Sega Saturn Hardware Architecture

Edit on Github | Updated: 27th May 2024

Image from EDGE magazine issue 23

  1. 2x Hitachi SH·2s @28.6MHz, 25 MIPS
  2. 16Mbit SDRAM for SH2s
  3. 12Mbit SDRAM for VRAM and frame buffer
  4. 512K sound DRAM for 68ECOO
  5. 32K SRAM for battery back·up
  6. 512K IPL (initial program loading) ROM - initiates the Saturn’s boot-up sequence
  7. VDP1 32bit video display processor, sprite processor and texture-mapping engine with dual 256K frame buffers
  8. VDP2 32bit video display processor with five simultaneous scrolling backgrounds and two simultaneous rotation fields
  9. Processor controller & LSI for graphics
  10. Saturn Custom Sound Processor (SCSP). Contains Yamaha FH·1 DSP (11.3 MHz) and DRAM controller for sound processor
  11. Sound CPU - Motorola 68ECOO @22.6 MHz
  12. System control unit @14.3 MHz - connects the Saturn’s three buses
  13. System manager and peripheral control - 4bit Hitachi chip including battery back·up
  14. Crystal oscillator
  15. Integrated circuit clock controller
  16. Digital to analogue converter
  17. RGB encoder (made by Sony)
  18. Cartridge slot
  19. Connector for joypads
  20. Connector for CD interface
  21. SH·1 processor for CD drive
  22. MPEG interface
  23. CD drive board interface
  24. 100-pin CD drive board connector 25 Double-speed JVC CD-ROM drive with 320Kjsec data transfer rate 1


  1. Edge (UK) issue 23