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OCM 007.jpg
Type Home computer
Release date 2006
Discontinued batch 1 completed
Operating system MSX-DOS / MSX BASIC
CPU Zilog Z80 implemented in VHDL on an FPGA
Memory 1MB

The One chip MSX, or 1chipMSX as the D4 Enterprise distributional name for the ESE MSX System 3, is a re-implementation of an MSX-2 home computer that uses a single FPGA to implement all the electronics (except the RAM) of an MSX-2, including the MSX-MUSIC and SCC+ audio extensions.

The system is housed in a transparent blue plastic box, and can be used with a standard monitor (or TV) and a PC keyboard. Original MSX cartridges can be inserted, as well as SD and MMC memory cards as an external storage medium. Even though it lacks a 3.5" disk drive, disks are supported through emulation on a memory card, including support for booting MSX-DOS. Due to its VHDL programmable hardware, it's possible to give the device new hardware extensions by simply running a reconfiguration program under MSX-DOS. The "one chip-MSX" is equipped with two USB connectors, that can be used after adding some supporting VHDL code.

The ESE MSX System 3 is designed by ESE Artists' Factory and distributed as 1chipMSX by D4 Enterprise and was supposed to be distributed outside Japan by Bazix. However, due to RoHS regulations in Europe, it was claimed it could not be distributed to Europe in its original form[1] and the European market had to wait for an adapted version which would be produced through Bazix and distributed to Europe by Bazix.[2] However, no violation of RoHS has ever been proven, with all identifiable components of the PCB and power supply being RoHS-compliant. In the end Bazix stopped being the representative of MSX Association[3][4][5] and thus will also not bring the 1chipMSX to the Western market.

According to the MSX Association Europe website, MSX Association is looking for a distributor for the ESE MSX System 3 in the Netherlands and have, according to the article, already found solutions for other countries.[6]


Hardware specifications

  • Altera Cyclone EP1C12Q240C8N FPGA chip
  • 32 MB SDRAM
  • SD/MMC card slot
  • 2 MSX Cartridge slots
  • 2 audio outputs (for future stereo support)
  • S-Video video output
  • Composite video output
  • VGA video output
  • PS/2 keyboard connector
  • 2 USB connector
  • 2 MSX Joystick ports
  • FPGA I/O pin (40 pins and 10 pins)

Included are also:

  • A Short English instruction manual, including a short introduction to VHDL
  • Full VHDL code used to achieve MSX2 compatibility (default configuration)
  • A CD-ROM with VHDL code examples and the following software:
    • Altera Quartus 2 Web Edition - VHDL development environment
    • PLDLOAD and PLDSAVE - Softare to read and program the FPGA chip
    • EP, FDLOAD and FDSAVE - Software to create, load and play disk images
  • 220V adapter or 110V converter plug
  • Schematics to the One Chip MSX PCB
  • Blueprint of the One Chip MSX casing

Default specifications of the implemented MSX system

  • MSX 2 computer system
  • 1 MB RAM
  • 128kB VRAM
  • Kanji-ROM
  • MSX-DOS2 with FAT16 support
  • MEGA-SCSI compatible support for SD card as primary drive

See also


  1. ^ Newspost on Msx Resource Center about postponed 1chipMSX: [1]
  2. ^ Newspost on Msx Resource Center about shift of responsibilities regarding 1chipMSX: [2]
  3. ^ Statement on Bazix' website regarding the end of their partnership with MSX Association: [3]
  4. ^ Newspost on MSX Resource Center regarding the breakup between MSX Association and Bazix: [4]
  5. ^ Newspost on MSX Association Europe website regarding MSX Association and Bazix relationship: [5]
  6. ^ Newspost on MSX Association Europe website about request for distributor: [6]

External links



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