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List of SEGA arcade system boards

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The following is a list of arcade system boards released by SEGA. For games running on these system boards, see List of SEGA arcade games.

Sega Blockade

SEGA Blockade was SEGA's first unified arcade system board, released in 1976 for Blockade and then used for other similar games in 1976 and 1977.[1]

SEGA VIC Dual

SEGA released the SEGA VIC Dual arcade system board in 1977 as one of the first systems to use the Zilog Z80 microprocessor. Some of the games on the system include Depthcharge (1977), Frogs (1978), Heiankyo Alien (1979), Head On (1979), Carnival (1980), and Samurai (1980).[4]

SEGA Z80

SEGA Z80 was an arcade system board that is named after the Zilog Z80 processor it uses as its main CPU. It released in 1980, with games such as Moon Cresta,[9] using a modified version of the Namco Galaxian system board.[10] In 1981, Jump Bug added parallax scrolling[11] and replaced the sound chip.[12] In 1982, Super Locomotive replaced the Namco Galaxian hardware with more advanced custom SEGA hardware,[9] including sound and graphics chips that would later be used in the System 1/2/16 and SEGA Space Harrier boards.

Specifications

Jump Bug added the following upgrades in 1981:

Super Locomotive included the following upgrades/modifications in 1982:

Bank Panic included the following upgrades/modifications in 1984:

  • Sound chips: 3× SEGA SN76496 @ 3.86712 MHz[9]
  • Tilemap planes: 2 layers (foreground, background)[22]
  • Video resolution: 256×224[14] (display), 330×256[23] (overscan)

KO Punch

This was an arcade system board produced exclusively for the video game KO Punch,[24] released by SEGA in October 1981.[25] This was the first video game to use large color sprites, several years before Nintendo's Punch-Out!! (1984).

  • Main CPU: Intel 8085A @ 4 MHz[24]
  • Display resolution: 256×256 pixels[26]
    • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
    • Scanlines: 256
  • Color palette: 32[24] (5-bit)
  • Colors on screen: 8[25] (3-bit)
  • Tilemap planes: 2 layers,[27] 8 colors per tile[24]
    • Character sprite plane: 16×16 pixels per sprite tile[24]
      • Sprites on screen: 32 (256 bytes, 8 bytes per sprite)
      • Sprite texels: 4 MHz clock cycles, 66,666 sprite texels per frame, 260 texels per scanline, 16 sprites per scanline
    • Text plane: 8×8 pixels per tile[24]

SEGA G80

SEGA G80 was an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1981. The G80 was released in both raster and vector versions of the hardware.

G80 specifications

VCO Object

VCO Object,[36] also known as SEGA Z80-3D system,[37] was released by SEGA in 1981. It was the first system specifically designed for pseudo-3D sprite-scaling graphics, using an analog scaling technique, with Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCOs) generating clock signals controlling the data fetched from the sprite/object ROM; the slower the clock signal, the larger the sprite on screen.[36]

It was used for the third-person racing video game Turbo (1981), the stereoscopic 3D shooter game SubRoc-3D (1982), and the third-person rail shooter Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom (1982).[36] SubRoc-3D also introduced an active shutter 3D system, jointly developed by SEGA with Matsushita (now Panasonic).[38]

Specifications

SEGA Zaxxon

The SEGA Zaxxon hardware was released by SEGA in 1982 as the first system dedicated to producing isometric graphics, first used for the isometric shooter Zaxxon (1982). It was also used for several other games, including the isometric platformer Congo Bongo (1983).

Specifications

Congo Bongo added the following specifications in 1983:

SEGA Laserdisc

The SEGA Laserdisc hardware was released by SEGA in 1983 as the first system dedicated to producing laserdisc video games. The first game to use it was Astron Belt (1983) and the last to use it was the holographic game Time Traveler (1991).

It used one of four laserdisc players, either a Pioneer LD-V1000 or LD-V1001, or a Hitachi VIP-9500SG or VIP-9550. Two different versions of the laser disc itself were also pressed, a single-sided version by Pioneer and a double-sided version by SEGA. However, both discs have the same information and may be used in any of the four players.

The hardware combines laserdisc footage with a real-time 2D computer graphics plane. The real-time graphics plane was overlaid by imitating a matting technique. As the CRT monitor scans horizontally across the screen, it is fed information from the laserdisc up until the point where it is fed information from the computer graphics system, after which information coming from the laserdisc stops, creating a black mask into which a sprite is inserted. It uses a collision detection system where both the laderdisc and sprite planes can interact with each other. Each frame of the laserdisc footage is coded with a hit detection spot stored in ROM memory. The Zilog Z80 CPU microprocessor reads the number of the laserdisc frame, and checks the laserdisc hit spots with the shots fired by the player, and if the coordinates correspond, it instructs the laserdisc player to display an explosion sequence. For sections where the player must navigate between walls, the walls in the laserdisc footage are also coded and use collision detection.[47]

Specifications

SEGA System series

SEGA System 1

SEGA System 1 was a type of arcade hardware used in various SEGA arcade machines from 1983 until 1987. For most of its run it coexisted with SEGA System 2 (1985–1988) and as a result had many similar features (the only major difference being that System 2 had two separate circuit boards instead of one). In its four year span it was used in some 20 different arcade games, including Choplifter, Flicky, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, Wonder Boy, and Wonder Boy in Monster Land. System 2 is an updated version of the System 1.

