TinyTendo isn’t the first retro handheld game console that can play NES games, but it’s one of the only we know of to use actual hardware. How so? Its creator took real NES chips that have been physically cut and then grounded down to a smaller size. More specifically, it was sanded down to the die and leads, resulting in a 10mm x 10mm x 2mm piece that is surface mountable.
This is TinyTendo, a real hardware NES handheld that is the size of the original GameBoy.
This is not emulation, it is not a Pi, it is not a NOAC, and it is not an FPGA.
This is real NES hardware from a real NES.
This project will also be open sourced in a few weeks. pic.twitter.com/Csf10EYPcc
— Redherring32 (@redherring32) May 24, 2022
The sanded chips are less than 7% of their original size by volume and area, which means that they can be mounted on a PCB that is smaller than a Raspberry Pi 3. No machines were used in this process either, as the entire cutting process is done by hand. One big difference is that TinyTendo uses custom mini game cartridges, but the original ones can be used with an adapter as well. Who knows? Someone could even use the TinyTendo to set a new Super Mario Bros. speedrun world record.
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The controls are 1:1 with the original Gameboy so I could use existing membranes The order and placement of the specific buttons (where A is in relation to B) was made 1:1 as well so it was intuitive,” said its creator.