|Type||Video game console / Personal computer|
|CPU||16-bit Intel 80286 |
|Successor||Amstrad Mega PC (3rd party product developed on licence by Amstrad)|
The TeraDrive(テラドライブTeraDoraibu) is an IBM PC compatible system with an integrated Mega Drive, developed by Sega and manufactured by IBM in 1991. The TeraDrive allowed for Mega Drive games to be played the same time as the PC section is being used, as it is possible for the Mega Drive and PC hardware to interact with each other.
IBM PC compatible computers are computers similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT that are able to use the same software and expansion cards. Such computers were referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones. The term "IBM PC compatible" is now a historical description only, since IBM has ended its personal computer sales. The industry jargon "PC" sometimes doesn't mean "personal computer" generally, but rather a Windows computer, in contrast to a Mac.
Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd. since 2015. Both companies are subsidiaries of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is in turn a part of Sega Sammy Holdings. From 1983 until 2001, Sega also developed and sold video game consoles.
The system was only released in Japan, as Sega hoped that integrating the then popular Mega Drive console into an IBM PC would attract potential customers wishing to purchase a PC. The system proved unpopular and failed.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
One of the main processors used for the system is the Intel 80286, which was released in 1982. However, by the time when the TeraDrive was released in 1991, this processor was almost 10 years out of date - the more powerful 25 MHz Intel 80486 had been released in 1989, making the TeraDrive's central processor 2 generations behind its time. The system also contains a Motorola 68000 and a Zilog Z80, the same processors which were used in the Mega Drive, that ran at 7.67 MHz and 3.58 MHz respectively.
The Intel 80286 is a 16-bit microprocessor that was introduced on February 1, 1982. It was the first 8086-based CPU with separate, non-multiplexed address and data buses and also the first with memory management and wide protection abilities. The 80286 used approximately 134,000 transistors in its original nMOS (HMOS) incarnation and, just like the contemporary 80186, it could correctly execute most software written for the earlier Intel 8086 and 8088 processors.
The Intel 80486, also known as the i486 or 486, is the successor model of 32-bit x86 microprocessor to the Intel 80386. Introduced in 1989, the 80486 improved on the performance of the 80386DX thanks to on-die L1 cache and floating-point unit, as well as an improved, five-stage tightly-coupled pipelined design. It was the first x86 chip to use more than a million transistors. It represents the fourth generation of binary compatible CPUs since the original 8086 of 1978.
The Motorola 68000 is a 16/32-bit CISC microprocessor, introduced in 1979 by Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector.
The machine's front panel ports included two Mega Drive pad ports which were similar in design to 9-pin male serial ports, and 2 PS/2 ports to the right side of the unit to accommodate for the mouse and keyboard. The system also contained several ports to its rear. In order from left to right: 9-pin male serial port, 25-pin parallel port for connection to a printer, stereo RCA jacks and composite NTSC video output for connection to a TV, analogue RGB for monitor connection, and a 2nd 9-pin male serial connector labelled "EXT", similar to that found on the rear of an original Mega Drive base unit.
In computing, a serial port is a serial communication interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time. Throughout most of the history of personal computers, data was transferred through serial ports to devices such as modems, terminals, and various peripherals.
The PS/2 port is a 6-pin mini-DIN connector used for connecting keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system. Its name comes from the IBM Personal System/2 series of personal computers, with which it was introduced in 1987. The PS/2 mouse connector generally replaced the older DE-9 RS-232 "serial mouse" connector, while the PS/2 keyboard connector replaced the larger 5-pin/180° DIN connector used in the IBM PC/AT design. The PS/2 keyboard port is electrically and logically identical to the IBM AT keyboard port, differing only in the type of electrical connector used. The PS/2 platform introduced a second port with the same design as the keyboard port for use to connect a mouse; thus the PS/2-style keyboard and mouse interfaces are electrically similar and employ the same communication protocol. However, unlike the otherwise similar Apple Desktop Bus connector used by Apple, a given system's keyboard and mouse port may not be interchangeable since the two devices use different sets of commands and the device drivers generally are hard-coded to communicate with each device at the address of the port that is conventionally assigned to that device.
A parallel port is a type of interface found on computers for connecting peripherals. The name refers to the way the data is sent; parallel ports send multiple bits of data at once, in parallel communication, as opposed to serial interfaces that send bits one at a time. To do this, parallel ports require multiple data lines in their cables and port connectors, and tend to be larger than contemporary serial ports which only require one data line.
The motherboard also had a spare ISA slot available for expansion, with a hole at the rear of the unit to accommodate this.
A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in general purpose computers and other expandable systems. It holds, and allows, communication between many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. Unlike a backplane, a motherboard usually contains significant sub-systems such as the central processor, the chipset's input/output and memory controllers, interface connectors, and other components integrated for general purpose use and applications.
Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) is the 16-bit internal bus of IBM PC/AT and similar computers based on the Intel 80286 and its immediate successors during the 1980s. The bus was (largely) backward compatible with the 8-bit bus of the 8088-based IBM PC, including the IBM PC/XT as well as IBM PC compatibles.
Its interface consisted of a start-up menu with several options, including a file manager, DOS, a clock and Mega Drive mode.
A file manager or file browser is a computer program that provides a user interface to manage files and folders. The most common operations performed on files or groups of files include creating, opening, renaming, moving or copying, deleting and searching for files, as well as modifying file attributes, properties and file permissions. Folders and files may be displayed in a hierarchical tree based on their directory structure. Some file managers contain features inspired by web browsers, including forward and back navigational buttons.
DOS is a platform-independent acronym for Disk Operating System, which was initially introduced by IBM for the System/360 mainframe and later became common shorthand for the popular family of disk-based operating systems for x86-based IBM PC compatibles. DOS primarily consists of Microsoft's MS-DOS and a rebranded IBM version under the name PC DOS, both of which were introduced in 1981. Later compatible systems from other manufacturers are DR DOS, ROM-DOS, PTS-DOS, Embedded DOS, FreeDOS (1998), and RxDOS. MS-DOS dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995.
The machine included IBM drivers bundled on a floppy disk, which enabled properly written software to operate in the machine's RAM and then run on the native Mega Drive hardware. A good example of this shown in the Puzzle Construction program, one of the very few software titles included with the TeraDrive, which included a PC-side editor suite for changing the features of a falling-block puzzle game, then playable on the Mega Drive side. The operating system shipped with the system was IBM's DOS J4.0/V, which was similar to PC DOS.
There was often speculation that the TeraDrive was specifically designed as a purpose-made Software Development Kit, to allow software makers to develop their software titles for the Mega Drive. However, given the release date of the TeraDrive (some years after the initial Mega Drive release), as well as the availability of Sega's own game development hardware, it is unlikely the TeraDrive was designed for this purpose.
The system's peripherals which were included or available separately, included 2 × Mega Drive pads, 1 × PS/2 Mouse, 1 × Sega branded PS/2 IBM keyboard and 1 × 3-button joystick. The Mouse and Mega Drive pads were practically identical to those found on the Mega Drive console version.
A monitor which was manufactured by a 3rd party company but with Sega branding, was available separately at a price of ¥79,800 (estimated USD $600/GBP £300 at the time), which was capable of displaying 15 kHz RGB video signals from the Mega Drive hardware and a 31 kHz VGA output from the PC hardware, both from the VGA connector.
Three models were available, ranging from ¥148,000 (USD $1100/GBP £580) to ¥248,000 (USD $1840/GBP £950).
|Model||Model 1||Model 2||Model 3|
|Price (at launch)||¥148,000||¥188,000||¥248,000|
|Processor||AMD 80286 (10 MHz), Motorola 68000, Zilog Z80|
|RAM (available / maximum)||640 KB/2.5 MB||1 MB/2.5 MB||2.5 MB/2.5 MB|
|Storage||1 FDD||2 FDDs||1 FDD, 1 30MB HDD|
|Operating system||IBM DOS J4.0/V|
The system proved unpopular with the Japanese market and ultimately failed. Production numbers are unknown.
The system is moderately rare in Japan, although prices are rising rapidly due to collector demand. The price to buy a TeraDrive in June 2003 was triple the price it was 2 years prior.
A new PC was also in the discussion stages to be developed by Sega under the leadership of ex-IBM executive Narutomi.but this likely never got past the discussion stages due to the failure of the TeraDrive.
A similar, but unrelated system was manufactured by Amstrad and sold under the name Mega PC in PAL areas such as Europe and Australia. Although it boasted a higher specification than that of Sega's TeraDrive, it was unable to act as a Software Development Kit due to the inability to interact both the PC and the Mega Drive together, as it was essentially just a PC with a Mega Drive bundled inside.
AIX is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Originally released for the IBM RT PC RISC workstation, AIX now supports or has supported a wide variety of hardware platforms, including the IBM RS/6000 series and later POWER and PowerPC-based systems, IBM System i, System/370 mainframes, PS/2 personal computers, and the Apple Network Server.
The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The initial ST model, the 520ST, saw limited release in April–June 1985 and was widely available in July. The Atari ST is the first personal computer to come with a bitmapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released in February 1985. The 1040ST, released in 1986, is the first personal computer to ship with a megabyte of RAM in the base configuration and also the first with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1.
Amstrad was a British electronics company. As of 2006, Amstrad's main business is manufacturing Sky UK interactive boxes. From 2010 Sky integrated Amstrad's Satellite division as part of Sky so they could make their own Set Top Boxes in-house.
