<hardware> A computer output device where each pixel displayed on the
monitor screen corresponds directly to one or more bits in the computer's video
memory. Such a display can be updated extremely rapidly since changing a pixel
involves only a single processor write to memory compared with a terminal or VDU
connected via a serial line where the speed of the serial line limits the speed
at which the display can be changed.
Most modern personal computers and workstations have bitmap displays, allowing
the efficient use of graphical user interfaces, interactive graphics and a
choice of on-screen fonts. Some more expensive systems still delegate graphics
operations to dedicated hardware such as graphics accelerators.
The bitmap display might be traced back to the earliest days of computing when
the Manchester University Mark I(?) computer, developed by F.C. Williams and T.
Kilburn shortly after the Second World War. This used a storage tube as its
working memory. Phosphor dots were used to store single bits of data which could
be read by the user and interpreted as binary numbers.
[Is this history correct? Was it ever used to display "graphics"? What was the
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