System 1 specifications

SEGA System 16

The SEGA System 16 is an early 16-bit arcade system board released by SEGA in 1985.[54] Over its lifespan, roughly forty games were released on this hardware, making it one of SEGA's most successful arcade platforms. It was produced in two variants, the System 16A and System 16B. Some games released using this hardware include: Shinobi, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, and Dynamite Dux.

In order to prevent piracy, as well as illegal bootleg games, many System 16 boards used an encryption system. A Hitachi FD1094 chip, containing the main CPU as well as the decryption key, was used in place of a regular CPU.

The System 16's pairing of a Motorola 68000 CPU and a Zilog Z80 coprocessor would prove to be a popular and durable arcade hardware configuration well into the 1990s. Capcom's CPS-1 and CPS-2 boards were built on a similar foundation, as was SNK's Neo Geo hardware. SEGA would later use the 68000/Z80 combination to power its Genesis/Mega Drive home console.

System 16A specifications

System 16B specifications

System 16B included the following upgrades in 1986:

  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 5 MHz[57] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 0.725 MIPS)[6]
  • PCM sound chip: NEC uPD7759 ADPCM Decoder @ 640 kHz[57]
  • GPU chipset: 315-5196 sprite generator, 315-5197 tilemap generator, 315-5213 sprite chip,[20] 315-5248 & 315-5250 math chips[63]
  • Sprite capabilities: Sprite-scaling[57]

SEGA System 24

The SEGA System 24 was an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1988. It was produced for coin-operated video arcade machines until 1996. Some games released using this hardware include: Bonanza Bros., Hot Rod, and Gain Ground.

SEGA System 24 specifications

The System 24 used two Motorola 68000 processors at 10 MHz. One was for input/output, while the other was used by the game. The board holds 1360 kB of RAM and 256 kB of ROM. It was the first SEGA arcade system that required a medium resolution arcade monitor. The color palette is 4352 on screen selectable from 32,768,[66] or with shadow & highlight, 16,384[67] on screen selectable from 98,304.[62] The system could support up to 2048 sprites on-screen at once.

Sound was driven by a YM2151 at 4 MHz; it was capable of delivering 8 channels of FM sound in addition to a DAC used for sound effects and speech synthesis. Early System 24s loaded their program from floppy disks. Games could also use hardware ROM boards to store games. No matter which storage device was used, a special security chip was required for each game an operator wanted to play.[66]

SEGA System 18

The SEGA System 18 is an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1989. System 18 had a very short run of games but most boards on this hardware were JAMMA standard. Most of these games also have the "suicide battery" as associated with SEGA's System 16 hardware. It also contained the VDP used by the SEGA Mega Drive console.[20]

System 18 specifications

  • Main CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 10 MHz[71] (16-bit & 32-bit instructions @ 1.75 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 8 MHz[71] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 1.16 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound chip: 2 × Yamaha YM3438 @ 8 MHz + Ricoh RF5c68 @ 10 MHz (8-channel PCM chip, remarked as SEGA Custom 315)
  • Graphics chips: SEGA System 16B chipset, Yamaha YM7101 VDP[20]
  • Display resolution: 320×224
  • Color palette: 98,304[62]
  • Colors on screen: 4096 (unique colors)[71] to 8384 (with shadow & highlight)[72]
  • Board composition: Main board + ROM board
  • Graphical capabilities: 128 sprites on screen at one time, 4 tile layers, 1 text layer, 1 sprite layer with hardware sprite zooming, translucent shadows,[71] sprites of any height and length, row & column scrolling[63]

Kyugo

Kyugo is an arcade system board released in 1984, co-developed with Japanese company Kyugo.[73] It was used for three SEGA games: Flashgal and Repulse in 1985, and Legend in 1986.[74] It was also used by several other companies from 1984 to 1987.[73]

Kyugo specifications

Super Scaler series

SEGA Space Harrier

SEGA Space Harrier, also known as SEGA Hang-On, was an early 16-bit system released in 1985, originally designed for the racing game Hang-On and third-person rail shooter Space Harrier (1985). It was also used for the racing game Enduro Racer (1986). This was the first in SEGA's Super Scaler series of pseudo-3D arcade hardware. At the time of its release, this was the most powerful game system.[76]

The pseudo-3D sprite/tile scaling in SEGA's Super Scaler arcade games were handled in a similar manner to textures in later texture-mapped polygonal 3D games of the 1990s.[77] Designed by SEGA AM2's Yu Suzuki, he stated that his "designs were always 3D from the beginning. All the calculations in the system were 3D, even from Hang-On. I calculated the position, scale, and zoom rate in 3D and converted it backwards to 2D. So I was always thinking in 3D."[78] Hang-On was controlled using a video game arcade cabinet resembling a motorbike, which the player moved with their body. This began the "Taikan" trend, the use of motion-controlled hydraulic arcade cabinets in many arcade games of the late 1980s, two decades before motion controls became popular on video game consoles.[79]

Specifications

SEGA OutRun

SEGA OutRun was a 16-bit arcade system released in 1986 for the driving game Out Run (1986). It was also used for Super Hang-On (1987) and Turbo Outrun (1989). It is the second in SEGA's Super Scaler series of pseudo-3D arcade hardware.

