Hardware

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This is a list of all of the known hardware devices used by video games to synthesize or playback music. It's difficult to classify the various hardware devices because they are often sold in many different forms from fully encapsulated appliances like the Roland MT-32, to sound cards like the Sound Blaster, to microchips like the AY-3-8910. To complicate matters, there are often protocols like Windows Audio and the Aria chipset, that are common among multiple devices.

Sound Cards

Sound cards are special circuit boards that can be inserted into a computer's expansion slot to give it extended audio capabilities. Each sound card has one or more audio chips built onto it.

Manufacturer Release Sound Card Icon Supported Platforms
Ad Lib 1987-??-?? AdLib Icon - AdLib.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Ad Lib 1992-??-?? AdLib Gold 1000 Icon - AdLib Gold 1000.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Covox 1989-??-?? Sound Master Icon - Sound Master.png Platform - DOS.png
Covox 1991-??-?? Sound Master Plus Icon - Sound Master Plus.png Platform - DOS.png
Covox 199?-??-?? Sound Master II Icon - Sound Master II.png Platform - DOS.png
Creative Technology 1987-08-?? Creative Music System Icon - Creative Music System.png Platform - DOS.png
Creative Technology 1988-??-?? Game Blaster Icon - Game Blaster.png Platform - DOS.png
Creative Technology 1989-??-?? Sound Blaster Icon - Sound Blaster.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Creative Technology 1990-??-?? Sound Blaster 1.5 Icon - Sound Blaster.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Creative Technology 1991-??-?? c. Sound Blaster Pro Icon - Sound Blaster Pro.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Creative Technology 1992-??-?? c. Sound Blaster 2 Icon - Sound Blaster 2.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Creative Technology 1992-??-?? c. Sound Blaster Pro 2 Icon - Sound Blaster Pro 2.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Creative Technology 199?-??-?? Sound Blaster 16 Icon - Sound Blaster 16.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Creative Technology 199?-??-?? Sound Blaster AWE 32 Icon - Sound Blaster AWE 32.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Creative Technology 199?-??-?? Wave Blaster Icon - Wave Blaster.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Ensoniq 1994-??-?? Soundscape Icon - Soundscape.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Ensoniq 1994-??-?? Soundscape DB Icon - Soundscape DB.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Ensoniq 1995-03-?? Soundscape Elite Icon - Soundscape Elite.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Ensoniq 1995-03-?? Soundscape Elite DB Icon - Soundscape Elite DB.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Ensoniq 199?-??-?? Soundscape OPUS
Ensoniq 199?-??-?? Soundscape VIVO90
Ensoniq 1997-??-?? AudioPCI
ESS 199?-??-?? AudioDrive
Gravis 199?-??-?? UltraSound Icon - UltraSound.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Gravis 199?-??-?? UltraSound Max Icon - UltraSound Max.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
I/O Magic 199?-??-?? Tempo
IBM 198?-??-?? Speech Adapter Platform - DOS.png
IBM 1985-??-?? с. PC Music Feature Icon - PC Music Feature.png Platform - DOS.png
IBM 199?-??-?? PS-1 Audio Icon - PS-1 Audio.png Platform - DOS.png
Innovation Computer Corporation 1989-04-?? SSI 2001 Icon - SSI 2001.png Platform - DOS.png
Logitech 19??-??-?? SoundMan Games Icon - SoundMan Games.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Logitech 1994-??-?? SoundMan 16 Icon - SoundMan 16.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Logitech 199?-??-?? SoundMan Wave Icon - SoundMan Wave.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Media Vision 199?-??-?? Pro AudioSpectrum Icon - Pro AudioSpectrum.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Media Vision 199?-??-?? Pro AudioSpectrum Plus Icon - Pro AudioSpectrum Plus.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Media Vision 199?-??-?? Pro AudioSpectrum 16 Icon - Pro AudioSpectrum 16.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Media Vision 199?-??-?? Pro AudioSpectrum 16 Studio Icon - Pro AudioSpectrum 16 Studio.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Media Vision 1990-??-?? Thunder Board Icon - Thunder Board.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Microsoft 1992-??-?? Windows Sound System Icon - Windows Sound System.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Mindscape 1985-??-?? c. Bank Street Music Writer Card Platform - DOS.png
NEC 1985-??-?? PC-9801-23K Platform - PC98.png
NEC 1987-??-?? PC-8801-23 Platform - PC88.png
NEC 1987-??-?? PC-9801-86 Platform - PC98.png
New Media 199?-??-?? WAVjammer
Rainbow Arts 19??-??-?? Rainbow Arts Soundboard Icon - Rainbow Arts.png Platform - DOS.png
Reveal 1994-??-?? SC400 SoundFX
Reveal 1994-??-?? SC500 SoundFX Wave
Reveal 1995-??-?? SC600 SoundFX Wave 32
Reveal 199?-??-?? SC800 WAVExtreme
Roland 1988-??-?? LAPC-I Icon - LAPC-I.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Roland 198?-??-?? LAPC-N Icon - LAPC-N.png Platform - PC98.png
Roland 1992-??-?? SCC-1 Icon - SCC-1.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
SFX Computer Software 1985-??-?? Sound Expander Icon - Sound Expander.png Platform - C64.png
Software World 19??-??-?? Magical Sound Card Platform - DOS.png
Street Electronics 198?-??-?? Echo II Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: Sound I Icon - Mockingboard - Sound I.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: Sound II Icon - Mockingboard - Sound II.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: A Icon - Mockingboard - A.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: B Icon - Mockingboard - B.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: C Icon - Mockingboard - C.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 19??-??-?? Mockingboard: D Icon - Mockingboard - D.png Platform - A2.png
Sweet Micro Systems 20??-??-?? Mockingboard: M Icon - Mockingboard - M.png Platform - A2.png
TerraTec 1996-??-?? Maestro 32-96 Icon - Maestro 32-96.png Platform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
TerraTec 1997-??-?? EWS64 L (L/XL/XXL) Icon - EWS64 L.png Platform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
TerraTec 1997-??-?? EWS64 S Icon - EWS64 S.png Platform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png

