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An improved variation of the VGA (Video Graphics Array) display standard,
sometimes referred to as SVGA (Super VGA), Ultra VGA is a standard for computer
screen display and resolution. IBM introduced the VGA standard in 1987 in order
to allow display of higher resolution images and a greater number of colors (256
out of a possible 16 million colors). VGA is an analog format that replaced the
preceding digital formats. Although replacing digital with analog seems like it
would not be considered progress, VGA actually increased the capacity to make
signal variations and provided the ability to offer more color combinations than
digital would allow at the time.
The UVGA/SVGA standard, although it supports up to 16 million colors, is limited
in specific machines and graphics cards by the amount of video memory that is
installed in the system. Although one system might allow the whole palette of
colors, another might allow only 256.
Most computers that you might buy today will come equipped with an Ultra XGA
(Extended Graphics Array) video card; however, if you have an older computer and
you want to upgrade the graphics card, a UXGA card will most likely still fit in
your VGA-compatible machine, although it may not deliver the graphics quality of
a newer computer, partly because of limited processing speed.
SVGA and other standards are developed and maintained by a consortium of monitor
and graphics device manufacturers that calls itself VESA (Video Electronics
Standards Association; http://www.vesa.org).
VESA works toward the standardization of video protocols and has worked to
define the standards defining resolution and colors for each level of display.
Support of these standards may vary depending of the brand of monitor and video
card installed on any given computer. The monitor must be able to display the
resolution and the colors specified by the standard, and the video card must be
capable of sending the appropriate signals to the monitor.