As seen in the Atari Jaguar FAQ by Robert Jung

Atari Jaguar Specifications
Physical dimensions:

Size: 9.5" x 10" x 2.5"

Controls: Power on/off

Display: Programmable screen resolution. Horizontal resolution is dependent on the amount of scanline buffer space given to the "Tom" graphics processor. Maximum vertical resolution varies according to the refresh rate (NTSC or PAL). Reportedly, a stock Jaguar (without additional memory) running NTSC can display up to 576 rows of pixels. 24-bit "True Color" display with 16,777,216 colors simultaneously (additional 8 bits of supplimental graphics data support possible) Multiple-resolution, multiple-color depth objects (monochrome, 2-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit) can be used simultaneously

Ports: Cartridge slot/expansion port (32 bits) RF video output Video edge connector (video/audio output) (supports NTSC and PAL; provides S-Video, Composite, RGB outputs, accessible by optional add-on connector) Two controller ports Digital Signal Processor port (includes high-speed synchronous serial input/output)

Controllers: Eight-directional joypad Size 6.25" x 5" x 1.6", cord 7 feet Three fire buttons (A, B, C) Pause and Option buttons 12-key keypad (accepts game-specific overlays)



The Jaguar has five processors which are contained in three chips. Two of the chips are proprietary designs, nicknamed "Tom" and "Jerry". The third chip is a standard Motorola 68000, and used as a coprocessor. Tom and Jerry are built using an 0.5 micron silicon process. With proper programming, all five processors can run in parallel.


  • 750,000 transistors, 208 pins
  • Graphics Processing Unit (processor #1)
  • 32-bit RISC architecture (32/64 processor)
  • 64 registers of 32 bits wide
  • Has access to all 64 bits of the system bus
  • Can read 64 bits of data in one instruction
  • Rated at 26.591 MIPS (million instructions per second)
  • Runs at 26.591 MHz
  • 4K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
  • Performs a wide range of high-speed graphic effects
  • Programmable
  • Object processor (processor #2)
  • 64-bit RISC architecture
  • 64-bit wide registers
  • Programmable processor that can act as a variety of different video architectures, such as a sprite engine, a pixel-mapped display, a character-mapped system, and others.
  • Blitter (processor #3)
  • 64-bit RISC architecture
  • 64-bit wide registers
  • Performs high-speed logical operations
  • Hardware support for Z-buffering and Gouraud shading
  • DRAM memory controller
  • 64 bits
  • Accesses the DRAM directly


  • 600,000 transistors, 144 pins
  • Digital Signal Processor (processor #4)
  • 32 bits (32-bit registers)
  • Rated at 26.6 MIPS (million instructions per second)
  • Runs at 26.6 MHz
  • Same RISC core as the Graphics Processing Unit
  • Not limited to sound generation
  • 8K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
  • CD-quality sound (16-bit stereo)
  • Number of sound channels limited by software
  • Two DACs (stereo) convert digital data to analog sound signals
  • Full stereo capabilities
  • Wavetable synthesis, FM synthesis, FM Sample synthesis, and AM synthesis
  • A clock control block, incorporating timers, and a UART
  • Joystick control

Motorola 68000 (processor #5)

  • Runs at 13.295MHz
  • General purpose control processor

Communication is performed with a high speed 64-bit data bus, rated at106.364 megabytes/second. The 68000 is only able to access 16 bits of this bus at a time.

The Jaguar contains two megabytes (16 megabits) of fast page-mode DRAM,in four chips with 512 K each. Game cartridges can support up to six megabytes (48 megabits) of information, and can contain an EEPROM (electrically erasable/programmable read-only memory) chip to save game information and settings. Up to 100,000 writes can be performed with the EEPROM; after that, future writes may not be saved (performance varies widely, but 100,000 is a guaranteed minimum). Depending on use, this limit should take from 10 to 50 years to reach.

Other Jaguar features:

  • Support for ComLynx I/O for communications with the Atari Lynx hand-heldgame system and networked multiconsole games (on DSP port, accessibleby optional add-on connector). Networking of up to 32 Jaguar units available.
  • The two controller ports can be expanded to support "dozens" of controllers
  • Digital and analog interfaces
  • Keyboards, mice, and light guns are possible
  • Expansion port allows connection to cable TV and other networks
  • Digital Signal Processor port allows connection to modems and digital audio peripherals (such as DAT players)
  • One megabyte per second serial interface
  • 9600 baud, RS-232 serial port (accessible with optional interface)
  • General-purpose I/O bits via the cartridge port
  • Can accomodate future expansions of different processor types, I/O types, video types, and memory types and/or quantities.

The Jaguar is capable of doing the following visual effects:

  • High-speed scrolling (Object Processor).
  • Texture mapping on two- and three-dimensional objects (GPU and Blitter).
  • Morphing one object into another object (GPU).
  • Scaling, rotation, distortion, and skewing of sprites and images Object Processor).
  • Lighting and shading from single and multiple light sources (GPU and Blitter).
  • Transparency (Object Processor).
  • "Rendering" up to 850 million one-bit pixels/second (35 million 24-bit pixels/second, 26 million 32-bit pixels/second), or 50 million Goroud shaded pixels/second. "Rendering" is believed to mean transferring a pixel from a frame buffer to the screen.
  • Sprites of "unlimited" size and quantity. Realistically, sprites can be over 1,000 pixels wide/tall, and the number of sprites allowed is limited by processor cycles instead of a fixed value in hardware (Object processor).
  • Programmable screen resolutions, from 160 to 800 pixels per line. The resolution can be increased even further with additional hardware up toa reported 1350 pixels per line.