One Chip MSX1 - First peek

by snout on 18-10-2004, 12:31
Topic: MSX Revival

Source: Gigamix Online

About a month ago we reported MSX Association will demonstrate the first version of the One Chip MSX1 at PLD World 2004 on October 29th. Before this public presentation of the One Chip MSX1 during a large event held and sponsored by Altera, Takashi Kobayashi of Gigamix Online has managed to gather some more information and even a picture of the current pre-production One Chip MSX1.

The One Chip MSX1, the first PLD based hardware device to be released by MSX Association in cooperation with ASCII is a small device capable of running MSX1 and some MSX2 software. The device uses ordinary SDRAM as memory and offers standard VGA RGB output and an S-VHS connector for connection to TV. The MSX logo is neatly printed on the PCB, just above the cartridge slot. Although the first edition of the One Chip MSX1 will certainly have its limitations, it is likely to assume that the buyer can modify the VHDL code of the device, thus altering the functionality of it.

The release of the One Chip MSX1, which is based on the ESE-MSX2 project is the first step in creating a new One Chip computer based on the ideologies of MSX, as announced by Kazuhiko Nishi in this lecture and this presentation. It is yet unclear when or how the first One Chip MSX1 computers will become available or in what casing the machine will be delivered. As soon as we find out more about this we will let you know.

Relevant link: One Chip MSX1 at Gigamix online

Comments (15)

By ro

Scribe (4963)

ro's picture

18-10-2004, 12:47

sweeet, can't wait to see this bugger running.

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1395)

viejo_archivero's picture

18-10-2004, 13:05

cool Big smile

By Whizzy

Master (213)

Whizzy's picture

18-10-2004, 13:59

Impressive ! but would there be a market for 2nd generation(?!) msx2 machines ? Also can you attach a normal pc keyboard to it ?

By spl

Paragon (1470)

spl's picture

18-10-2004, 15:51

Very good!!! Big smile

By flyguille

Prophet (3031)

flyguille's picture

18-10-2004, 17:44


what means only some msx2 features?....

By pitpan

Prophet (3155)

pitpan's picture

18-10-2004, 17:47

Finally some neat stuff! And MSX1!!!! XD
Happy to hear about it. Now it is time for some questions:

3.-How much

By the way, Fly: some MSX2 applications means that the V9938 implementation is not complete. But it does has a mapper, hasn't it?

As soon as I will be able to buy one, I will start to "believe" in the Revival.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

18-10-2004, 19:33

Pitpan . If you are interested in what this one chjip is capable of , please visit Madrid next year, since I have a demonstration in mind.
Sunrise has an ESE msx2 board already to show in Europe.
The FPGA is built flexible so the ram can be made flexible as well.
What is sure that it is handling dos2 well now, that is correct that the V9938 isnot completed but improved. The speed is that of a normal z80.
Price ,although MSX Association or its representative mention the price and when available I mention you the price we got the PCB and the components.
Koen soldered himself the chips. That amount was 128 euro approx.
What gives an indication for the price that will be asked for.
What me interests is the type of SDRAM chip that is use. Is it possible to figure this out ?

By flyguille

Prophet (3031)

flyguille's picture

18-10-2004, 19:41

how much memory?.... which slot mapping has? it emulates an virtual FDD or IDE?

how much VRAM it has?

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

18-10-2004, 19:54

I think many of these questions will be answered after or during the presentation at PLD-World, which will be held in 2 weeks.

By xperroni

Expert (83)

xperroni's picture

19-10-2004, 01:42

These are great news! Every piece of MSX hardware that gets into the "official" market is another step towards getting the standard back into the mainstream.

Some people don't see the point of releasing obsolete hardware like a one-chip MSX1, but I think I get MSX Association's point. It goes beyond raising funds: it's also about pulling the MSX community back toghether.

There are former MSX users out there that would go back to the line if there were new-brand models to buy -- even if it's just the old specs on a new box. I know it doesn't make much sense when you consider it, but it's just like I feel. Thus, even a "geek toy MSX" can have a positive effect on the scene: it will bring (back) more developers, and might improve the demand for software and peripherals.

By NickEng

Supporter (16)

NickEng's picture

19-10-2004, 12:07

I think all this talk of a one-chip msx is very interesting..

I had an MSX when they was out and still dig it out now and then to pay the Konami games, but must admit that I tend to emulate more now.

A new one chip machine in a case (would prefer MSX2) would be a great item to purchase.

I grew up as I am sure most of you did with a home computer that you had to program, I taught myself basic and assembler on them. I look at my kids now and there is nothing to promote a simular interest in computers.

I would love some thing like this that I can give my kids and say right lets learn how to program it and create some simple games...

So my wish lists is:

Small cased machine, where you add via USB:
A keyboard
A joy pad
External speakers
Use SD cards for saving code/backups
External USB MSX ROM cartr reader or possibly a slot in the machine
USB diskette drive or possibily a slot in the case for one

Lets hope something comes out

By Ivan

Ascended (9353)

Ivan's picture

19-10-2004, 12:48


A quality plastic case for the OneChip, instructions in several languages and a multivoltage adaptor (100V~240V) all into a nice box would do the rest.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

19-10-2004, 14:45

Very wise words, xperroni!

By SLotman

Paragon (1242)

SLotman's picture

19-10-2004, 16:34

It will be even better if it comes with a cable to connect the board to any PC and let anyone alter the VHDL code Big smile Big smile Big smile

By Samor

Prophet (2174)

Samor's picture

19-10-2004, 20:11

I agree with xperroni and NickEng. You can see an increasing market for devices like this, and not just MSX; devices like the joysticks from are also popular.
Now, I'm really happy that I was able to reacquire an NMS8250. However, to me, there is a great value over something when it involves a new product, rather than second hand. I think more people feel like that; their old MSX is somewhere in a closet, but then there's suddenly this brand new device. It's sort of a mix between retro and new. Classic systems, in all their glory, combined with newer technologies.
I think hardware is an important factor in this 'revival ideology' (if I may call it that ;) ) ...emulating the games on a PC has been possible for quite a while now, but with it there is often no 'real' connection to the original (why do you think I started recollecting, heh). With Jakk's joysticks, there is the Atari replica or the classic arcade-styled joysticks; it gives a special feeling, something that an emulator, even if totally accurate, doesn't offer.
However, things like the MSX Game Reader, and moreso a device like this, make a clear connection between the golden age of the MSX and today's ...well, just today (for lack of a better sentence). They provide that feeling. Of course this connection can also be (partly?) achieved through other means, for example how new MSX games like Bombaman are being sold alongside with support files for emulators, but hardware makes this emphasize stronger, and I think that's kinda cool.
Or am I just talking nonsense now? ;)