Specifications

SEGA X Board

The SEGA X Board is an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1987. As the third in SEGA's Super Scaler series of arcade hardware, it was noteworthy for its sprite manipulation capabilities, which allowed it to create high quality pseudo-3D visuals, such as the scaling and rotating environments in 1987's After Burner,[92] and the ray casting like environments in 1988's Last Survivor.[93] This trend would continue with the Y Board and the System 32, before the Model 1 made true 3D arcade games more financially affordable.

X Board specifications

  • Main CPU: Hitachi FD1094 (Motorola 68000) @ 12.5 MHz,[94] Motorola MC68000 @ 12.5 MHz[95] (16-bit & 32-bit instructions @ 4.375 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz[95] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 0.58 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound chips:[95]
  • GPU: SEGA Super Scaler chipset @ 50 MHz[94]
    • Main graphics chips: 315-5197 tilemap generator, 315-5211A sprite generator, 315-5242 color encoder, 315-5275 road generator, 315-5278 sprite ROM bank control[20]
    • Math chips:[63] 315-5248 hardware multiplier, 315-5249 hardware divider[94]
  • Video resolution: 320×224[95] (display), 400×262[83][94] (overscan), progressive scan
  • Refresh rate: 59.6368[95] to 60[92] Hz (V-sync)
  • Frame rate: 59.6368[95] to 60[92] frames per second
  • Board composition: Single board
  • Color palette: 98,304[62]
  • Colors on screen: 24,576[94]
  • Graphical planes:[95]
    • 4 tile layers
    • 1 text layer
    • 1 sprite layer with hardware sprite zooming
    • 1 road layer, can draw 2 roads at once
    • Translucent shadows
  • Sprite capabilities: Dual sprite framebuffers, 512×256 framebuffer resolution,[83] hardware sprite zooming,[95] sprite rotation,[92] thousands of sprites scaled per second[85]
    • Sprite size: 8×8[94] to 512×256[83] pixels
    • Colors per sprite: 16[83]
    • Sprites per frame: 256 on screen at one time[95]
    • Sprite pixels/texels: 50 MHz video clock cycles,[94] 833,333 (60 Hz) to 838,408 (59.6368 Hz) pixels/texels per frame (262 scanlines), 3180 to 3200 sprite pixels/texels per scanline, 256 sprites per scanline

Super Monaco GP (1989) added the following upgrades:[94]

  • Additional boards: Network Board, Sound Board, Motor Board
  • Additional CPU: 2× Zilog Z80 @ 8 MHz (2.32 MIPS)
  • Additional sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz (0.58 MIPS)
  • Additional sound chip: SEGAPCM @ 4 MHz[94] (additional 16 PCM channels,[83] totalling 32 PCM channels)
  • Sound output: 4-channel surround sound[94]

SEGA Y Board

The SEGA Y Board is an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1988. Like the X Board before it, the Y Board was known for its pseudo-3D sprite manipulation capabilities, handled by SEGA's custom Super Scaler chipset.

Y Board specifications

  • Board composition: CPU Board + Video Board
  • Main CPU: 3× MC68000 @ 12.5 MHz[96] (16-bit & 32-bit instructions @ 6.563 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound CPU: Z80 @ 4 MHz[96] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 0.58 MIPS)[6]
  • Sound chips:[96]
  • GPU: SEGA Super Scaler chipset[97]
    • Graphics board: SEGA 837-6566 Video Board[20] @ 50 MHz[97] (315-5196 sprite generator, 315-5213 sprite chip, 315-5242 color encoder, 315-5305 sprite generator, 2× 315-5306 video sync & rotation, 315-5312 video mixer)[20]
    • Math chips:[63] 315-5248 hardware multiplier, 315-5249 hardware divider[20]
  • RAM: 778 KB (SRAM[94])
    • Main RAM: 208 KB (64 KB CPU 1, 16 KB CPU 2, 64 KB CPU 3, 64 KB shared)[97]
    • Video RAM: 566 KB (32 KB Y-sprites, 4 KB B-sprites, 2 KB rotation, 16 KB palette,[97] 512 KB framebuffer[83])
    • Sound RAM: 6 KB (2 KB Z80,[97] 4 KB SEGAPCM[94])
  • Video resolution: 320×224[96] (display), 342×262[97] (overscan), progressive scan
  • Refresh rate: 59.6368[95] to 60[97] Hz (V-sync)
  • Frame rate: 59.6368[95] to 60[97] frames per second
  • Color palette: 2,097,152 (4096 palette banks with 512 colors each),[96] to 16,777,216 with effects (shadow & highlight, luminosity, palette fade)
  • Colors on screen: 24,576,[97] to 71,680 (320×224) with luminosity and palette fade
  • Graphical planes: Three layers[20][96]
    • B-sprite (front plane) layer: Priority on top, based on System 16B (line buffer[63]) sprite system
    • Y-sprite (back plane) layer: Plugs into a full-screen rotation, large fillrate, dual framebuffer[20] (based on X Board[83]) that can be fully rotated
    • Sky gradient (background) layer: Bitmap plane
  • Sprite capabilities: Linked list of sprites,[96] shadow & highlight,[63] palette fade,[97] color rotations, different levels of luminosity, full sprite zooming & scaling on both sprite planes,[96] full sprite & framebuffer rotation on Y-sprite plane,[20] double buffering, dual line buffers on B-plane (512 sprite pixels/texels per line),[63] dual framebuffer on Y-plane[20]
    • Sprite size/resolution: 8×8[97] to 512×512[98] pixel
    • Colors per sprite: 16 to 512[96]
    • Sprites per frame: 68 KB sprite RAM,[97] up to 2176 sprites (with 8x8 size and 16 colors each)
    • Sprite pixels/texels: 50 MHz video clock cycles,[97] 833,333 (60 Hz) to 838,408 (59.6368 Hz) pixels/texels per frame (262 scanlines), 3180 to 3200 sprite pixels/texels per scanline, 397 to 400 sprites per scanline

