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/// New "SPECTRUM" Board from GVP  AR InfoFile
    Information Provided by Chris Jones

EGS-28/24 SPECTRUM PRODUCT INFO  -- Preliminary Specs Subject to Change


The EGS-28/24 Spectrum -- the second member of GVP's EGS family of graphics
boards -- is a high-performance, high-resolution, 24-bit graphics board that
will take any Amiga 2000, 3000, or 4000 beyond AGA!  Following the same
philosophy as the first member of the EGS family, the powerhouse EGS-110/24,
this entry level graphics board provides power and performance at an
affordable price.

The EGS-28/24 Spectrum is capable of displaying video resolutions (NTSC, PAL,
and SECAM) as well as workstation-like high resolutions like Next (1120x832).
It also adapts automatically to either a Zorro-II (15-bit A2000) or Zorro-III
(32-bit A3000/A4000) bus and supports Workbench 2.04, 2.1, and 3.0 to take
maximum advantage of its environment. ( Capable of supporting Commodore's RTG
graphics standard when it becomes available.)

For the ultimate in convenience and functionality, the EGS-28/24 Spectrum has
a built-in pass through for the native Amiga RGB display.  When working with
a native Amiga screen, the EGS-28/24 Spectrum simply passes the Amiga display
out to the monitor!  While others may claim to be a one-monitor solution,
there will always be incompatible software that requires the use of a second
monitor- _the_EGS-28/24_Spectrum_is_truly_a_one_monitor_solution__!

As if that weren't enough, our unique MultiGFX(tm) technology allows multiple
EGS-28/24 Spectrum boards to be installed in the same machine, and the device
libraries handle all of the necessary details. Multiple applications can be
running on multiple EGS-28/24 Spectrum boards, each visible on a separate
monitor simultaneously in stunning full 24-bit color at any resolution.  This
is a blessing for those who need to see a lot of different things all at the
same time.  For example, consider the 3D animator who needs to see a high-
resolution wireframe display of the scene being edited, an NTSC (or PAL)
color preview of the animation in progress, and a control panel screen with
all of the needed commands available at the click of a mouse!

The EGS-28/24 Spectrum system uses the new Enhanced Graphics System (EGS)
device libraries.  These device independent libraries allow high-resolution,
24-bit software to be written for ANY graphics board that supports these
libraries. To date, a number of graphics boards on the market already support
the EGS libraries, and all software written for those boards will run on the
EGS-28/24 Spectrum.  Likewise, any software written to support the EGS-28/24
Spectrum will run on any of the other display boards that support the EGS
libraries.  Programmers are no longer committed to a single graphics board;
by programming for the EGS system, programs can run _unmodified_ on any
display board that supports the libraries!

The EGS libraries were painstakingly checked and rechecked by programmers
around the world to make them as close as possible to existing Amiga graphics
calls, differing only when necessary to support new features.  This effort
was taken to make porting applications as easy as possible for programmers.
(Some function calls were make so identical that the only difference is the
addition of an E_ in front of the function name, with all parameters and
return values the same!)

The EGS libraries also provide some new and very useful additions to the
basic array of graphics programming features that native Amiga programmers
are used to, for example: Tear-Off menus, Menu gadgets, and more.

However, realizing that good software takes time, GVP has provided a
Workbench driver for the EGS-28/24 Spectrum.  This driver allows Workbench
to run on the EGS-28/24 Spectrum board in any supported resolution, with up
to 256 colors -- Workbench limits the color depth to 256 colors for itself
and Workbench-compliant software.  Any software that opens its display on
Workbench will automatically run on any EGS-28/24 Spectrum Workbench.  The
only restriction is that no direct Amiga Blitter operations be performed by
programs running on the EGS-28/24 Spectrum display, since the Amiga Blitter
operates on Chip RAM and the EGS-28/24 Spectrum has its own blitter that
operates on the display maintained entirely in its own DRAM. (By the way,
this means that ALL Chip RAM normally used by Workbench is free for other

