Paradise / Western Digital

Paradise was a graphics chipset manufacturer for the IBM PC and its compatibles. Toshiba used a Paradise VGA chipset in its 1989/1990 range of laptops, including the T3100SX, T3200SX, T5100/100, T5100/200, as did NEC in its PowerMate laptop range and Compaq in its Portable 386.

Paradise were bought out by Western Digital around 1987 or early 1988.

 

Color/Mono Card

Launched: 1986 ?
Bus: ISA 8-bit.
Price: ?
FCC ID: DBM7E2COLOR/MONO

This card is believed to be an MDA and CGA card. It has the Paradise PPC-1 chip which gives the card its parallel port capability. Ports-wise it has a 9-pin D-SUB and a parallel port.

A PPC-2 chip was also produced, which added bi-directional capability to the parallel port interface.

PEGA 1A

Launched: 1986
Bus: ISA 8-bit / Embedded.
Price: ?

The PEGA 1A chipset was an EGA chipset housed in an 84-pin PLCC. It was a multi-mode video controller with an integral 6845 CRTC (Cathode Ray Tube Controller).

The PEGA 1A chipset was used on the Amstrad PC1640 motherboard to provide EGA, CGA, MDA, Hercules, and Plantronics COLORPLUS compatibility.

PEGA 2A

Launched: 1987
Bus: ISA 8-bit / Embedded.
Price: ?

The PEGA 2A chipset was an EGA chipset housed in an 84-pin PLCC. It included all of PEGA 1A's capabilities but added 640 x 480 EGA, 132-column text mode, locking registers, and 30 MHz maximum dot clock.

PVC 4

Launched: 1985?
Bus: -
Memory: -

The PVC 4 chip from Paradise was a single-chip video controller which integrated a 6845 CRTC and other logic, greatly reducing chip count on CGA, Plantronics COLORPLUS, Hercules graphics, MDA and AT&T 6300 video implementations.

A PVC 4A was also produced that added 132-column text mode. Both chips were housed in 100-pin PFP.

PVGA 1A

Launched: 1988
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 256 KB up to 1 MB
RAMDAC: Inmos or Bt (both 8-bit colour depth)
RAMDAC Speed: 40 MHz (Inmos), 50 MHz (Bt)
VESA Standard: No
FCC ID: DBM5UEVGAPROF, B948JAD1180A
BIOS Dates: 07/14/88
Known BIOS Versions: 003056-007

This SVGA chipset from Paradise was a multi-mode VGA video controller with hardware and BIOS level compatibility. This means it provided 100% IBM VGA, EGA, CGA, MDA and Hercules graphics compatibility.

It was packaged in a 100-pin PLCC or PFP.

It added a non-standard 800 x 600 x 16 mode, which was supported by the game Wonderland. This mode requires a 240 KB frame buffer, but you most likely need a card with 512 KB of video RAM to support this mode.

Paradise/Western Digital also shared the PVGA1A with Video 7 who marketed it as their VEGA chipset.

A Seiko/Epson-branded PVGA1A can be seen in the first 3 images below, with FCC ID BKME02V01.
An HP-branded PVGA1A with FCC ID B948JAD1180A (presumably the model number is D1180A) can be seen in the next 3 images, and the last 2 are a Philips card with FCC ID DBM5UEVGAPROF:

PVGA 1B

Launched: 1988
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 1 MB

This SVGA chipset from Paradise/Western Digital was similar to PVGA 1A, but added 1024 x 768 x 16 interlaced mode and 45 MHz dot clock support.

 

Autoswitch 480

Launched: 1989
Bus: ISA
Price: $179 (Jan 1989)

WD90C00

Launched: 1989
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 512 KB (80ns or 100ns)
RAMDAC: ADV476KN50 ( 8-bit colour depth)
RAMDAC Speed: 50 MHz
VESA Standard: No
FCC ID: DBM603316 (Philips), IW9PVGA1024 (Datamatic System Co)
BIOS Dates: 10/13/89, 05/21/90
Known BIOS Versions: 003145-110

A Super VGA card that uses the Western Digital WD90C00-JK chipset.

