The Amiga computer was developed by the Amiga Corporation in 1982. Despite the Amiga Corporation being bought out by Commodore International, the final product of the Amiga computer was released to the public market in March 1985. The name, Amiga, was chosen by executives from Commodore, and comes from the Spanish and Portuguese word for a female friend .
At the time of its release, the Amiga had some of the best looking graphics out of all the personal computers on the market. All Amiga systems can display full-screen animated graphics which have 4096 colors on display. With transparency settings on, the Amiga can overlay an external video source. This made the Amiga very popular amongst developers and gamers alike. The computer was also well known for running a 32-bit processor.
The sound on all of the Amiga systems was truly ahead of its time. The quality of the Amiga's sound output coupled with the fact that the hardware was ubiquitous and easily addressed by software were the standout features of the Amiga. In fact, many of these capabilities were unavailable on PC platforms for years. Third-party sound cards existed that provided DSP functions, multi-track direct-to-disk recording, multiple hardware sound channels and 16-bit and beyond resolutions. A re-targetable sound API called the AHI was also developed. This allows for the cards to be used transparently by the OS and software.
The computer sold well, especially in Europe among dedicated computer enthusiasts. Overall, the Amiga computer sold approx. 6 million units.
Despite the Amiga Corporation going bankrupt in 1994, the Amiga community was still very active and continued to support the system long after third party vendors had abandoned it.