, Inc. was a maker of arcade graphics boards whose lineage traces back to the aerospace industry when General Electric
sold off its aerospace division (GE Aerospace) to Martin Marietta
. In 1995, Martin Marietta
merged to form Lockheed Martin Corporation
, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer. Following the merger, Lockheed Martin decided to market their cutting-edge graphics technology for civilian use by setting up Real3D, Inc. in partnership with Intel
. In 1999, Real3D sued ATI Technologies
over infringement of its patents (originally issued to General Electric in 1988 and 1990) as well as misappropriation of trade secrets (involving the hiring away of several Real3D engineers). By October 1, 1999, Real3D was forced to close its doors and Lockheed sold its remaining stake in Real3D to Intel
on October 14th. Following the sale, Intel
fired all employees and closed the Orlando office. Interestingly, ATI opened an Orlando office and ostensibly retained many former Real3D designers.
- Real3D's history traces back over 3 decades to the first GE Aerospace Visual Docking Simulator for the Apollo lunar landings.
- Real3D technology was shipped on boards in over 200,000 Sega Model2 and Model3 arcade systems, two of the most popular systems in history.
- Real3D amassed over 40 patents on 3D graphics hardware and software (this was key to the Intel buyout).
- Real3D has links with modern graphics giant nVidia. First, nVidia acquired all of SGI's graphics development resources, which included their 10% stake in Real3D. Second, when nVidia purchased 3dfx's technological assets, they retained licenses to Real3D patents.
- Real3D has links with modern graphics giant ATI. The two companies were involved in lawsuits over Real3D's patents until a 2001 cross-licensing settlement.
- Real3D's most recent AGP graphics card was the Intel740 part sold under the StarFighter and Lightspeed brandnames.