In my research on 1970s-era arcade machines, I've noticed that both Midway and Taito created games which used Intel's 8080 microprocessor. However, each company had their own host boards which integrated with this processor. What are the main technical differences between Midway's and Taito's host boards?

The only major difference that I know of was that the Midway board has a daughter board plugged into it at a 90 degree angle.


Taito's boards are stacked vertically:


  • 9
    Isn't this kind of like asking what's the difference between the Commodore PET and Apple II as they're both 6502 machines from the same era? Just because they use the same chip, doesn't mean that they should be similar nor does it mean that two games from the same company (e.g. Taito) would be based on the same board design. Yes, Taito and Midway did share a bit, but short of having name translation (i.e. Midway released as X, Taito released as Y), I'm not sure of many instances of this. Even in the early 80's, I can only think of a few instances where you could swap ROMs to change games.
    – bjb
    May 26, 2016 at 17:40
  • 1
    @bjb Fair points, but I think these two boards are more similar than not. Both had Discrete Logic sound chips. Both used the same displays with an output resolution of 256x224. Both had 16 2708 dynamic RAM chips and 8 sockets for ROM chips. I'm wondering if I'm missing some obvious difference.
    – JAL
    May 26, 2016 at 17:44
  • assuming they're for the same game and/or ROMs could be swapped, perhaps cost reduction or revisions to fix some issue (e.g. noise)? Is the discrete sound logic identical? What about the video generation? It could be something as simple as conforming to different power frequency or video standards while still doing the same effective job.
    – bjb
    May 26, 2016 at 17:53
  • This site has schematics for both Midway and Taito boards (Space Invaders). I didn't do the comparison ...
    – dirkt
    Aug 10, 2016 at 5:40
  • @JAL - 2708's are EPROM's, the DRAMS used appear to be 4046's and 2107C's, which are both 4096x1 from different vendors though at first glance having the same pinout. Aug 14, 2016 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


I personally have repaired many of these board sets of both vendors. I own a midway space invaders and a few TAITO Space invaders board sets. The differences arise through the licensing agreement. TAITO owns the rights to Space Invaders and then MIDWAY purchased the licensing for North America. The licensing (Along with much much more) said that Midway had to develop their own hardware. The MIDWAY version board is a black & White only board set and they used a green/Yellow/red vinyl plastic to give the illusion of color for the top/middle/bottom areas of game screen. MIDWAY also used two buttons for left & right.

TAITO, (The owner) made their board to support either Black & White, or on board color. The Controller it either buttons, or a left/right joystick. Comparing both schematics, you can see many areas where the circuitry is the same, sometimes one chip is turned into a few chips. But this is how MIDWAY duplicated without infringing on the licensing. As far as repairing, I prefer working on the MIDWAY "L" board. those 6 ribbon cables on the TAITO can be a pain.

The EPROM's can be different values and there are STRAPPING jumpers to connect for the proper EPROM type that you have. These EPROM's are getting harder to find so sometimes you need to swap in a different type to get it working.


You do get Taito Space Invaders Boards that are L-Shaped in 1978. They came before the Midway Versions were born. I have 2 or 3 of them along with some Midway ones. The Taito 3 Layer Boardsets came later on 1979 onwards


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