External Devices

External devices include various synthesizers and speech modules that video games support for producing audio. Unlike sound cards, these devices were kept outside of the computer and usually connected to a computer with cables. Because of this, they was much easier to be utilized across multiple platforms. The MT-32 for example, was supported by games on the PC-9801, X68000, MSX, Atari ST, Amiga, and of course, in DOS.

Manufacturer Release Device Icon Supported Platforms
Aegis 199?-??-?? Audiomaster Platform - AMI.png
Aegis 199?-??-?? Audiomaster II Platform - AMI.png
Aegis 199?-??-?? Audiomaster III Platform - AMI.png
Aegis 199?-??-?? Sound Master Platform - AMI.png
Casio 19??-??-?? CSM-1 Platform - DOS.png
Covox 1986-??-?? Speech Thing Icon - Speech Thing.png Platform - DOS.png
Covox 198?-??-?? Voice Master Icon - Voice Master.png Platform - A2.pngPlatform - A8.pngPlatform - DOS.pngPlatform - C64.png
Covox 1991-??-?? The Sound Source Icon - The Sound Source.png Platform - DOS.png
Faster Than Light 1989-??-?? Sound Adapter Icon - Sound Adapter.png Platform - DOS.png
Roland 1987-??-?? MT-32 Icon - MT-32.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - PC98.pngPlatform - MSX.pngPlatform - AST.pngPlatform - AMI.pngPlatform - X68.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Roland 1989-??-?? CM-32L Icon - CM-32L.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Roland 198?-??-?? CM-64 Icon - CM-64.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Roland 198?-??-?? MT-100 Icon - MT-100.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Roland 19??-??-?? Sound Canvas Icon - Sound Canvas.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png
Roland 19??-??-?? RAP-10 Icon - RAP-10.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png
Yamaha 19??-??-?? FB-01 Icon - FB-01.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.png

Protocols

Protocols are particular sound standards used by manufacturers making the hardware irrelevant as long as it can support the protocol.