SEGA Mega series

SEGA Mega-Tech

The SEGA Mega-Tech was an arcade system developed by SEGA Europe in 1988. It is based on the Mega Drive/Genesis video game console hardware, and more or less identical.[99] Its operation ability is similar to Nintendo's PlayChoice-10, where the credits bought give the user a playable time period rather than lives (usually 1 minute per credit), and can switch between games during playtime.

A few things were omitted, such as the expansion hardware allowing for SEGA Mega-CD or SEGA 32X as these were not developed at this point, so would not likely be offered as an arcade expansion. The PCB for the Mega-Tech also includes the ability to display to a second monitor, which contains a list of the games installed in the machine and also displays instructions for controlling the game, 1 or 2 player information, and a short synopsis of each game. The second monitor also displays the time left for playing.

Since the machine was basically a Mega Drive with timer control for arcade operations, porting games to the Mega-Tech was an easy task and so many games were released, most of them popular titles such as Streets Of Rage, Revenge Of Shinobi, Golden Axe, Sonic The Hedgehog and many more. The ability was also added for the machine to play SEGA Master System titles, though fewer Master System titles were ported than Mega Drive titles. Some include the original Shinobi, Outrun and After Burner.[100]

The SEGA Mega-Tech was released in Europe, Australia, and Asia (including Japan), but not in North America.

SEGA Mega-Play

The SEGA Mega-Tech system was soon replaced by its successor, the Mega-Play, a JAMMA based system.[99] This system utilized only 4 carts instead of 8. This version also utilizes traditional arcade operations, in which credits bought are used to buy lives instead.[101]

Like the Mega-Tech, The SEGA Mega-Play was released in Europe, Australia, and Asia (including Japan), but not in North America.

SEGA System 14 / C / C-2

SEGA's System 14, also known as System C and System C-2, is a Jamma PCB used in arcade games, introduced in 1989. This hardware is based closely on the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis hardware, with the main CPU, sound processor and graphics processor being the same,[102] but with the addition of the Altera EPM5032[103] and SEGA 315-5242 color encoder[20] increasing the color palette. The CPU clock speed is slightly faster (8.94 MHz instead of 7.67 MHz), there is no Z80, and the sound chip is driven by the CPU. The DAC is also replaced by the NEC µPD7759, the same as the System 16 hardware. 17 known games were created for the System C-2 hardware.

Specifications

SEGA System 32

System 32 was an arcade platform released by SEGA in 1990. It succeeded the Y Board and System 24, combining features from both. It used a NEC V60 processor at 16.10795 MHz, supporting 32-bit fixed-point instructions as well as 32-bit and 64-bit floating-point instructions. It used a new custom SEGA graphics chipset combining the Y Board's pseudo-3D Super Scaler capabilities with the System 24's sprite rendering system. Notable titles included Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder, Rad Mobile, OutRunners, and SEGASonic the Hedgehog.

There was another version of the System 32 hardware, called System Multi 32 or System 32 Multi, released in 1992. This was similar to the original, but had a dual monitor display, a new NEC V70 processor at 20 MHz, a new SEGA MultiPCM sound chip, more RAM, and other improvements. This was the last of SEGA's Super Scaler series of pseudo-3D arcade system boards.

System 32 specifications

System Multi 32 specifications

SEGA System Multi 32 included the following upgrades in 1992:

  • Main CPU: NEC V70 @ 20 MHz[121]
    • Fixed-point arithmetic: 32-bit RISC instructions @ 6.6 MIPS[108]
    • Floating-point unit: 32-bit and 64-bit operations[109]
  • Sound CPU: 2× Zilog Z80 @ 8.053975 MHz (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 2.336 MIPS[6])
  • Sound chips:
    • FM synthesis chip: Yamaha YM3438 @ 8.053975 MHz (6 FM channels)
    • PCM sampling chip: SEGA MultiPCM[115] (28 PCM channels)
  • GPU: 2× SEGA Super Scaler 317-5964 chipset
  • Video resolution: Dual monitor,[121] 640×448 (display), 832×262 (overscan), progressive scan
  • Color palette: 4,194,304 (2,097,152 per screen) to 16,777,216 (with shadow & highlight and RGB brightness control)
  • Colors on screen: 98,304 (49,152 per screen) to 143,360 (71,680 per screen)
  • Graphical planes: 4 sprite layers[116]
  • Sprite capabilities: Multiple buffering, 4 framebuffers[116]

SEGA Model series

SEGA Model 1

The SEGA Model 1 is an arcade system board developed by SEGA. It began development in 1990,[122] and released in 1992. It was SEGA's first hardware designed for polygonal 3D graphics. The first game for the system, Virtua Racing, was designed to test the viability of the platform and was never intended to be released commercially, but it was such a success internally that SEGA did so anyway.

