Sections from Chapter2

Overview of Graphics Systems
13th April 2006

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6

Not included:
2.4, 2.7

Output devices

Display devices (CRT/DVST/LCD). Printers.
Dot Matrix. Inkjet/Laser.



Direct-View storage tube
2 electron guns are used.
Primary gun stores the picture definition. Flood gun maintains the picture display.

Flat Panel displays
Class of video devices that have reduced volume, weight and power requirement as compared to CRT’s. Thinner than CRT’s so we can hang them on walls and wear on our wrists. Used in:
TV monitors, laptop computers, calculators, pocket video games etc.

No refreshing needed, so complex pictures can be drawn without flicker.

Selected parts of a picture cannot be erased and redrawn.

Used in: Analog Oscilloscopes.

Categories of Flat panel displays
Emissive displays.
Convert electrical energy into light.
Plasma panels. Thin-film electroluminescent displays. Light-emitting diodes.

Plasma Panels
Consists of:
Two glass plates. Electrodes sandwiched between these plates. Noble gases e.g. neon or xenon is contained within these plates Area between the glass plates is divided into tiny cells, each of which can be considered as a pixel.

Non-Emissive displays.
Use optical effects to convert sunlight or light into graphics patterns.
Liquid Crystal Displays.


Pros & Cons of Plasma Panels
Produce a very wide screen using extremely thin materials. Image produced is very bright and looks good from almost every angle.

Light emitting diodes
Simply said, LED’s are just tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit. Unlike ordinary bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get very hot. Applications:
they form the numbers on digital clocks, transmit information from remote controls light up watches. tell you when your appliances are turned on. Illuminate traffic lights.


Thin-film electroluminescent displays are similar to plasma panels in construction except for the fact that the inner gas is replaced by phosphor. Requires more power to light up

Liquid crystal display
Used in calculators, portable laptops etc. They produce a picture by passing polarized light from the surrounding or from an internal light source through a liquid-crystal material that can be aligned to either block of transmit the light.

Dot-Matrix printer
A dot matrix printer refers to a type of computer printer with a print head that runs back and forth on the page and prints by impact, striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the paper, much like a typewriter.


Inkjet printer
Produces output by squirting ink in horizontal rows across a roll of paper wrapped on a drum.

Laser printer
A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that produces high quality printing, and is able to produce both text and graphics. Principle is based on that of a photocopy machine.

A plotter is a vector graphics printing device that connects to a computer. Plotters print their output by moving a pen across the surface of a piece of paper.
Restricted to line art, rather than raster graphics as with other printers. They can draw complex line art, including text, but do so very slowly because of the mechanical movement of the pens. Plotters are incapable of creating a solid region of colour.

Interactive raster graphics systems typically employ several processing units apart from the CPU, which are:
Video Controller Display processor


Video Controller
video controller controls:
Display device.
How pixels coordinates are determined?

Refresh operations.
Double buffering.

Areas of screen enlarged, reduced and moved to different locations. Look-up table. Mix of frame-buffer image and another image

Display processor
display processor performs:
raster graphics operations (instead of CPU).

Scan conversion. Character Definition. Line styles.
Dashed, dotted, solid.

Interface with input device (e.g.mouse).
Memory requirements for the frame buffer?


Raster-Scan Characters



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