Designer Release Protocol Icon Supported Platforms
MIDI Manufacturers Association
Japan MIDI Standards Committee
1991-??-?? General MIDI Icon - General MIDI.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.pngPlatform - W64.png
Generic 1981-08-?? PC Speaker Icon - PC Speaker.png Platform - PCB.pngPlatform - DOS.pngPlatform - ZXS.pngPlatform - PC88.pngPlatform - PC98.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - LIN.pngPlatform - MAC.pngPlatform - W32.png
IBM 1984-03-?? PCjr 3 Voice Icon - PCjr 3 Voice.png Platform - DOS.png
Microsoft 1995-??-?? Windows Audio Icon - Windows Audio.png Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W32.png
MSX Association 1983-06-27 MSX PSG Icon - MSX PSG.png Platform - MSX.pngPlatform - MSX2.png
MSX Association 1988-??-?? MSX-Music
Roland 1991-??-?? GS Icon - GS.png Platform - W32.pngPlatform - W64.png
Sierra Semiconductor Corporation 19??-??-?? Aria Icon - Aria.png Platform - DOS.png
Tandy 1984-11-?? Tandy 3 Voice Icon - Tandy 3 Voice.png Platform - DOS.png
Tandy 198?-??-?? Tandy DAC Icon - Tandy DAC.png Platform - DOS.png
Yamaha 1996-??-?? XG Icon - XG.png Platform - W32.pngPlatform - W64.png

Audio Chips

Audio chips are the individual microchips responsible for synthesizing audio which are found on sound cards, motherboards, and in arcade cabinets.

