Triforce is an arcade board developed in a joint venture by Sega, Nintendo, and Namco, based upon Nintendo's GameCube. All Triforce games run off GD-ROM (except Donkey Kong Jungle Fever, Mario Kart Arcade GP, and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, which use ROM cartridges).
The Triforce unit is based off of Nintendo's retail GameCube, so much so that the main board is a stock Japanese NTSC-J DOL-001 motherboard from the GameCube with a different IPL system. The mainboard is connected to 2-3 different boards depending on configuration. This board is always sandwiched between the Base Board and the Media Board. Since the main board is the same as the retail GameCube you could theoriticly be able to use a regular NTSC-J motherboard to replace a faulty mainboard, however this is prevented due to the different IPL code and made slightly more difficult due to the requirement of needing the original DOL-001 motherboard which has all connectors present; the DOL-101 omits the Serial Port 2, Digital AV and Power Board connectors making the system unable to connect properly to the Triforce hardware; however the regular GameCube motherboard will still boot and display using the Triforce hardware except the Media Board will crash the GameCube if connected and the VGA output will be restricted to 15KHz only as the regular GameCubes are only designed for TV use. Likewise the Triforce mainboard will work in the standard GameCube casing but will complain about having no Media Board to load the BIOS code from but will output video through the regular Analogue AV.
The Triforce has three versions; the Type 1 and Type 3 plus a revision only Namco used for using ROM carts instead of using GD-ROMs. The DIMM board used on several Sega arcade systems such as the Sega NAOMI and Chihiro connects to a Media Board which acts as an interface to either adapt the Sega NAOMI's DIMM board to the system or contains the entire Network enabled DIMM board instead; this is what differentiates the Type 1 Triforce to a Type 3, the Type 1 uses the regular DIMM board and the Type 3 has the board all contained. In Namco's ROM board version the media board has the same network functionality as the Type 3 (and Type 1 if using a network enabled DIMM) but instead of using the GD-ROM drive it has an internal NAND based ROM cartridge and an SD card slot which was left unused. Most games will only either work with the Type 1 or Type 3 units and only the Namco ROM games can work with the ROM system.
The Media Board also contains the *actual* BIOS of the system as the main board's IPL is only a bootstrap that loads the main code from the Media Board.
The base board seems almost universal and is used in all versions of the system for the same function. It connects to the GameCube's controller port header, power board connector, the Serial Port 2 and the Digital AV port, the latter ports left unused usually. This board connects the motherboard to the power from the JVS power input, the digital AV to converter circuitry to be able to connect two VGA monitors and two RCA sound outputs, the GameCube controller port to circuitry to adapt the JVS input and to the expansion headers on the side. Whilst only an adaption board, not having any one of the connectors connected (minus the digital AV) will result in the system saying the board has malfunctioned.
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