However, the high cost of the Model 1 system meant only six games were ever developed for it; among them the popular fighting game Virtua Fighter. Like the previous Super Scaler pseudo-3D arcade boards, the Model 1 3D arcade board was designed by SEGA AM2's Yu Suzuki.[78] The Model 1 was intended to compete with Namco's System 21; Namco was then the market leader in polygonal 3D video games, with titles such as Galaxian³ and Starblade.[123]

Model 1 specifications

SEGA Model 2

The SEGA Model 2 is an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1993. During development of the Model 1, SEGA went to General Electric Aerospace (which would become part of Martin Marietta, later Lockheed Martin) for assistance in creating 3D texture mapping graphics hardware, which would eventually be incorporated into the Model 2.

It was a further advancement of the earlier Model 1 system. The most noticeable improvement was texture mapping, which enabled polygons to be painted with bitmap images, as opposed to the limited monotone flat shading that Model 1 supported. The Model 2 also introduced the use of texture filtering and texture anti-aliasing,[130] as well as trilinear filtering.[122] It was the most powerful game system in its time, equivalent to the power of a PC graphics card in 1998, five years after the Model 2's release.[122]

Designed by SEGA AM2's Yu Suzuki, he stated that the Model 2's texture mapping chip originated "from military equipment from Lockheed Martin, which was formerly General Electric Aerial & Space's textural mapping technology. It cost $2 million dollars to use the chip. It was part of flight-simulation equipment that cost $32 million. I asked how much it would cost to buy just the chip and they came back with $2 million. And I had to take that chip and convert it for video game use, and make the technology available for the consumer at 5,000 yen ($50)" ($84 in 2016) per machine. He said "it was tough but we were able to make it for 5,000 yen. Nobody at SEGA believed me when I said I wanted to purchase this technology for our games."[78] Suzuki stated that, in "the end," it "was a hit and the industry gained mass-produced texture-mapping as a result." For Virtua Fighter 2, he also utilized motion capture technology, introducing it to the game industry.[131]

There were also issues working on the new CPU,[78] the Intel i960-KB, which had just released in 1993.[132] Suzuki stated that when working "on a brand new CPU, the debugger doesn't exist yet. The latest hardware doesn't work because it's full of bugs. And even if a debugger exists, the debugger itself is full of bugs. So, I had to debug the debugger. And of course with new hardware there's no library or system, so I had to create all of that, as well. It was a brutal cycle."[78]

Despite its high price tag of around $15,000[122] (equivalent to $24572 in 2014), the Model 2 platform was very successful. It featured some of the highest grossing arcade games of all time: Daytona USA,[133] Virtua Fighter 2, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On, The House of the Dead, and Dead or Alive, to name a few. SEGA sold 65,000 units of the Model 2 annually,[122] and eventually sold over 130,000 units by 1996, amounting to over $1.95 billion revenue from hardware cabinet sales[134] (equivalent to over $3.19 billion in 2014), making it one of the best-selling arcade systems of all time.

Model 2 has four different varieties: Model 2 (1993),[133] Model 2A-CRX[135] (1994),[136] Model 2B-CRX[137] (1994)[138] and Model 2C-CRX (1996).[139] While Model 2 and 2A-CRX use a custom DSP with internal code for the geometrizer, 2B-CRX and 2C-CRX use well documented DSPs and upload the geometrizer code at startup to the DSP. This, combined with the fact that some games were available for both 2A-CRX and 2B-CRX, led to the reverse engineering of the Model 2 and Model 2A-CRX DSPs.

Model 2 specifications

Main CPU (central processing unit)
GPU (graphics processing unit) video hardware
Audio hardware
RAM (random access memory)

Total RAM: 9776 KB (Model 2/2A-CRX), or 18,388 KB (Model 2B/2C-CRX)

Graphical capabilities

SEGA Model 3

The SEGA Model 3 is an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1996. It was the final culmination of SEGA's partnership with Lockheed Martin, using the company's Real3D division to design the graphical hardware. Upon release, the Model 3 was easily the most powerful arcade system board in existence,[151] capable of over one million quad polygons per second and over two million triangular polygons per second.[152] The hardware went through several "steppings," which increased the clock speed of the CPU and the speed of the 3D engine, as well as minor changes to the board architecture.[153] Step 1.0 and Step 1.5 released in 1996,[152][154] Step 2.0 in 1997,[155] and Step 2.1 in 1998.[156] It was the most powerful game system in its time, an order of magnitude more powerful than PC graphics card from 1998, two years years after the Model 3's release.[122]

The Model 3 debuted with Virtua Fighter 3 (1996), which the May 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games magazine described as "the most astounding display of video game graphic muscle ever in the history of this industry", comparing its real-time graphics to pre-rendered CGI of that era.[151] Other well known Model 3 games include Scud Race (1996), Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders (1997), SEGA Bass Fishing (1997), Daytona USA 2 (1998), SEGA Rally 2 (1998), and The Ocean Hunter (1998), although it is the rarest of them. By 2000, the SEGA Model 2 & 3 had sold over 200,000 arcade systems worldwide,[157] , making them some of the best-selling arcade game boards of all time. At around $15,000 each (for the Model 2, with the Model 3 costing higher), this amounts to at least over $3 billion revenue from cabinet sales, equivalent to over $4.91 billion in 2014.

