CPU: 8-bit HuC6280A, a modified 65SC02 (a separate branch from the 65C02, of the original MOS 6502) running at 1.79 or 7.16 MHz (switchable by software). Features integrated bankswitching hardware (driving a 21-bit external address bus from a 6502-compatible 16-bit address bus), an integrated general-purpose I/O port, a timer, block transfer instructions, and dedicated move instructions for communicating with the HuC6270A VDC.
GPU: A dual graphics processor setup. One 16-bit HuC6260 Video Color Encoder (VCE), and one 16-bit HuC6270A Video Display Controller (VDC). The HuC6270A featured Port-based I/O similar to the TMS99xx VDP family.
X (Horizontal) Resolution: variable, maximum of 565 (programmable to 282, 377 or 565 pixels, or as 5.37mhz, 7.159mhz, and 10.76mhz pixel dot clock) Taking into consideration overscan limitations of CRT televisions at the time, the horizontal resolutions were realistically limited to something a bit less than what the system was actually capable of. Consequently, most game developers limited their games to either 256, 336, or 512 pixels in display width for each of the three modes.
Y (Vertical) Resolution: variable, maximum of 242 (programmable in increments of 1 scanline) It is possible to achieve an interlaced "mode" with a maximum vertical resolution of 484 scanlines by alternating between the two different vertical resolution modes used by the system. However, it is unknown, at this time, if this interlaced resolution is compliant with (and consequently displayed correctly on) NTSC televisions.
The majority of TurboGrafx-16 games use 256×239, though some games, such as Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective did use 512×224. Chris Covell's 'High-Resolution Slideshow' uses 512×240.
- Depth: 9 bit
- Colors available: 512
- Colors onscreen: Maximum of 482 (241 background, 241 sprite)
- Palettes: Maximum of 32 (16 for background tiles, 16 for sprites)
- Colors per palette: 16 per background palette (color entry #0 of each background palette must be the same), and 15 per sprite palette (plus transparent, which is displayed as an actual color in the overscan area of the screen)
- Simultaneously displayable: 64
- Sizes: 16×16, 16×32, 16×64, 32×16, 32×32, 32×64
- Palette: Each sprite can use up to 15 unique colors (one color must be reserved as transparent) via one of the 16 available sprite palettes.
- Layers: The HuC6270A VDC was capable of displaying one sprite layer. Sprites could be placed either in front of or behind background tiles by manipulating a bit which caused color entry #0 of the background palette(s) to act as transparent.
- Size: 8×8
- Palette: Each background tile can use up to 16 unique colors via one of the 16 available background palettes. The first color entry of each background palette must be the same across all background palettes.
- Layers: The HuC6270A VDC was capable of displaying one background layer.
- Work RAM: 8 kB
- Video RAM: 64 kB
- 6 Mini-Wavetable audio channels, programmable through the HuC6280A CPU.
- Each channel had a frequency of 3.58Mhz PCM sample clock (while not in D/A mode) with a bit depth of 5 bits. Each channel also was allotted 20 bytes (32×5 bits) of RAM for sample data.
- The waveforms were programmable so the composers were not limited to the standard selection of waveforms (square, sine, sawtooth, triangle, etc.).
- The first two audio channels (1 and 2) were capable of LFO when channel #2 was used to modulate channel #1. This was used to achieve FM-like sound qualities.
- The final two audio channels (5 and 6) were capable of Noise generation.
- Optional software enabled Direct D/A which allows for sampled sound to be streamed into any of the six PCM audio channels. When a channel is in D/A mode the frequency is as fast as the CPU can stream bytes to the port, though in practicality it's limited to 6.99 kHz when using the TIMER interrupt with the smallest loop setting (1023 cpu cycles). Additionally, you can use the scanline interrupt to generate a 15.7khz interrupt system to play samples.
Each channel has its own DAC and two layer attenuation device (two volume mechanism controls) allowing a combination of two channels in Direct D/A mode to be paired and play back 8-bit, 9-bit, or 10-bit linear PCM samples.
The addition of the CD-ROM peripheral adds CD-DA sound, and a single ADPCM channel to the existing sound capabilities of the TurboGrafx-16.
- HuCard (Turbo Chip in North America): A thin, card-like game media. The largest Japanese HuCard games were up to 20 Mbit in size. The name was derived from Hudson Soft, the company who developed the game card technology.
- CD: The PC Engine CD was the first home video game console to offer a CD-ROM accessory.
- With only one exception, the SuperGrafx, all PC Engine hardware could play the entire HuCard library, and every CD system could play all of the licensed CD games - with the right system card. Some unlicenced CD games by Games Express required a Duo system, due to their games requiring both a special system card packaged with the games and the 256KB of RAM built into the Duo.