The Tandy 1000 was the first in a line of IBM PC compatible home computer systems produced by the Tandy Corporation for sale in its Radio Shack and Radio Shack Computer Center chains of stores.
The Personal System/2 or PS/2 is IBM's third generation of personal computers. Released in 1987, it officially replaced the IBM PC, XT, AT, and PC Convertible in IBM's lineup. Many of the PS/2's innovations, such as the 16550 UART, 1440 KB 3.5-inch floppy disk format, Model M keyboard layout, 72-pin SIMMs, the PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, and the VGA video standard, went on to become standards in the broader PC market.
The Atari Falcon030 Computer System is a personal computer released by Atari Corporation in 1992. The machine is based on a Motorola 68030 main CPU, and had a Motorola 56000 digital signal processor, a feature which distinguished it from most other microcomputers of the era.
A Video Graphics Array (VGA) connector is a three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector. The 15-pin VGA connector was provided on many video cards, computer monitors, laptop computers, projectors, and high definition television sets. On laptop computers or other small devices, a mini-VGA port was sometimes used in place of the full-sized VGA connector.
FM Towns system is a Japanese variant of PC, built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but later became more compatible with regular PCs. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released, a game console compatible with existing FM Towns games.
The GX4000 is a video game console that was manufactured by Amstrad. It was the company's short-lived attempt to enter the games console market. The console was released in Europe in 1990 and was an upgraded design based on the then still-popular CPC technology. The GX4000 shared hardware architecture with Amstrad's CPC Plus computer line, which was released concurrently. This allowed the system to be compatible with the majority of CPC Plus software.
The PC-9800 series, commonly shortened to PC-98 or 98, is a lineup of Japanese 16-bit and 32-bit personal computers manufactured by NEC from 1982 through 2000. The platform established NEC's dominance in the Japanese personal computer market, and by 1999, more than 18 million PC-98 units had been sold.
The Atari Mega STE was Atari Corporation's last ST series personal computer, released in 1991. The MEGA STE was essentially a late-model 680x0-based STE mounted in the case of the otherwise unrelated Atari TT computer, although a number of TT features were also blended in. The resulting machine was a more business-like version of the ST line.
The Commodore A1060 Sidecar is an expansion hardware device developed by Commodore and released in 1986 for the Amiga 1000 computer. It features a complete PC XT-clone system mounted in an expansion case which connected to the expansion bus on the right side of the Amiga 1000 computer, sitting beside it similar to a motorcycle's sidecar, hence the name.
The Mega PC is a computer manufactured and released by Amstrad in 1993 under licence from Sega. It was similar but unrelated to the Sega TeraDrive. It is a standard Amstrad PC with Sega Mega Drive hardware bundled inside, the system was wired to share the dual-sync monitor and speakers with the Mega Drive on a separate circuit board.
RM Nimbus was a range of personal computers from British company Research Machines sold from 1985 until the early 1990s, after which the designation Nimbus was discontinued. The first of these computers, the RM Nimbus PC-186, was not IBM PC compatible, but its successors the PC-286 and PC-386 were. RM computers were predominantly sold to schools and colleges in the United Kingdom for use as LAN workstations in classrooms.
IrisVision was an expansion card developed by Silicon Graphics for IBM compatible PCs in 1991 and was one of the first 3D accelerator cards available for the high-end PC market. IrisVision was actually an adaptation of the graphics pipeline found in the Personal IRIS workstation to the Micro Channel architecture and consumer ISA buses found on most modern PCs of the day. It is also notable for being the first time that any variant of IRIS GL was ever ported to the PC.
The Olivetti M24 is a computer that was sold by Olivetti in 1983 using the Intel 8086 CPU.
Windows 1.0 is a graphical personal computer operating environment developed by Microsoft. Microsoft had worked with Apple Computer to develop applications for Apple's January 1984 original Macintosh, the first mass-produced personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) that enabled users to see user friendly icons on screen. Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985, as the first version of the Microsoft Windows line. It runs as a graphical, 16-bit multi-tasking shell on top of an existing MS-DOS installation. It provides an environment which can run graphical programs designed for Windows, as well as existing MS-DOS software. Its development was spearheaded by the company founder Bill Gates after he saw a demonstration of a similar software suite known as Visi On at COMDEX.
The Amiga CD32, styled Amiga CD32 and code-named "Spellbound", is a 32 bit home video game console developed by Commodore and released in western Europe, Australia, Canada and Brazil. It was first announced at the Science Museum in London on July 16, 1993, and was released in September of the same year.
The IBM PS/1 is a brand for a line of personal computers that marked IBM's return to the home market in 1990, five years after the IBM PCjr. It was replaced by the IBM Aptiva in September 1994.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sega TeraDrive .|