Image Number 6 for United States Patent #4644495.
An improved video memory system includes a program memory, a display data memory, and a plurality of data fetchers. The data fetchers are used to indirectly address the display data in the display data memory. The data fetchers are programmed during vertical blanking so that selected display data is fetched at selected vertical display positions. During each scan line each data fetcher is "read" by: (1) decrementing a counter in the data fetcher; (2) comparing the counter value against preselected top and bottom values; and (3) using the counter value to indirectly address display data that is to be displayed on the current scan line if the counter value is between the top and bottom values. This relieves the host computer of having to keep track of the current vertical display position, thereby freeing it to use the saved computer cycles to produce more interesting viedo games with more complex display graphics. In addition there are provided data fetchers that can be programmed to periodically issue signals usable either for drawing a line with a predefined slope or modulating the amplitude of a sound generator.