Manufacturer Logo Release Model Code Name Popular Devices
Atari.svg Output - TIA.svg  ? Television Interface Adaptor TIA Atari 2600, Atari 7800
Atari.svg Output - POKEY.svg  ? C012294 POKEY Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit line
Atari.svg  ? Amy Prototypes made, never officially released
Atari.svg Output - Jerry.svg  ? SC414201FT Jerry Jaguar
Curtis Electromusic Specialties.png  ? CEM3394 Various arcade games and synthesizers
Drucegrove.png  ? MM54104 Digitalker Namco and Zaccaria arcade games
Ensoniq.png  ? ES-5503 Apple IIGS, Mirage, ESQ-1
Ensoniq.png  ? ES-5505 OTIS Arcade, Atari Panther prototype
Ensoniq.png  ? ES-5506 OTTO Soundscape, Soundscape DB, Soundscape Elite, UltraSound (via derivative chips), Various arcade hardware
ESS Technology.png  ? ES-1868 AudioDrive
Exidy.png  ? 440 CVSD Various arcade games
General Instrument.png Output - AY.svg 197?-??-?? AY-3-8910 Hundreds of arcade games, Mockingboards Sound I and Sound II, MSX, Oric 1, Colour Genie, Elektor TV Games Computer (Expanded Version)
General Instrument.png Output - AY.svg 197?-??-?? AY-3-8912 Vectrex, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum 128, some arcade games.
General Instrument.png Output - AY.svg 197?-??-?? AY-3-8913 Mockingboards A, C, D, M, and v1, Bank Street Music Writer Card, some arcade games.
General Instrument.png Output - AY.svg 197?-??-?? AY-3-8914 Intellivision, Intellivision II
General Instrument.png 19??-??-?? SO0250 Sega G80 board
General Instrument.png 19??-??-?? SO0256 Various 8-bit add-on devices.
Harris.svg  ? HC-55516 Used in various arcade games
Gravis.svg Output - GF1.svg 1992-10-?? GF1 UltraSound
Hudson Soft.svg Output - Hudson.svg 1987-??-?? HuC6280 PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16
Konami.svg 1980-??-?? c. Konami RC Konami arcade games
Konami.svg  ? 051649 SCC MMX SCC, Arcade games
Konami.svg  ? 052539 SCC+ Some Konami game cartridges
Konami.svg  ? 053260
Konami.svg 1989-12-22 053329 VRC VI Akumajou Densetsu (FC), Mouryou Senki Madara (FC), Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (FC)
Konami.svg 1991-04-?? 053982 VRC VII Lagrange Point (FC)
Microchip Technology.png 198?-??-?? AY8930/P Sound Master
MOS Technology.svg 1980-??-?? 6560 VIC Commodore VIC-20 (NTSC)
MOS Technology.svg 1980-??-?? 6561 VIC Commodore VIC-20 (PAL)
MOS Technology.svg Output - SID.svg 1982-08-?? 6581 SID Commodore 64, Commodore 64C (early versions), Commodore 128, SSI 2001
MOS Technology.svg 1984-??-?? 7360 TED Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4
MOS Technology.svg 1984-??-?? 8360 TED Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4
MOS Technology.svg Output - Paula.svg 1985-??-?? 8364 Paula Amiga, Commodore CDTV, Amiga CD32
MOS Technology.svg Output - SID.svg 1986-??-?? 8580 SID Commodore 64C (later versions), Commodore 128D CR
Namco.png Output - Namco WSG.svg 1980-??-?? Namco WSG Several Namco arcade games; originally Pac-Man (ARC).
Namco.png 1980-??-?? c. 15xx Several Namco arcade games; originally Super Pac-Man (ARC).
Namco.png 1981-??-?? c. 52xx Several Namco arcade games.
Namco.png 1981-??-?? c. 54xx Several Namco arcade games.
Namco.png  ? C140
Namco.png  ? CUS30
Namco.png  ? 63701X
Namco.png 1988-03-17 NAMCO163 Several of Namco's Famicom titles, first used in Rolling Thunder (FC).
National Semiconductor.svg  ? LMC1992 Atari STE, TT030
NCR Corporation.jpg 198?-??-?? NCR 8496 Tandy 1000EX, 1000HX, and 1000TX.
NEC.svg  ? uPD7759
Nintendo.svg Output - NES.svg 1983-??-?? RP2A03 Famicom, Nintendo Entertainment System (NTSC)
Nintendo.svg Output - NES.svg 1986-??-?? RP2A07 Nintendo Entertainment System (PAL)
Nintendo.svg Output - FDS.svg 1986-??-?? RP2C33 FDS Famicom Disk System