Model 3 specifications

RAM: 33,321 KB

SEGA ST-V

File:SEGAstvpcb.jpg

ST-V (SEGA Titan Video game system) was an arcade system board released by SEGA in 1994.[170] Departing from their usual process of building custom arcade hardware, SEGA's ST-V is essentially identical to the SEGA Saturn home console system. The only difference is the media: ST-V used ROM cartridges instead of CD-ROMs to store games. Being derived from the Saturn hardware, the ST-V was presumably named after the moon Titan, a satellite of Saturn.

The majority of ST-V titles were released in Japan only, but a notable exception was the port of Dynamite Deka, which became Die Hard Arcade. Games released for the ST-V includes the arcade version of Virtua Fighter Remix, Golden Axe: The Duel and Final Fight Revenge. The shared hardware between Saturn and ST-V allowed for very "pure" ports for the Saturn console.

ST-V specifications

Add-on boards included the following additional specifications in 1995:[188]

SEGA NAOMI series

SEGA NAOMI

First demonstrated in November 1998 at JAMMA, since just before the release of The House of the Dead 2 in Japan. The SEGA NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) is the successor to the SEGA Model 3 hardware.

A development of the Dreamcast home game console, the NAOMI and Dreamcast share the same hardware components: Hitachi SH-4 CPU, PowerVR Series 2 GPU (PVR2DC), and Yamaha AICA Super Intelligent Sound Processor based sound system. NAOMI has twice as much system memory, twice as much video memory, and four times as much sound memory.

Multiple NAOMI boards can be 'stacked' together to improve graphics performance, or to support multiple-monitor output. A special game cabinet for the NAOMI, NAOMI Universal Cabinet, houses up to sixteen boards for this purpose. Multiple-board variants are referred to as Naomi Multiboard hardware, which debuted in 1999.[189]

The other key difference between NAOMI and Dreamcast lies in the game media. The Dreamcast reads game data from GD-ROM optical disc, while the NAOMI arcade board features 168 MB of solid-state ROMs or GD-ROMs using a custom DIMM board and GD-ROM drive. In operation, the Naomi GD-ROM is read only once at system power up, loading the disc's contents to the DIMM Board RAM. Once loading is complete, the game executes only from RAM, thereby reducing mechanical wear on the GD-ROM drive.

Unlike SEGA's previous arcade platforms (and most other arcade platforms in the industry), NAOMI is widely licensed for use by other game publishers including SEGA, Namco Bandai, Capcom, Sammy and Tecmo Koei. Games such as Mazan, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Dead or Alive 2 and Guilty Gear XX were all developed by third-party licensees of the NAOMI platform. An offshoot version of the NAOMI hardware is Atomiswave by Sammy Corporation.

After nine years of hardware production, and with new game titles coming in 2008 like Melty Blood: Actress Again and Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC, NAOMI is considered to be one of the longest running arcade platforms ever and is comparable in longevity with the Neo-Geo MVS.

NAOMI specifications

NAOMI Multiboard specifications

SEGA NAOMI Multiboard included the following upgrades in 1999:[189]

SEGA Hikaru

An evolution of the NAOMI hardware with superior graphics capabilities, the Hikaru was used for a handful of deluxe dedicated-cabinet games, beginning with 1999's Brave Fire Fighters, in which the flame and water effects were largely a showpiece for the hardware. The Hikaru hardware was the first arcade platform capable of effective Phong shading.

According to SEGA in 1999: "Brave Firefighters utilizes a slightly modified Naomi Hardware system called Hikaru. Hikaru incorporates a custom SEGA graphics chip and possesses larger memory capacity then standard Naomi systems. "These modifications were necessary because in Brave Firefighters, our engineers were faced with the daunting challenge of creating 3d images of flames and sprayed water," stated SEGA's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Barbara Joyiens. "If you stop and think about it, both have an almost infinite number of shapes, sizes, colors, levels of opaqueness, shadings and shadows. And, when you combine the two by simulating the spraying of water on a flame, you create an entirely different set of challenges for our game designers and engineers to overcome; challenges that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to overcome utilizing existing 3D computers. Hikaru has the horsepower to handle these demanding graphic challenges with clarity, depth and precision."[202] In addition, the Hikaru also uses two Hitachi SH-4 CPU's, two Yamaha AICA sound engines,[203] a Motorola 68000 network CPU, and two PowerVR2 GPU's.[204]

Since it was comparatively expensive to produce, and most games did not necessarily need Hikaru's extended graphics capabilities, SEGA soon abandoned the system in favor of continued NAOMI and NAOMI 2 development.

Hikaru specifications

SEGA NAOMI 2

File:Naomi 2.jpg

In 2000, SEGA debuted the NAOMI 2 arcade system board at JAMMA, an upgrade and a sequel of the original NAOMI with better graphics capability.

