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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  • MrPoletski - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - link

    Actually, if you had a decent processor it was a fair bit faster than a Voodoo but because their triangle setup was done in software slower processors got bogged down by this but once you were at about a 100Mhz pentium or higher it pulled away from the voodoo (1). Voodoo had a 50 Mpixel fill rate vs the M3D/Apocalypse 3dx's fill rate of 66 Mpixels/s. Also M3d was a tile based renderer so it ignored overdraw, pushing its effective fillrate between 1.5 and 2x higher (this multiplier gets larger with more complex scenes and was more like 3x in the Quake 3 era)
  • wr3zzz - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    My first three graphic cards were Tseng ET3000, ATI Mach64 and Matrox Mystique G200. Matrox G200 was by far my favorite. I held on to it far too long kept hoping Matrox would make a decent 3D card...
  • Guspaz - Friday, September 13, 2019 - link

    For me, it brings back memories of working there... of the eerily empty buildings, of the full-service cafeterias that had been turned into simple lunch rooms, of the warnings from facilities not to leave food out on our desks because there were raccoons living in the ceilings, of sharing my workspace with rodents (the QA test cluster was in the basement, and the frame grabber cards all used the third disc side of the laserdisc of Waterworld as the test signal), of being given a workstation that had an nVidia Quadro graphics card instead of a Matrox card... It was super obvious that it was a company long past it’s glory days. It was also kind of dysfunctional, at least in the Matrox Imaging group. If you can imagine a development methodology where QA is told not to bother filing bug reports, because the developers don’t check them, you can get an idea of how things were done.
  • mode_13h - Friday, September 13, 2019 - link

    OMG. I don't suppose you'd now tell us when that was...?
  • Guspaz - Sunday, September 15, 2019 - link

    2007, so you can imagine that Waterworld on laserdisc was... a bit dated. They were using a laserdisc player ripped from an arcade machine because it automatically restarted from the beginning of the disc when it hit the end.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, September 15, 2019 - link

    I only started collecting LDs a few years prior. Some stuff didn't get released on DVD, so that was my thing.

    Anyway, what neat about LD is that it's natively composite video. So, if you want to test hardware that needs to handle composite, then LD is not crazy. That said, it probably wouldn't have the full bandwidth of professional gear, or maybe even the composite output of a DVD player.

    But if Matrox was like that in 2007, then I don't even want to think about how far it must've sank in 2009.

    Anyway, thanks for the posts. That's wild.
  • drexnx - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    I remember when the Parhelia was overhyped to the moon and didn't deliver - then the R300/9700 Pro came out and it was the undisputed champ for the next year+
  • sandtitz - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    "Matrox’s Parhelia and Millennium G400/G450/G550 graphics cards provided superior 2D image quality, but failed to offer competitive performance in 3D games"

    G400 was very much competitive in DirectX games back then (20 years ago). G450/G550 were not.
  • fred666 - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - link

    agreed, I purchased a G400 for that reason
  • Samus - Thursday, September 12, 2019 - link

    I remember the G450 actually being slower than the G400. Something about slower memory bus I think?

    A real missed opportunity. I loved my Millenium G400, incredibly sharp picture and that unique DOS font.

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