no on-line
support for the CHROMA/MCA (nor for any other graphics card Infotronic
has produced). Email inquiries are ignored and in a telephone
call I was informed, that they cannot support this adapter card.
You may ask why to make so much efforts for a
1994 graphics adapter.
The answer is: this card is probably one of the most capable graphics adapter
for x86 micro channel machines - beside the MATROX MGA Impression.
The CHROMA/MCA supports very likely 16 colors up to a
resolutions up to 1600*1200 pixels, 256 colors up to a resolution
of 1280*1024 pixels, 64K colors up to a resolution of 1024*768
pixels, and 16M colors up to a resolution of 800*600 pixels.
There is a 64 bit graphics processor developed from Infotronic
(IGP64) on the board, together with 2MB VRAM and an IBM RGB525 RAMDAC.
What I Knew ...
... is precious little. There is a VGA loop through port on
the CHROMA/MCA. For that reason I don't expect DOS device drivers. Probably
there was a DOS installation utility for Windows 3x together with
a diagnose program. There should be a device driver for OS/2. There were device drivers
for SCO OpenDesktop and for certain CAD software. Probably there was an
WindowsNT device driver and maybe even an AIX RS/6000 device driver.
A look on the surface mounted devices shows VRAM and RAMDAC familiar
from Weitek P9000 and S3 968 boards of that era.
From Wolfgang Gehl:
Infotronic produced at least 3 more recent graphics cards
after the CHROMA/MCA; the "Saturn", "Onix IMS/4",
and the "Quasar". The IMS/4 is a PCI card, based on the IPG64
with 4MB VRAM and a Cirrus Logic VGA chip. The Quasar is
a PCI card too with a VGA compatible graphics chip from
Infotronic called IMSGP2000 and 16MB VRAM.
For the Infotronic Quasar boards there is a Windows 2000/XP driver
available, called infotronic5.0.22.ZIP.
Infotronic claims, that it
"provides a single driver supporting all present or past Infotronic boards".
Now my hope is, that this driver could be customized to
support the micro channel graphics card with the IGP64 graphics chip
under Windows NT, without VGA text and graphic modes, and with the
resolution modes and the color depth mentioned above. I think there
is a good chance to reach that goal.
Since I have no driver development experience and no device driver
development environment for Windows NT or Windows 2000 I ask for
help from skilled enthusiast.
I can offer a CHROMA/MCA card for testing purposes.
Adapter Definition File
AdapterName "High resolution graphic adapter INFO IGP64/MCA"
Prompt "Memory allocation "
Choice "Segment 0D0000 " pos=X100XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0D8000 " pos=X110XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0DC000 " pos=X111XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0C8000 " pos=X010XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0CC000 " pos=X011XXXXb
" These are different segment of memory for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the segment."
prompt "IO allocation "
choice "IO 200 " pos=XXXX000Xb
choice "IO 300 " pos=XXXX100Xb
" These are different I/O allocation for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the I/O allocation."