Elan Graphics

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Elan Graphics is a computer graphics architecture for Silicon Graphics computer workstations. Elan Graphics was developed in 1991 and was available as a high-end graphics option on workstations released during the mid-1990s as part of the Express Graphics architectures family. Elan Graphics gives the workstation real-time 2D and 3D graphics rendering capability similar to that of even high-end PC made over ten years after Elan's introduction, with the exception of texture mapping, which had to be performed in software.

Elan Graphics systems consist of four Geometry Engines capable of a combined 128 MFLOPS and one Raster Engine. Together, they are capable of rendering 180K Z-buffered, lit, Gourad-shaded triangles per second. The framebuffer has 56 bits per pixel, causing 12-bits per pixel (dithered RGB 4/4/4) to be used for a double-buffered, depth buffered, RGB layout. When double-buffering isn't required, it is possible to run in full 24-bit color. Similarly, when Z-buffering is not required, a double-buffered 24-bit RGB framebuffer configuration is possible. The Elan Graphics system also implemented hardware stencil buffering by allocating 4 bits from the Z-buffer to produce a combined 20-bit Z, 4-bit stencil buffer.

Elan Graphics consists of five graphics subsystems: the Command Engine, Geometry Subsystem, Raster Engine, framebuffer and Display Subsystem. Elan Graphics can produce resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 pixels with 24-bit color and can also process unencoded NTSC...
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