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YM2203C - Bare.jpg
Developer: Yamaha
Released: 198?-??-??
Type: Chip

1.) Pulse Wave
2.) Pulse Wave
3.) Pulse Wave
4.) Noise
5.) FM Synthesis
6.) FM Synthesis
7.) FM Synthesis

The YM2203, known more colloquially as the OPN, is an integrated circuit created by Yamaha. Specifically, it is a programmable sound generator which, in addition to replicating a YM2149F (SSG), is has three FM-synthesis channels. The YM2203 was primary used by NEC in their various home computer lines, and, to a lesser extent, Fujitsu and Sharp. It was also used in scores of arcade games. The YM2203 was usually paired with a YM3014 DAC to convert the output.

The YM2203 generates sound via frequency-modulated digital sine waves. It included 12 operator "cells", each generating a 13-bit sine wave at a programmable frequency, the volume of which is controlled by a programmable ADSR envelope. The output of these cells could be either summed together by the mixer, or fed into the input of another cell, in 4-cell batches creating the final sound values or "channels". 4 operator cells per channel allowed a total of 8 different permutations of cell connections, known as "algorithms" or instrument patches. This resulted in 3 FM synthesis channels.

The OPN was the first of a line of chips which included the YM2608 (OPNA), YM2610 (OPNB), YM2612 (OPN2), YM3438 (OPN2C), and YMF288 (OPN3).


The YM2203 was used on the following devices:

Release Company Device
1984-11-15 NEC PC-6001 mkII SR
1984-11-20 NEC PC-6601 SR
1984-??-?? Fujitsu FM-7 MB22459
1985-01-?? NEC PC-8001 mkII SR
1985-01-?? NEC PC-8801 SR
1985-05-?? Fujitsu FM-77 L2
1985-07-?? NEC PC-9801-26
1985-11-?? NEC PC-8801 FR
1985-??-?? Fujitsu FM-77 AV
1986-06-?? NEC PC-9801 UV2
1986-11-?? NEC PC-8801 MH
1986-11-?? NEC PC-8801 FH
1986-11-?? NEC PC-9801-26K
1987-03-?? NEC PC-8801 VA
1987-??-?? Sharp MZ-2861
1987-??-?? Seiko-Epson PC-286
1988-10-?? NEC PC-8801 FE
1987-??-?? Seiko-Epson PC-386
1989-10-?? NEC PC-8801 FE2
198?-??-?? SNE Little Orchestra
198?-??-?? SNE Sound Orchestra
1991-09-?? NEC PC-9801 DA, DA2


Scores of arcade games utilized the YM2203.

List of Games
Release Game Chip Sample
1986-??-?? Argus (ARC) YM2203 x2
1987-07-?? 1943: The Battle of Midway (ARC) YM2203C x2
1987-??-?? Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH (ARC) YM2203
1987-??-?? Avengers (ARC) YM2203 x2
1988-??-?? Angel Kids (ARC) YM2203 x2
1988-??-?? Ark Area (ARC) YM2203 x2
1988-??-?? Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja (ARC) YM2203 Sound Effects Only
1989-??-?? Act-Fancer Cybernetick Hyper Weapon (ARC) YM2203
1989-??-?? Albatross (ARC) YM2203
1990-??-?? Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit (ARC) YM2203
1990-??-?? Ashita no Joe (ARC) YM2203
1991-??-?? Acrobat Mission (ARC) YM2203
1994-??-?? Arcadia (ARC) YM2203
  • This list is incomplete.

Picture Gallery


Document Download
Manual Download - (info)

Emulation Status

The YM2203 has been emulated by MAME and most of the home computer emulators that support sound.