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Friday, June 6, 2014

Handheld Famicom / NES Clone Teardown

So there are numerous Famicom / NES clones, some of them are portable handheld versions.
Let's see what's inside one of them. This one has a cartridge slot along with "many" built-in games.

It has li-ion battery, usb charge cable and tv out cable included, so you can actually play it on tv. But it lacks of second controller and does not have a select button. In some games you can not select "continue" because you do not have select button :)

Single pcb design. LCD is not 4:3 but image does not look stretched.

This black blob is the main CPU+PPU chip, unknown.

Edge connector for cartridge on the back. USB battery charging circuit. Main crystal. And there is 16Mbit CMOS flash where built-in roms are stored. This pcb can accept flash in different packages. 3 color wires are soldered by me, it's for speaker and battery connector, old wires were rusty with failed soldering job.

This is to compare cartridge size with GameBoy cartridge, very small.

Inside there is the same 16Mbit CMOS flash chip without any fancy mapper chips. It just replaces a built-in flash when inserted.