Nintendo.svg Output - Game Boy.svg 1989-??-?? DMG-CPU B Game Boy
Nintendo.svg 1990-02-03 MMC5 Numerous NES games.
Nintendo.svg Output - GBA.svg 2001-03-21 Game Boy Advance Audio Game Boy Advance
Oki Electric Industry.svg  ? MSM5205
Oki Electric Industry.svg  ? MSM5232
Oki Electric Industry.svg  ? MSM6258
Oki Electric Industry.svg 1987-??-?? c. MSM6295 Hundreds of arcade games
Oki Electric Industry.svg  ? MSM6376
Oki Electric Industry.svg  ? MSM6585
Philips.svg Output - Philips.svg 198?-??-?? SAA1099 Creative Music System, Game Blaster, Sound Blaster 1.0, SAM Coupé, IRIS Professional 4D, IRIS Power 4D
QSound Labs.png Q-Sound Many arcade games, especially Capcom.
Ricoh.svg  ? RF5C68 FM Towns, Sega System 18, Sega System 32
Ricoh.svg  ? RF5C154
Roland.svg Output - Roland.svg 1987-??-?? LA32 MT-32, LAPC-I, LAPC-N, CM-32L, CM-64, MT-100
Sanyo.svg  ? VLM5030 20 arcade games
Sega.svg Output - Game Gear.svg  ? Game Gear Audio Game Gear
Sega.svg 1980-??-?? c. Sega Melody Generator Sega G80 arcade board
Sega.svg  ? Sega PCM
Sega.svg  ? Sega MultiPCM
Sega.svg  ? VDP PSG
Sony.svg Output - SNES.svg  ? S-SMP Super Famicom, Super NES
Sunsoft.svg 1991-??-?? 5B Gimmick! (FC)
Texas Instruments.svg Output - CSG.svg 1978-??-?? SN76477 CSG ABC 80, Numerous arcade games
Texas Instruments.svg Output - TI.svg  ? SN94624
Texas Instruments.svg Output - TI.svg 198?-??-?? SN76489 DCSG Genesis, ColecoVision, Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Neo Geo Pocket, Neo Geo Pocket Color, SG-1000, BBC Micro, Pico, MC-1
Texas Instruments.svg Output - TI.svg 198?-??-?? SN76494 DCSG TI 99/8
Texas Instruments.svg Output - TI.svg 198?-??-?? SN76496 DCSG PCjr, Tandy 1000
Texas Instruments.svg 1980-??-?? TMS5100
Texas Instruments.svg 1980-??-?? TMS5200
Texas Instruments.svg 1980-??-?? TMS5110
Texas Instruments.svg 1983-??-?? TMS5220 Echo II, Speech Adapter, 30+ arcade games
Texas Instruments.svg 198?-??-?? TMS9919
Yamaha.svg Output - SSG.svg 198?-??-?? YM2149 SSG Atari ST, MSX2, several arcade games
Yamaha.svg Output - OPL.svg 198?-??-?? YM3526 OPL Sound Expander, 35+ arcade games
Yamaha.svg Output - OPL2.svg 1985-??-?? YM3812 OPL2 AdLib, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro 1.0
Yamaha.svg Output - OPLL.svg 198?-??-?? YM2413 OPLL MSX-Music, SG-1000 Mark III, Master System.
Yamaha.svg 198?-??-?? YM8950 MSX-AUDIO Used in the audio cartridges for numerous home computers
Yamaha.svg Output - OPM.svg  ? YM2151 OPM Sega System 16, Konami Twin 16, Namco System 86, Atari Gauntlet, Atari System 1, System 2, X1, X68000
Yamaha.svg Output - OPL3.svg 1992-??-?? YMF262 OPL3 Sound Blaster Pro 2.0, AdLib Gold 1000, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32
Yamaha.svg Output - OPN.svg  ? YM2203 OPN PC-8801, PC-9801, PC-9801-23K, Various arcade systems
Yamaha.svg Output - OPP.svg 1985-??-?? c. YM2164 OPP FB-01, PC Music Feature
Yamaha.svg Output - OPNA.svg  ? YM2608 OPNA PC-8801, PC-9801, PC-8801-23, PC-9801-86, a couple arcade games
Yamaha.svg Output - OPNB.svg  ? YM2610 OPNB Neo Geo, Taito B System
Yamaha.svg  ? YM3438 OPN2C Several arcade games
Yamaha.svg  ? YM3439 Falcon030
Yamaha.svg  ? YMF271 OPX
Yamaha.svg Output - OPL4.svg  ? YMF278 OPL4 SoundMan Wave, Moonsound, Yamaha Soundedge
Yamaha.svg Output - OPN2.svg  ? YM2612 OPN2 Mega Drive, Genesis, FM Towns
Yamaha.svg Output - OPN3.svg  ? YMF288 OPN3 PC-9801
Yamaha.svg  ? YMZ280B Assorted arcade games
Yamaha.svg  ? YMF7xx Used in many late model sound cards and integrated motherboards

Unknown Chips

This is a list of audio chips that have no know designation.

  • U8106
  • Y2404
  • Y8952
  • PWN
  • S2636
  • S14991A
  • CDP1869
  • TMS36XX

See Also

Links