Triforce NAND Type-3 Teardown

A diagonal view of a Triforce Type-3 NAND unit with the cover removed.

I am tearing down a NAND Type-3 Triforce arcade unit. It's a little bit banged up, but supposedly it works. I am a hardware n00b, but I will try not to 8-bit-guy myself and blow it up. (Sorry, David.) The screw threading for almost every screw is messed up, so it seems inevitable that screws in here will be stripped eventually. Another Triforce unit I touched didn't have this problem, so I guess this one has had a rough life.


Top of the unit.
Side of the unit where the I/O is.
Side of the unit where the power, ethernet, etc. are. Some of these pins look a bit bent, but not too bad. Looks like some kind of component is cracked over on the right...


Top view of interior. From here we can see the network board, with an Au1500 SoC prominently visible. Apparently, the Au1500 is a MIPS32 processor that can run numerous OSes including VxWorks. I wonder what it runs inside of here. Underneath the network board, you can see the so-called 'media board', which has a cartridge labeled MKA2 Ver.A connected.
Side view of interior. Looks like the GameCube memory card slots are here, for some reason. The ribbon cable here looks like the same one that is used for the board that connects the SI devices on GameCube.
The other side of the interior. That small fan appears to be cooling the GameCube 'base board' only. I spy a coin cell CR2032 battery, and it's conveniently socketed as well, which is nice.


Lots of flash memory.
More flash memory. I did a poor job with lighting, but I believe all of those Samsung chips are the same 64M flash component.

Network Card

I'm not sure this device is actually strictly a network card, but it has a receptacle for an RJ45, so, close enough.

I wonder what those unpopulated connectors were for. Come to think of it, i wonder what the DE-9 serial port is for.
Those two connectors connect into the media board.

Security Key Breakout Board

The Triforce has a security key system like its siblings NAOMI and Chihiro. My understanding is that these security PIC chips just store a small DES key, and that key is used with DES in ECB mode to decrypt data out of the flash. This breakout board attaches to the media board. It has a few components of its own, but not much.

The front side, facing the exterior of the Triforce. The security PIC slots right into the socket.
The back. No surprises here, unless you spotted the screw I used to keep this propped up.

Media Board

Finally getting into the meat of it.

A fairly substantial custom IC sits in the middle of the Type-3 media board. Also, at the risk of sounding stupid, uhm, is that an ordinary 40-pin IDC connector keyed for IDE/ATA? I also still have no idea what the SD card is used for. The SEGA sticker covers up an unpopulated IC.

Back in the case

With all of these components removed, here's what's left:

Looks like the GameCube part is coming, and underneath it, the base board is clearly visible. You can even see where the GameCube Digital A/V is connected to the base board, using a funny little breakout cable. This RF shield is clearly not even designed for Triforce.

The "Main Board"

It's a DOL-001. This is not a shock since this has already been known for 10+ years. Still, it's kind of funny to see it.

Totally not a DOL-001, Side-A

I did not take off the heatsink. I don't have spare thermal pads in the event that any of them rip. Still, I anticipate that it looks the same as a DOL-001 underneath.

Totally not a DOL-001, Side B

Power Breakout Board

Once again, I am sure this is not just a board for power delivery, but I'm calling it this since it has the power connectors on it. It's also got some DIP switches and other stuff going on. One of the conectors is labeled "RS232" and another labeled "MIDI", sounds like fun.

That four pin connector appears to be unused. The other three connectors visible here (one going to the base board, one going to the media board, and a fan header) are all used.

Base Board

Somehow, another FPGA. There's a CR2032; I haven't tested it. I removed the ribbon cable that connects to GameCube's controller ports, as well as the breakout ribbon cable that connects to the Digital A/V port. For what it's worth, although information online claims that the base board connects to SP2, it looks an awful lot like it actually connects via SP1... :thinking: Definitely an honest mistake, but it might come in handy, since we should be able to use SP2...


Like all good teardowns, I was rewarded with an extra screw after everything was put back together, the sign of a job well done :)