It is also important to realize that the EGS display subsystem is entirely
separate from the normal Amiga display.  A two-monitor configuration allows
the EGS-28/24 Spectrum monitor to display a high-resolution display (from a
CAD system for example) on the EGS monitor and the native Amiga output
system to display something completely different, and even from a com-
pletely different program!  An interesting and extremely useful example
would be running a high-resolution paint program in the EGS display while a
video application (like the IV24(tm), the Video Toaster(tm), or
OpalVision(tm)) runs on the native Amiga display.  As pictures are frame-
grabbed and saved, an EGS Paint system can load them in for touchup, while
the video framegrabbing continues--maximum productivity and efficiency!

The EGS-28/24 Spectrum hardware and the EGS system software take the Amiga
platform beyond AGA and into the true-color world of high-end graphics
workstations.  The already installed base of A2000 and A3000 owners, and the
fresh new base of A4000 owners can leap past the limitations of AGA and enter
a new world of high-resolution, true-color, hardware-independent graphics.
Keep in mind that when writing applications for the EGS system, they are not
just for a single graphics board, they will run on any current and future
graphics boards that support the EGS system libraries!

             Developers interested in porting applications
             to the EGS system should contact GVP for
             an EGS Developer's Kit at
             Great Valley Products, inc.
             657 Clark Avenue
             King of Prussia, PA 19406


The EGS-28/24 Spectrum Hardware


Zorro II /      The EGS-28/Spectrum takes full advantage of whatever Amiga it
Zorro II        is installed in. Installed in a ZorroII bus it uses a 16-bit
Autosensing     interface, and installed in a ZorroIII bus, it opens up to a
                full 32-bit interface for maximum speed and performance.
Zorro-II        Useful when running in early Zorro-III Amiga's that still have
FORCE           bugs when using ZorroIII DMA.  This guarantees compatibility in
option          any Amiga.
Hardware        The EGS-28/24 Spectrum has a built-in hardware blitter to
Blitter         rapidly move chunks of data from one area of memory to another.
                This makes the EGS-28/24 Spectrum the perfect tool for real-
                time animations and 24-bit paint applications.  Fills, brush
                pastes, region operations, image manipulation can all be
                performed by the blitter leaving the processor free to perform
                other work.
Amiga RGB       Other graphics boards often require two monitors (one for the
Pass-Through    Amiga display and one for the custom graphics display), and
Single          some others like the Video Toaster(tm) require three monitors.
monitor         The EGS-28/24 Spectrum has special circuitry that takes the
technology      Amiga display as input and allows software control over whether
                the Amiga or the EGS screen is displayed.  It is truly a one-
                monitor solution.
MultiGFX(tm)    Other graphics boards often expect to be the only graphics
device sharing  board in the system, and if more than one is installed, the
technology      controlling software may become confused.  EGS' device sharing
                allows multiple EGS-28/24 Spectrum boards to function independ-
                ently while the libraries handle all of the work to keep things
                running smoothly.
2MB of onboard  This allows for high-resolution 24-bit displays that are rock-
display mem.    solid and flicker-free.  Using more memory for larger displays
                would result in flicker that can cause headaches.  Boards claim-
                ing 4MB or more of 24-bit display memory often flicker because
                the graphics chip is not capable of displaying 4MB of data fast
                enough to be flicker-free. Other graphics boards may claim that
                the extra memory is used to keep multiple screens open at the
                same time. The EGS-28/24 Spectrum uses a smarter technique that
                swaps out non-visible display data to standard system RAM to
                conserve display memory for crisp, stunning displays. Adding
                memory beyond 2MB is inefficient and needlessly expensive.
Programmable    Allows the Amiga display to be as large as the monitor will
Resolutions,    allow For example, a Commodore 1950 can be used with the
Refresh rates   EGS-28/24 Spectrum now, and a larger IDEK,NEC, or other monitor
and Scanning    later; the EGS-28/24 Spectrum will increase its displayable
Frequencies     resolutions to match the monitor. (Or you can start with a
                high-resolution monitor and enjoy the benefits immediately.)
Custom GVP      Allows Workbench (and programs that run on Workbench) to be
Workbench       displayed on a high-resolution screen without requiring a
driver          software re-write. Existing software will run today!
Uses built-in   Only the absolute minimum amount of RAM to store a display is
hardware        used, so that larger displays can be stored in a smaller amount
"pixel-packing" of RAM, without affecting quality.
Does not use    EGS-28/24 Spectrum can be used with other video products like
Amiga's Video   the IV24(tm), the Video Toaster(tm), or OpalVision(tm)

