Matrox Acquired by Co-Founder

by Anton Shilov on September 11, 2019 10:30 AM EST

Matrox on Monday announced that Lorne Trottier, a co-founder of Matrox, has acquired 100% ownership of the Matrox group of companies, which includes three divisions: Matrox Imaging, Matrox Graphics, and Matrox Video.

Founded in 1976 by Lorne Trottier and Branko Matić, Matrox may not be a widely-known name among the PC crowd these days as it has been years since the company released its own GPU and essentially quit the market of consumer graphics cards. Back in the day, Matrox’s Parhelia and Millennium G400/G450/G550 graphics cards provided superior 2D image quality (something that was very important back in the CRT era), but failed to offer competitive performance in 3D games. This failure led the company to leave the market of consumer graphics cards and focus on niche markets instead. Back in 2014 Matrox officially ceased to design its own graphics processor IP and has been using AMD’s Radeon GPUs coupled with its renowned software since then.

In fact, when it comes to multi-display graphics cards and other graphics solutions for various purposes as well as for specialized niche solutions for video and imaging applications, Matrox has rather unique offerings. Serving aerospace, broadcast, financial, cinematography, digital signage, and other industries, Matrox almost certainly earns good profit margins.

It is hard to say how change of the ownership will affect product development and roadmap of Matrox, but usually such changes focuse the companies on their key products, which enables growth.

Since Matrox has always been a privately held company, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Here is what Lorne Trottier had to say:

“This next phase represents a renewed commitment to our valued customers, suppliers, and business partners, as well as to our 700 dedicated employees worldwide. At Matrox, our culture is defined by our passion for technological innovation and product development. We maintain the highest degree of corporate responsibility vis-a-vis production quality and industry standards. I am extremely proud of our accomplishments over our 40-plus-year history and would like to thank my co-founder for his contributions.”

He added:

“I look forward to championing a corporate culture defined by forward-thinking business practices, transparency, and teamwork. I am excited to lead this great organization as we implement growth initiatives. Matrox is a great Canadian success story. We owe this success and our bright prospects to the talented and dedicated people at all levels of this organization.” 

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Source: Matrox

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  • Pyrostemplar - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    Interesting and it certainly brings up some memories. I've probably owned graphic cards from almost all chip manufacturers (Tseng Labs being the first, a couple of S3 based, Intel i740,...). A Matrox Mystique was one of those - while its 3d acceleration was subpar, its 2d image was far superior to the nVidia TnT that ended up replacing it.
    aaah, those were the times :P
  • madwolfa - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    I remember my Tseng ET6000 was one of the baddest videocards I ever had. :)
  • Samus - Thursday, September 12, 2019 - link

    I had a Tseng ET4000 built into my Compaq Prolinea 4/25s with a DX4\75 overclocked to 100MHz (yes, you could overclock a Compaq Prolinea with a 25/33 jumper that controlled the overdrive socket!)

    The ET4000 was actually faster at drawing 2D characters than my friends Cirrus Logic VLB card, because it was in fact PCI-based. Which was funny, because the Prolines 4/25s had no PCI slots, just 16-bit ISA.

    Solid designed PC. I went on a tour of HP's destructive evaluation laboratory years ago where they test DoD qualifications, and there were a number of Prolinea 486's still in service for the evaluation equipment.
  • sing_electric - Thursday, September 12, 2019 - link

    I had a similar vintage Compaq Presario - my first PC - I THINK the ET4000s were VESA Local Bus (VLB) based - it was THEORETICALLY a bit faster than PCI bus of that era, since it could run up to 50MHz vs. 33 for PCI (though from what I remember - on the rare 486 with a PCI slot, the PCI bus actually ran at the 486's FSB speed, which could be anything from 16 to 50MHz. I'm assuming that at >33MHz speeds, they introduced a wait state to avoid killing cards).

    In practice, PCI was cheaper to produce and the sheer volume of PCI cards meant it became the go-to slot for graphics cars for a few years, until AGP rolled around. Few motherboards were ever PCI-only, though, since most manufacturers kept ISA onboard until the AGP era.
  • Spunjji - Friday, September 13, 2019 - link

    A fair few kept it around afterwards, too! Always handy for those old SoundBlaster cards many people had hanging about.
  • sing_electric - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    Definitely - there's a few motherboards with PCIe slots (usually an x16 and an x4 or x1), PCI and ISA - not just sound cards, but a lot of say, industrial equipment was powered by proprietary add-on cards that was ISA only.

    Having said that, I remember getting an all-PCI motherboard... something about the uniform slot layout felt aesthetically nice. That kind of uniformity is unlikely to come back anytime soon due to PCIe having so many available lengths...
  • vladx - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    Indeed Matrox Mystique was the GPU card on my first PC, it did a great job for its time.
  • vladx - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    Oops looks like I remembered wrong, I had a Matrox Millennium
  • Cullinaire - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    Gotta love that WRAM power!
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    Yep, I remember getting a Mystique, then getting a Millennium II from my work who was retiring a few still-fairly-new PCs to move to Mac.

    Later got their m3D 3D accelerator. It's big claim to fame in the era of the original Voodoo was that it didn't require an external VGA dongle, so no analog signal degradation an interference, and it supported 1024x768 at 32-bit color! (with full 8-bit alpha channel.) Quake 2 and Unreal looked *AMAZING* on it, although it did produce fewer fps than a Voodoo as a result.

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