display adapter

(redirected from display board)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to display board: bulletin board

display adapter

[di′splā ə‚dap·tər]
(computer science)

display adapter

A plug-in card in a desktop computer that performs graphics processing. Also commonly called a "graphics card" or "video card," modern display adapters use the PCI Express interface, while earlier cards used PCI and AGP. The display adapter determines the maximum resolution, refresh rate and number of colors that can be displayed, which the monitor must also be able to support. On many PC motherboards, the graphics circuits are built into the chipset, and a separate plug-in card is not required.

1 - The Graphics Pipeline
The modern display adapter performs two operations. The first is the graphics rendering, which moves the graphics data through a pipeline that creates the image frames and adds texture and shading, all functions previously done by the CPU in the first PCs. A high-end display adapter is a sophisticated parallel processing computer. See GPU and graphics pipeline.

2 - Analog and Digital Outputs
The second and more elementary purpose is to continuously convert the graphic patterns (bitmaps) that have been rendered in the memory frame buffers into signals for the monitor's screen.

The first PC display adapters (CGA, EGA, PGA) output digital signals, and the monitor converted them to analog for the CRT. Starting with VGA in 1987, adapters sent analog signals to the monitor; however, modern adapters output digital DVI or DisplayPort. Flat panel monitors use DVI but also include a VGA socket to accommodate older machines. On laptops, the display circuitry has been digital from end to end. See shared video memory and how to select a PC monitor.

Call It What?

Take your pick... display adapter, display card, video adapter, video card, graphics adapter, graphics card, graphics controller, VGA adapter and VGA card have all been terms for the card that creates the screen images. For a detailed list of display adapter resolutions, see screen resolution.

The World's Largest
Visitors used to explore this ceiling-high combination display adapter and sound card at The Computer Museum in Boston. (Image by FAYFOTO/Keith Quenzel; courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org.)

More Down to Earth
Although display circuitry is built into many motherboards, plugging in a high-quality adapter such as this one, based on NVIDIA chips, is still required for the fastest rendering of animation and full-motion video. (Image courtesy of NVIDIA Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
UGB sponsoring the eectronic display board confirms its commitment to the principle of community partnership and the important role that institutions and companies play in developing the community in Bahrain through the support of various programs and projects,' he said.
She added that the same display board had been used in Coleraine a month ago without any action being taken.
They stole a car parked outside the Cancer Resource Store in Mount Pleasant which contained promotional display boards.
You can exploit this by setting up a locked display board and charging local merchants for putting in their ads.
J: With all this info covered in the talk and questions, does the display board even matter?
A noticeable feature of the new space will be exterior signage that features a 32'x40' video display board that will be used to showcase clients, local events and organizations that the bank has partnered with over the years through philanthropic endeavors.
Batelco will sponsor an electronic display board showing stock prices at the Bahrain Stock Exchange's (BSE's) new trading floor in its new premises at the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
Falconboard(TM), a new environmentally-responsible graphic display board is being launched across North America and Europe by Pregis Corp.
Information leaflets and bookmarks with telephone numbers are available on a display board in Bell Green library until Thursday.
The second ovation came between innings during the game, when the video display board showed a highlight of his Game 6 home run, which started the Angels' rally from a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning.
The students come up to the display board in groups of five or six and make notes on which prints they like the best.