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:
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.

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WD90C30

Launched: 1990
Bus: ISA 16-bit
Memory: 512 KB or 1 MB
RAMDAC: -
RAMDAC Speed:
VESA Standard:
FCC ID: I7APVGAID, IB9MVGA P16DW (ProLink)
BIOS Dates:
Known BIOS Versions:

A Super VGA card that uses the Western Digital WD90C30-LR chipset.

I have done some benchmark testing with a Northman Technologies card with this chipset, in my 4-part C&T 386 Revival article.

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: ?