About four years ago I've found a pair of CHROMA/MCA graphics adapters inside a box of micro channel IBM Token Ring Adapters. The cards have two VGA interface connectors, which look similar to the Token Ring DE-9 interface. Probably for that reason the former owner mixed up the graphics adapters with the network cards. Of course I've got no documentation or software together with this box.
Ever since I'm searching occasionally for the CHROMA/MCA driver software. So far I've found nothing.
Well, that's not true actually. What I've found is the card's Adapter Definition File @81df.adf, which is essential to make the card available to the micro channel system. That's a good start. Alas the CHROMA/MCA is no VGA compatible adapter, so operating system specific device drivers are a must to make use of the card.
To my surprise the Italian manufacturer Infotronic is still doing business as against other famous graphics adapter manufacturers of that period, like miro, ELSA, SPEA, and many others. As you may guessed right already, there is no on-line support for the CHROMA/MCA (nor for any other graphics card Infotronic has produced). Email inquiries are ignored and in a telephone call I was informed, that they cannot support this adapter card.
You may ask why to make so much efforts for a 1994 graphics adapter. The answer is: this card is probably one of the most capable graphics adapter for x86 micro channel machines - beside the MATROX MGA Impression.
The CHROMA/MCA supports very likely 16 colors up to a
resolutions up to 1600*1200 pixels, 256 colors up to a resolution
of 1280*1024 pixels, 64K colors up to a resolution of 1024*768
pixels, and 16M colors up to a resolution of 800*600 pixels.
There is a 64 bit graphics processor developed from Infotronic
(IGP64) on the board, together with 2MB VRAM and an IBM RGB525 RAMDAC.
... is precious little. There is a VGA loop through port on the CHROMA/MCA. For that reason I don't expect DOS device drivers. Probably there was a DOS installation utility for Windows 3x together with a diagnose program. There should be a device driver for OS/2. There were device drivers for SCO OpenDesktop and for certain CAD software. Probably there was an WindowsNT device driver and maybe even an AIX RS/6000 device driver.
A look on the surface mounted devices shows VRAM and RAMDAC familiar from Weitek P9000 and S3 968 boards of that era.
A: Infotronic IGP64 Cheetah graphics processor
|J: 74F374 Fairchild octal d-type flip-flop|
B: Altera EXP780, manufacturer-programmable logic
|K: TI16L8, TI16R4, TI High-Performance PAL circuit|
C: IBM025171LG5B-70, IBM 4Mbit VRAM
|L: AMD PAL22V10, manufacturer-programmable logic|
D: 40MHz oscillator
|M: LT1086, LT 1.5A low dropout positive regulator|
E: ACT16652, TI 16-bit bus transceiver
|N: AD589, voltage reference, provides 1.23V output voltage|
F: 32MHz oscillator
|O: VGA female connector|
G: ACT16373, TI 16-bit transparent latch
|P: TQ2-5V, NAIS 5V relay|
H: 37RGB525CF22, IBM RGB525 Palette DAC, 24bit, 64bit pixel bus
|Q: VGA female connector|
I: BCT623, TI octal d-type bus transceiver
There is no VGA chip on the card. Instead there is a VGA loop
through connector, but I don't know which one of both it is.
Infotronic produced at least 3 more recent graphics cards after the CHROMA/MCA; the "Saturn", "Onix IMS/4", and the "Quasar". The IMS/4 is a PCI card, based on the IPG64 with 4MB VRAM and a Cirrus Logic VGA chip. The Quasar is a PCI card too with a VGA compatible graphics chip from Infotronic called IMSGP2000 and 16MB VRAM.
For the Infotronic Quasar boards there is a Windows 2000/XP driver available, called infotronic5.0.22.ZIP. Infotronic claims, that it "provides a single driver supporting all present or past Infotronic boards".
Now my hope is, that this driver could be customized to support the micro channel graphics card with the IGP64 graphics chip under Windows NT, without VGA text and graphic modes, and with the resolution modes and the color depth mentioned above. I think there is a good chance to reach that goal.
Since I have no driver development experience and no device driver development environment for WindowsNT or Windows 2000 I ask for help from skilled enthusiats.
I can offer a CHROMA/MCA card for testing purposes.
... are any documents related to the Infotronic CHROMA/MCA card,
any driver or support software for this card, especially for
* DOS, Windows 3x/95/98
* SCO OpenDesktop/OpenServer
Please contact me at:
This address is valid and will be read.
Thank you very much for your help and assistance!
AdapterName "High resolution graphic adapter INFO IGP64/MCA"
Prompt "Memory allocation "
Choice "Segment 0D0000 " pos=X100XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0D8000 " pos=X110XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0DC000 " pos=X111XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0C8000 " pos=X010XXXXb
Choice "Segment 0CC000 " pos=X011XXXXb
" These are different segment of memory for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the segment."
prompt "IO allocation "
choice "IO 200 " pos=XXXX000Xb
choice "IO 300 " pos=XXXX100Xb
" These are different I/O allocation for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the I/O allocation."