Tseng Labs

Tseng Labs was a graphics card and chipset manufacturer for the IBM PC and its compatibles from 1983 to December 1997. They were best-known for the Tseng Labs ET3000, Tseng Labs ET4000 and Tseng Labs ET6000 VGA-compatible graphics chips, which were highly popular between 1990 and 1995 (the era of Windows 3.x). The company's ET4000 family was noteworthy for its unusually fast host interface (ISA) throughput, despite having a conventional DRAM framebuffer.

Tseng moved from being a retail / commercial board supplier to OEM seller of their graphics chips. Ultimately, Tseng Labs' VGA controllers were found in PCs from major system and board companies including Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, STB Systems, Diamond Multimedia and several major Taiwanese add-in brands.

During the mid-1990s, they lost market share to S3 and ATI, partly because they were especially late in integrating a RAMDAC into their products, which damaged its competitiveness in a very crowded market. While they were attempting to develop their first 3D engine (the ET6300) and falling very short on R&D funds, they eventually chose to abandon new products and seek a buyout - they were bought by ATI Technologies in December 1997.



Launched: 1984
Bus: ISA 8-bit / Embedded.
Price: ?

Tseng Labs' ET1000 was an EGA-compatible card with 64 KB video RAM. It had both TTL output (9-pin D-SUB), and an LPT (printer) port.



ET1000 "UltraPak"

MDA,CGA and Hercules compatible. 132-column text modes. For monochrome monitors only.



CGA compatible. Adds proprietary 400 line modes and up to 8 on screen colours.


"EVA" and "EVA/480" (ET2000)

EGA compatible. First card to offer extended 480 line EGA graphics modes. Hardware accelerated windowing, panning, and zooming.







Released: 1987.
Bus: ISA 16-bit.
Basic SVGA chipset

The first picture is an original ET3000AX 8-bit ISA card.

The second picture is an Optima 1024 Model 3071 Revision A, which contains the Tseng Labs ET3000AX chipset, 512 KB RAM.

The ET3000 had a high level of compatibility, and in 286s this card was a common option, with its maximum capacity of 512KB RAM, and could display a maximum resolution of 1024 × 768 pixels. The card has the usual EGA (9-pin D-SUB) and VGA (15-pin D-SUB) connections.



Released: 1989.
Bus: ISA 16-bit or VLB
Memory: Usually available with 512 KB or 1 MB DRAM.

Very fast frame buffer.

The ET4000AX chipset was considered one of the fastest performing in its time, despite being "unaccelerated".The picture on the right is a rare OPTi bus slot card (requires an OPTi chipset motherboard with OPTi slot(s)).

For DOS, the ET4000 cards had issues with some games including Commander Keen 4 and up.

The ET4000 chipset is also found on:
Diamond SpeedStar
Diamond SpeedStar VGA
Diamond SpeedStar 24
Unknown brand, 512 KB card Part No. D9307 Rev. A

Click here for the datasheet.



Bus: VL Bus and PCI
Similar to ET4000AX, but with 32-bit windows graphics acceleration.





Similar to ET4000W32, but with support for interleaved DRAM when configured with 2MB. DRAM interleaving provided roughly 85% of the throughput of a true 64-bit interface.



Click here for the datasheet.




Similar to ET4000W32i, but with support for PCI.

Click here for the datasheet.



Launched: 1996
Bus: PCI
Price: ?
64-bit graphics accelleration with 2 or 4.0MB of MDRAM. Integrates RAMDAC into the graphics core. Core clocked at 135 MHz, 128-bit internal, 92 MHz memory frequency, 500 MB/s memory transfer speed.

For DOS, ET6000 cannot do "mode x" properly, so breaks compatibility with a few games like Jazz Jackrabbit.



Improves the integrated RAMDAC to address problems with blurriness at higher resolutions. Uses faster MDRAM.




Was to be Tseng's first 3D-capable chipset. Not completed before Tseng chose to sell up. No known specimens have been spotted in the wild.