qVGA, also known as Quarter VGA is a screen size and resolution measurement. This measurement and resolution is most commonly used for PDA's, cell phones, and hand held games. These screens tend to be portrait in orientation rather than the landscape orientation that people are used to on televisions or computer screens. The term VGA is related to the standard size and resolution of a screen as set by IBM in the 1980's.
This standard screen size is 640 X 480. This standard has been used ever since as a standard method of measuring resolution and screen size. This became the standard and the base measurement of what all computer and televisions screens would use after that. All increases or decreases in side would be done in relation to those specifications as set down. An example of this is the Quarter VGA.
The term quarter refers to one fourth of something. A quarter dollar mean one fourth of a dollar. A quarter of a year is one fourth of a year. This applies to the Quarter VGA, meaning that the standard screen is then one quarter of the size of the standard screen. The orientation is not mentioned in this though and is simply a space saving connivance for the manufactures of the phones or PDA's.
It should be mentioned that qVGA technology is not necessarily compatible with full VGA technology. This is to mean that one cannot take a qVGA screen shot and make it fit the VGA screen without causing stretching and distortion. The reverse is also true; one cannot take a VGA screen shot and turn it into a qVGA without causing distortion, no matter what the software is. One other thing that should be mentioned about the qVGA is the Quad VGA which means that the measurements would be four times greater than that of the original VGA. For this reason, much of the software and hardware that is related to quarter VGA is noted as being qVGA and the software that is four times larger than the standard VGA is noted as QVGA.
Kate Stevens writes on topics such as QVGA, SVGA and FLV for The Tech FAQ.