Retargetable Graphics Libraries


Fully           Programs written using the EGS libraries will run on ANY graphi
re-targetable   board that supports EGS. Programmers can concentrate on writing
graphics        bug-free, feature-filled software without worrying about which
operating       particular graphics board it will run on -- it will run on them
system          all (with EGS libraries)
Complete        All graphics applications in the EGS libraries are treated as
true-color,     24-bit, true-color applications, even if the display device
24-bit          can't support 24-bit. Editing and painting in 8-bit, 16-bit, or
environment     any other mode will still maintain the quality and clarity of a
                24-bit image!
Support for     The EGS libraries allow any color-depth screen to be opened,
1,2,3,4,8,      from black & white 1-bit screen, to a 256 color 8-bit screen,
16, and 24      to a 16 and 24 million color 24 bit screen.  Use as much or as
bit screens     little memory as needed by a specific application.
Automatic       In most graphics operating systems, opening a 24-bit app-
dithering to    lication on an 8-bit screen would result in the 24-bit app-
current         lication failing to open. The EGS libraries automatically
color depth     dither the 24-bit display using extremely fast and accurate
                dithering algorithms to provide a crisp display and allow the
                24-bit application to continue working in 24-bit (ie. all 
                actions occur in 24-bit and are only displayed in 8bit).  If a
                24-bit screen is used later, all of the quality and clarity of
                the 24-bit application is preserved.
Scalable        Gadgets, fonts, and all Graphics User Interface items are
GUI             completely scalable. If a smaller display is used, the appro-
                priate items get smaller. If a larger display is used, the
                appropriate items get larger.  All GUI aspects are completely
                user controllable.

EGS Paint


24-bit, real-   Allows instantaneous painting and manipulating of an image or
time paint      images.  Say good-bye to the "paint-and-see" days!
Image windows   Images are loaded into windows rather than screens. This allows
                multiple images to be in memory and on-screen at once for easy
                comparison or compositing with the Pantograph(tm) tool.
Resizable       The Control Panel and all Toolboxes scale with the system to 
control         take as much or as little room as desired. Small displays with
panel           limit screen space can shrink the toolbox for more image area,
                and large displays can expand the toolbox for easier gadget
Runs on the     The default EGS screen is a standard ground for window-based
default EGS     applications. Multiple programs can open on the default screen
screen          to make data sharing and data comparison simple and easy. For
                example, an independent palette program can be used to generate
                precise color, and that color can be "copied" into the paint
                programs pen color for immediate use.  Likewise, all sorts of
                other programs like clocks, work processors, etc can be running
                side-by-side with the paint package.

Detailed Competition Analysis

Feature                         |EGS       |Retina   |Picasso
Max 24-bit pixel display speed  |28MHz     |25Mhz    |  *
Max 8-bit pixel display speed   |80MHz     |70Mhz    |  *
Sys Mem to display Mem transfer |12MB/s    | 3MB/s   | 3MB/s
Blitter data transfer speed     |  *       |  *      |  *
Horizontal display scan rate    | 15-75KHz |15-75KHz |  *
Vertical display scan rate      | 200Hz(1) |50-95Hz  |  *
Max 24-bit display resolution   | 800x600  | 800x600 | 640x480
Max 16-bit display resolution   | 1024x768 | 1024x768| 800x600
Max 8-bit display resolution    |1600x1280 |1280x1024|1280x1024

* Not filled in in brochure
(1) At VGA 640x480 resolution