More Images

WD90C11

Launched: 1989
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 512 KB
RAMDAC: -
RAMDAC Speed: 45 MHz
VESA Standard: Yes, v1.0
FCC ID:
BIOS Dates: 12/13/90
Known BIOS Versions:

A Super VGA card that uses the Western Digital WD90C11-LR chipset. The WD90C11 used a 1.25 micron process, and WD90C11A used the later 0.9 micron process for manufacture. Highlights of the chipset include:

  • On 512 KB video RAM boards, resolutions up to 1024 x 768 in 16 colours interlaced or non-interlaced (plus 640 x 400, 640 x 480, 800 x 600, all in 256 colours)
  • On 256 KB video RAM boards, resolutions up to 1024 x 768 in 2/4 colours, or 800 x 600 in 16 colours
  • 132-column text mode and 6-9 pixels wide fonts
  • Integrated CRT controller, sequencer, graphics controller and attribute controller
  • Write cache for improved CPU write performance
  • 8- or 16-bit data bus for I/O and memory. True 16-bit CPU-to-video memory transfer for all modes
  • Up to 65 MHz maximum video clock rate
  • Up to 42 MHz maximum memory clock rate (90C11) or 45 MHz (90C11A)
  • Supports all VGA modes if using two 64Kx16 DRAMs
  • Full VGA hardware and BIOS compatibility
  • EGA register-level compatibility on analog, TTL, and multi-frequency monitors
  • Backward compatibility with MDA, CGA, EGA, Hercules and AT&T 6300
  • Flexible RAM options, including two 256Kx4 DRAMs (256 KB of video RAM), or four 256Kx4 DRAMs (512 KB of video RAM)

More Images

WD90C30

Launched: 1990
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 512 KB or 1 MB
RAMDAC: -
RAMDAC Speed: Up to 50 MHz
VESA Standard: None
FCC ID: I7APVGAID, IB9MVGA P16DW (ProLink)
BIOS Dates:
Known BIOS Versions:

A Super VGA card that uses the Western Digital WD90C30-LR chipset. Highlights of the WD90C30 chipset are:

  • Resolutions up to 1024 x 768 in 256 colours (also 640 x 400, 640 x 480, 800 x 600, all in 256 colours)
  • 132-column text mode and 6-16 pixels wide fonts
  • Integrated CRT controller, sequencer, graphics controller and attribute controller
  • Write buffer for zero wait state CPU write performance
  • 8- or 16-bit data bus for I/O and memory. True 16-bit CPU-to-video memory transfer for all modes
  • 16-bit or 32-bit memory interface with fast page operations
  • Up to 80 MHz maximum video clock rate
  • Up to 50 MHz maximum memory clock rate
  • Supports all VGA modes if using two 64Kx16 DRAMs
  • Full VGA hardware and BIOS compatibility
  • EGA register-level compatibility on analog, TTL, and multi-frequency monitors
  • Backward compatibility with MDA, CGA, EGA, Hercules and AT&T 6300.
  • Flexible RAM options, including two, four or eight 64Kx16 DRAMs, or four or eight 256Kx4 DRAMs, or one or two 256Kx16 DRAMs.

I have done some benchmark testing with a Northman Technologies card with this chipset, in my 4-part C&T 386 Revival article, and also in my OPTi 386/486 Hybrid motherboard review (page 2).

Other cards that use this include:

  • Northman Technologies WD90C30-LR (512 KB) (FCC ID I7APVGAID)
  • ProLink Microsystems MVGA (1 MB) - see 2nd, 3rd and 4th images below

More Images

PVGA Plus (WD90C90)

Launched: 1987
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 256 KB

 

Other pics: 1

Advertisement:


VGA 1024

Launched: 1991
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 512 KB
Price When New: $254 (Aug '91), $139 (Jun '92)


"PROS: Easy hardware setup
CONS: No 1MB version, no flicker-free modes, slow AutoCAD performance

Like the Genoa SuperVGA 6400A, the Paradise VGA 1024 tops out at 512K— and at $254 on the street, it sells for about the same price. It's the only board in the roundup that won't refresh the screen at 70 or 72 Hz in any mode.

The board is easy enough to install; there are no jumpers to set, just two DIP switches. However, switching drivers could be simpler—you have to do it from the DOS prompt instead of from a menu.

The board includes drivers for all the usual applications, but the memory cap means you won't find any 256-color drivers for 1024 by 768 operation—a disappointment if you're a business graphics user interested in previewing slides. Furthermore, compared with the other entries, this board performs slowly with AutoCAD.

For beyond-VGA graphics, the Paradise VGA 1024 falls short. You can do better for less."
     PC World, August 1991

 

Unknown Paradise Card

Launched: 1994
Bus: VESA Local Bus
Memory: 1 or 2 MB?
RAMDAC: ?
RAMDAC Speed: ?
VESA Standard: ?
FCC ID: L8G-1000VL2M (Lantech Advance Corp.)
BIOS Dates: ?
Known BIOS Versions: ?