A video display controller or VDC is an integrated circuit which is the main component in a video signal generator, a device responsible for the production of a TV video signal in a computing or game system. Some VDCs also generate an audio signal, but in that case it is not their main function.

List of example VDCs


  • The Fujitsu MB14241 was not a video controller (or even directly connected to any video circuitry), but a shifter used to accelerate certain operations a CPU needs to draw objects into a frame buffer on systems without sprite support. It could take an image in ROM that if copied directly to the frame buffer would be lined up with column 0, column 8, ... and quickly shift it to line up with column 1/9/..., 2/10/... through 7/15/... when copied. However, the CPU was entirely responsible for doing the copy and any other operations related to graphics.

The MB14241 (or an equivalant circuit built from multiple simpler chips) was used to accelerate the drawing of graphics for various 1970s arcade games from Taito and Midway, such as Gun Fight (1975), Sea Wolf (1976) and Space Invaders (1978).[1][2]

Video coprocessors

  • The Sega Master System uses an enhanced VDP based on the TMS9918, and the Sega 315-5313 (Yamaha YM7101) VDP used in the Sega Mega Drive and some arcade machines is a further advancement of the Master System VDP with the original (inferior) TMS9918 modes removed.
  • The Yamaha V9938 is an improved version of the TMS9918, and was mainly used in the MSX2.
  • The Yamaha V9958 is the Video Display Processor (VDP) mainly used in the MSX2+ and MSX turboR computers.

See also


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