P.A.C.E. Project Homepage

(Last Update: 27/10/06)




  • PACE-P2 layout is all-but-complete after a 1st review. Definitely going out for manufacture next week!
  • I've done a quick 'n' dirty port of Space Invaders to the P2 hardware. 8% logic used in the EP2C35!
  • The previous design has been abandoned in preference of two concurrent developments:
    • A Quick'n'Dirty PCB (hereafter called PACE-P2) to use the existing hardware
    • The (actual) PACE hardware platform.
  • Layout is nearing completion on a second prototype platform. This platform leverages off an existing design, and our PCB adds a 15/24-bit video DAC, stereo audio DAC, USB OTG and a 6809 socket to an EP2C35 with SDRAM, SRAM, EPROM/Flash and Compact Flash.
  • The past 8 months effort has involved prototyping game designs on the Nanoboard. We have Z80 and 6502 CPU cores as well as custom Namco, AY-3-8910 and Pokey sound cores running in 13 designs in various stages of completeness.
  • We are now starting to think about the PCB design, and to this end I'm going to start work on a new video controller to accommodate both analogue RGB and composite video.
  • My next goal is to get one of the games running in the game's native resolution and orientation in my JAMMA arcade cabinet.
  • Some pictures of the project thus far to come soon...
  • Added the NanoBoard page with some games to download
  • The PACE homepage is created.

News Archives:

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Check out the HISTORY page coming soon!

Schematics (TBA)
Manufacturing pack (TBA)
PACE software (TBA)

What is P.A.C.E?

P.A.C.E. stands for "Programmable Arcade Circuit Emulator".

PACE is a device that is capable of emulating early ("classic") video arcade machine hardware. That is, it allows you to play selected arcade games without requiring the original arcade PCB or having to boot up (and being tethered to) a PC to run MAME, for example. And being programmable, the PACE hardware can be re-configured to emulate any of a number of classic arcade games, with support for more games being added as the firmware is developed.

PACE will be designed with a number of uses in mind - namely, the ability to use PACE with :
The original intention was to develop a JAMMA-compatible board that would reside in most modern arcade cabinets. The [reason was] that many of the classic arcade game PCBs are getting harder and harder to find, hence people are holding on to them and if you can manage to get one they are becoming more expensive. Also the electronics are getting to an age where reliability is an issue - the parts are dying - and some parts aren't even available! Also, many of the earlier games had proprietory harnesses on multiple boards with varying power supply requirements - making them difficult and expensive to adapt to modern (JAMMA) cabinets.

How will it be used?

The PACE device will be configurable with (typically) a single arcade game at any one time. The [NV storage] on the PACE board will be programmed [from a PC via a USB cable or via a CompactFlash device pulled into the PUCE board]. Once programmed, the PACE device will remain configured as the chosen game until re-programmed. A configured PACE board is, in effect, the same as the original arcade PCB - with some added features!

When configured as a JAMMA board, PACE can now be plugged directly into a standard JAMMA harness in an arcade machine cabinet (or home "SuperGun" system). PACE takes its power and all I/O from the JAMMA harness and no other connections are required.

When configured as something other than a JAMMA board, PACE takes its power from a DC plug-pak. Display options include VGA monitor, composite monitor or TV (AV inputs), whilst inputs are mapped from a standard PC (PS/2) keyboard or PS/2-compatible controller (X-Arcade) - negating the need for a SuperGun!


Amongst others:
  • The ability to rotate the screen, so that, for example, vertical games can be played on your VGA monitor!

Future Developments