“The design of a low cost video graphics terminal” by Baskett and Shustek

  • ©Forest Baskett and Leonard Shustek




    The design of a low cost video graphics terminal



    We have designed and built a computer terminal that provides low cost, high quality graphics and programmable text processing by taking advantage of the latest memory and microprocessor technology. A microprocessor control element allows most of the control functions to be programmed so that all of the control electronics require less than 100 integrated circuits. The graphic image is generated by a microprocessor which accepts vector commands intended for a Tektronix storage tube display terminal. The microprocessor maps those vector commands into a random access memory, and the resulting bit map of the graphic image is displayed on a standard TV monitor. Reasonable resolution in the graphic image requires a large number of bits in the bit map, but with the use of 4K memory chips, less than 100 integrated circuits are required for the bit map memory in our design. At 1975 small-quantity prices, the parts cost for the terminal is approximately $2000.


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    2. Intel Corporation, “Intel 8080 Microcomputer Systems User’s Manual”, September, 1975.Google Scholar
    3. Gerhardt, D. and Parnas, D. L., “Window: A formally- specified graphics based text editor”, Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Dept., 1973Google Scholar
    4. Hewlett-Packard Journal, Vol. 26, No. 10, June, 1975Google Scholar

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