Definition of Amiga

Amiga refers to a family of personal computers introduced in the mid-1980s by Commodore International. The Amiga line was notable for its advanced graphics, audio capabilities, and multitasking operating system called AmigaOS. Over time, it gained popularity for gaming, video production, and multimedia applications.


The phonetic representation of the keyword “Amiga” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is: /əˈmiːɡə/

Key Takeaways

  1. Amiga was a series of personal computers that featured graphical user interfaces and powerful multimedia capabilities, making them popular among creative professionals and gamers.
  2. The Amiga operating system, AmigaOS, provided advanced, preemptive multitasking as well as vast customization options, enabling users to efficiently develop software and manipulate various forms of digital media.
  3. Although Amiga computers are no longer produced, their legacy continues through a dedicated community of fans and developers, who maintain updated hardware, software, and modern operating systems compatible with Amiga architecture.

Importance of Amiga

The technology term “Amiga” holds significant importance in the history of personal computing, as it refers to a groundbreaking series of computers developed by the American company Commodore International during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Amiga computers were known for their superior multimedia capabilities, boasting high-quality graphics and sound, which made them popular for various applications such as gaming, graphics design, and video production.

This technological marvel not only revolutionized the computing landscape by offering advanced features for an affordable price but also inspired a passionate and dedicated user community that persists to this day.

As a result, Amiga contributed to the evolution of personal computers and the digital media industry as a whole, leaving a lasting impact on technology and its users.


The Amiga is a family of personal computers that emerged in the mid-1980s as a revolutionary platform for both home and professional use. Developed by a team led by Jay Miner at Commodore International, the Amiga boasted advanced, ahead-of-its-time multimedia capabilities and powerful graphics, enabling it to excel in various domains.

Its purpose was to provide users with a superior computing experience by supporting applications such as video editing, 3D rendering, digital music composition and gaming. With its multitasking and versatile operating system, AmigaOS, the system became popular among creative professionals in fields such as television production and graphic design, and eventually established itself as a preferred platform for software development and productivity applications.

Over the years, Amiga has fostered a loyal user community and seen numerous models, each catering to specific market segments. Its success stemmed from the incorporation of custom chips (Denise, Paula and Agnus) that provided enhanced graphics and sound capabilities, making it particularly appealing to the growing video game industry of the time.

Additionally, the Amiga offered a range of expandability options, allowing users to upgrade and customize their systems according to their needs. While Commodore ceased operations in the early 1990s, the Amiga’s legacy lives on, as its groundbreaking features have left an indelible mark on the history of computing and paved the way for modern multimedia systems that we enjoy today.

Examples of Amiga

The Amiga computer technology, developed by Commodore International in the 1980s, revolutionized the personal computer market. Here are three real-world examples of Amiga technology:

Amiga 1000 (1985): The first Amiga model, Amiga 1000, was launched as a high-end multimedia home/personal computer. Its advanced multitasking, graphics, and sound capabilities made it ideal for various applications such as gaming, video editing, and animation. It was the first consumer-level computer to feature a multicolored GUI (Graphical User Interface) with customizable workspaces (known as screens). Amiga 1000 was highly appreciated by creative professionals and enthusiasts alike for its versatility.

Amiga 500 (1987): The Amiga 500, a more affordable entry-level model, outperformed its competitors in graphics and sound capabilities, making it incredibly popular for gaming and creative work. It was also a significant catalyst in the development of the modern demoscene, a collective of artists and programmers who created innovative multimedia demos and showcased their technical and artistic prowess on the Amiga platform. Several successful game franchises started on the Amiga, including Lemmings and Sensible Soccer.

Video Toaster (1990): The NewTek Video Toaster was a hardware/software expansion for the Amiga 2000, transforming the computer into a powerful video production workstation for its time. This suite of tools allowed users to perform various video editing tasks such as character generation, 3D modeling, and rendering, live video switching, and chroma keying in real-time. The Video Toaster brought professional video production capabilities to a much wider audience and was used to create broadcast content for television shows and commercials.

Amiga FAQ

What is the Amiga?

The Amiga is a family of personal computers that was introduced in the 1980s by Commodore International. It was known for its advanced multimedia capabilities, high-quality audio, and graphics that were ahead of its time.

What was the first Amiga model released?

The first Amiga model, known as the Amiga 1000, was launched in 1985 and targeted at the high-end consumer market. It was followed by several other models, including the Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000, which were designed for the home and professional markets, respectively.

What operating system did the Amiga use?

The Amiga used its own proprietary operating system called AmigaOS, which was developed concurrently with the hardware. The operating system had a multitasking kernel, an elegant graphical user interface, and offered excellent support for audio and graphics.

What made Amiga’s graphics and audio capabilities so advanced?

The Amiga featured custom chips named Paula, Agnus, and Denise, which were designed specifically for graphics and audio processing. These chips allowed the Amiga to produce high-quality visuals, animations, and sound with minimal impact on the CPU, setting it apart from its contemporaries.

What was the Amiga’s impact on the gaming industry?

The Amiga had a significant impact on the gaming industry thanks to its advanced graphics and audio capabilities. Many popular games and franchises were either developed or ported to the Amiga, such as Lemmings, Elite, and The Secret of Monkey Island. The Amiga also fostered the growth of the demoscene, where programmers, artists, and musicians showcased their skills and creativity.

Related Technology Terms

  • Commodore International
  • AmigaOS
  • Amiga 500
  • Amiga 1200
  • Amiga Workbench

Sources for More Information


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