NAOMI 2's graphics-assembly contains two PowerVR CLX2 GPUs, a PowerVR Elan chip for T&L geometry transformation and lighting effects, and 2X the graphics memory for each CLX2 chip. (Each CLX2 has its own 32MB bank, as the CLX2s cannot share graphics RAM). Due to architectural similarities and a "bypass" feature in the Elan device, the NAOMI 2 is also able to play NAOMI games without modification.[205][206][207]

With the NAOMI 2, SEGA brought back the GD-ROM drive. For both NAOMI and NAOMI 2, the GD-ROM setup was offered as an optional combination of daughterboard expansion known as the DIMM Board, and the GD-ROM drive itself. The DIMM board contained enough RAM to allow an entire game to be loaded into memory at start up, allowing the drive to shut down after the game has loaded. This heavily reduces load times during the game, and saves on drive wear and tear.

NAOMI 2 specifications

  • Main CPU: 2× Hitachi SH-4[206] @ 400 MHz[208]
  • Sound engine: Yamaha AICA Super Intelligent Sound Processor @ 67 MHz
    • Internal CPU: 32-bit ARM7 RISC CPU @ 45 MHz[206]
    • CPU performance: 17 MIPS[192]
    • PCM/ADPCM: 16-bit depth, 48 kHz sampling rate (DVD quality),[190] 128 channels[206]
    • Other features: DSP, sound synthesizer
  • Main T&L geometry GPU coprocessor: VideoLogic Elan @ 100 MHz[206]
  • Rasterizer GPU: 2× NEC-VideoLogic PowerVR 2 (PVR2DC/CLX2)[206] @ 200 MHz[208]
    • Bits: 64-bit per GPU[208]
    • Texture mapping: Bump mapping, mipmapping,[191] environment mapping, texture compression,[192] multi-texturing,[193] perspective correction[190]
    • Filtering: Point filtering,[190] bilinear filtering,[192] trilinear filtering, anisotropic filtering[190]
    • Anti-aliasing: Super-sampling anti-aliasing (SSAA),[190] full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA)[193]
    • Alpha blending: 256 levels of transparency,[190] multi-pass blending,[193] translucency sorting[193]
    • Shading: Perspective-correct ARGB Gouraud shading,[193] shadows[190]
    • Rendering: ROP (render output unit), tiled rendering, 32-bit floating-point Z-buffering, 32-bit floating-point hidden surface removal,[193] 256 fog effects,[190] per-pixel table fog,[193] per-pixel lighting[194]
    • Other capabilities: Quad polygons, triangle polygons, GMV (general modifier volumes)[190]
  • Operating system: Custom Windows CE,[190] with DirectX 6.0, Direct3D and OpenGL support
  • RAM: 168 MB
  • Storage media: ROM board, GD-ROM drive[209]
  • Color depth: 32-bit ARGB,[190] 16,777,216 colors (24-bit color)[206] with 8-bit (256 levels) alpha blending,[209] YUV and RGB color spaces, color key overlay[193]
  • Display resolution: 31 kHz horizontal sync, 60 Hz refresh rate, VGA,[196] progressive scan
    • Single monitor: 496×384 to 800×608 pixels[197]
    • Dual monitor: 992×768 to 1600×608 pixels
  • Bandwidth: 6 GB/sec[209]
  • GFLOPS performance: 7.5 GFLOPS[208]
  • Textures per pass: 10[208]
  • Polygon performance:
    • 10 million textured polygons/sec, with 6 light sources per polygon,[209] shadows, trilinear filtering and other effects
    • 28 million textured polygons/sec (14 million per CPU/GPU), with lighting, shadows and trilinear filtering
    • 40 million polygons/sec (20 million per CPU/GPU), with lighting
    • 100 million polygons/sec (raw),[208] without lighting or texture mapping
  • Fillrate:
    • Rendering: 2 billion pixels/sec[210] (with transparent polygons) to over 6.4 billion pixels/sec (with opaque polygons)
    • Textures: 200 million texels/sec
  • Extensions: communication, 4-channel surround sound, PCI, MIDI, RS-232C
  • Connection: JAMMA Video compliant

Triforce

The Triforce is an arcade system board developed jointly by Namco, SEGA, and Nintendo, with the first games appearing in 2002. The name "Triforce" is a reference to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series of games, and symbolized the three companies' involvement in the project. The system hardware is based on the Nintendo GameCube with several differences, like provisions for add-ons such as SEGA's GD-ROM system and upgradeable RAM modules. The Triforce was initially believed to have twice as much 1T-SRAM as the Nintendo GameCube (48MB instead of 24MB), but this was disproven by a teardown analysis of a Triforce board.[211]

A few versions of the Triforce exist. The first two are the Type-1 and Type-3 units, the former using an external DIMM board (same as used on the Naomi and Naomi 2) while the latter integrates this component inside the metal casing. A custom Namco version exists which only accepts custom NAND Flash based cartridges, which has a different Media board and supposedly different baseboard.[212] These boards use the same metal case design as the Type-3 Triforce.

Triforce specifications

Porting

In 2012, a homebrew application was released for the Nintendo Wii that enabled this GameCube-derived console to run Mario Kart Arcade GP, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, F-Zero AX and Virtua Striker 4 Ver.2006 (see the list of games below). The coder stated that support for other games and additional features are possible.

SEGA Chihiro

The SEGA Chihiro system is a SEGA arcade system board based on the architecture of the Xbox. The 733 MHz Intel Pentium III CPU and the Nvidia XChip graphics processor are common to both, but the Chihiro has a different MCPX chip with unique bootloader keys. The main system memory, at 128 MB, is twice that of a retail Xbox. In addition to this memory, the Chihiro also has additional RAM used for media storage - this was initially 512 MB but is upgradable to 1 GB. When the system is booted, the required files are copied from the GD-ROM to the RAM on the media board.

Because the Chihiro and Xbox share the same hardware architecture, porting from the Chihiro is theoretically easier than porting from a different arcade platform. In practice, there are a number of challenges - the first being that the half-size main memory restricts the size of your working set and the second being that fetching assets from Xbox DVD drive is orders of magnitude slower than fetching them from the 512MB/1GB of RAM on the media board. These challenges are not insurmountable, though - for example, the Xbox release of OutRun 2 was able to retain the look and feel of the original arcade version.

Chihiro specifications

SEGA Lindbergh

The SEGA Lindbergh arcade system board is an embedded PC running MontaVista Linux (The Lindbergh Blue system used Windows Embedded instead). SEGA had initially planned to use Microsoft's Xbox 360 as the basis for the arcade board, but instead opted for an architecture based on standard PC hardware.

According to SEGA-AM2 president Hiroshi Kataoka, porting Lindbergh titles (such as Virtua Fighter 5) to Sony's PlayStation 3 is generally easier than porting to Xbox 360, because the Lindbergh and PS3 use a GPU designed by the same company, Nvidia.[216]

Lindbergh specifications

The SEGA Lindbergh standard universal sit-down cabinet uses a 1360 × 768 WXGA LCD display.

Aside from the standard Lindbergh system (Lindbergh Yellow), SEGA developed a Lindbergh Red which includes the GeForce 7600gs and Lindbergh Blue system, which have different specifications.

The Lindbergh has been superseded by the Ring series (RingEdge and RingWide), so there will be no new arcade games developed for this system. The last game to run on Lindbergh was MJ4 Evolution.[218]

SEGA Europa-R

The SEGA Europa-R is an arcade system board developed by SEGA Amusements Europe.

SEGA chose a PC-based design for this arcade board. This arcade board currently only runs two games, SEGA Rally 3 and Race Driver: GRID (Stylized as simply GRID).

Europa-R specifications

  • CPU: Intel Pentium D 945 (3.4 GHz, dual-core)
  • RAM: 8 GB (2x 4 GB modules)
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8800
  • Other: Compatible HDTV (High Definition), DVD drive support, SEGA ALL.NET online support
  • Protection: High spec original security module.

SEGA Ring series

The Ring series of arcade machines are also based on PC architecture. Initially announced models include RingEdge and RingWide. The 2 pieces of hardware have Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009 as their operating system, mainly so other third-party companies would find it easier to produce games for the system. The first game for the Ring platform is the 2009 mecha action game Border Break, running on the RingEdge. Border Break does not take full advantage of the graphics card on the RingEdge, but introduces touch-screen functionality and a special controller system. It allows players to play next to each other in the same arcade or against others in another arcade using SEGA's ALL.NET feature. Also in Fall 2009, an image appeared around the web of what was apparently a leaked RingEdge BIOS and it appears the disc drive supports the now defunct HD DVD. In 2009, SEGA stated that they planned to revive the arcade business with these machines.[219] Other games released for the RingEdge include the multiplayer action role-playing games Shining Force Cross (2009) and Shining Force Cross Illusion (2012),[220] and the 3D fighting game Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (2010).

RingEdge

The RingEdge is the main console of the Ring Series. It has better graphics and larger storage than the RingWide. It sports a better graphics card than the Lindbergh system, allowing for a higher performance graphically, all while costing less to produce. The use of an Intel Pentium Dual-Core (1.8 GHz per core) processor delivers better performance than Lindbergh's Pentium 4 (3.0 GHz) processor. A solid-state drive greatly reduces wear-and-tear due to a lack of moving parts, and also has much higher transfer rates than a hard disc drive, leading to better performance and loading times. The Ringedge also supports 3D game capability.

RingEdge specifications

RingWide

The RingWide is more basic than the RingEdge, and only has 8 GB (CompactFlash) of storage, while RingEdge has a four times larger storage (because of the use of the RAM Drive and SSD). The RingWide will be used to run games that are less graphics-intensive and that require less high-end specifications in order to cut down costs. SEGA also appears poised to be designing a streaming hybrid for use with household TVs, similar to OnLive from the system's hardware as evident from this patent issued by them on November 17, 2009.[221]

RingWide specifications

RingEdge 2

The successor to RingEdge, The first games to run on the system will be Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2012)[222] and the 2D fighting game Under Night In-Birth (2012) from French Bread (developer of Melty Blood).

RingEdge 2 specifications

SEGA Nu

Released in Japan in November 2013 with arcade versions of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone.[223] Nu is based on a mid-range PC running Windows 8.

Nu specifications

Technical details

The "suicide battery" (System 18, System 16 and others) generally refers to an arrangement by which encryption keys or other vital data are stored in SRAM powered by a battery. When the battery dies, the PCB is rendered permanently inoperable, in the sense that there is no way to reprogram the RAM from within the PCB itself — hence the term "suicide".

See also

References

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