Getting started on SEGA saturn development – Part 2

After the Hello World

After writing a simple hello world, 2 things are needed before proceeding :

  • Get the execution time, (and in turn, frame times) in order to properly write time based animations
  • How to get simple primitives drawn on the screen

Getting execution time

libyaul supplies following function

static uint16_t cpu_frt_count_get(void);

However the return type is a problem : it quickly overflows.
After some digging on discord, as well as examples provided with libyaul:

#include <yaul.h>

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

uint32_t elapsed_time = 0;
static void _frt_ovi_handler(void);
static uint16_t _frt_overflow_count = 0;

void main(void)
    //initialize dbgio


    uint32_t frame_time = 0 ;
    uint32_t frame_start = 0 ;
    uint32_t frame_end = 0 ;



    /* Reset overflow counter after setting the FRT count to zero in case
     * there's an FRT overflow interrupt */
    _frt_overflow_count = 0;

        elapsed_time += frame_time;
        frame_start = ((65536 * _frt_overflow_count) + (uint32_t) cpu_frt_count_get()) / CPU_FRT_PAL_320_32_COUNT_1MS;
        dbgio_printf("Elapsed time :\t %u
        \nFrame_time :\t %u
        \nFrame Start :\t %u
        \nFrame End :\t %u
        \noverflow cnt :\t %u\n", 
        (unsigned int) elapsed_time,
        (unsigned int) frame_time, 
        (unsigned int) frame_start,
        (unsigned int) frame_end,
        (unsigned int) _frt_overflow_count);

        frame_end = ((65536 * _frt_overflow_count) + (uint32_t) cpu_frt_count_get()) / CPU_FRT_PAL_320_32_COUNT_1MS;
        frame_time = (frame_end - frame_start) ; // get tick count at start 

static void _frt_ovi_handler(void)

Now I’m able to measure the render time and also have the elapsed time.

One thought on “Getting started on SEGA saturn development – Part 2”

  1. Thank you for this blog!! Fascinating to follow commentary on actual Saturn development since it’s architecture is so complex and cumbersome to harness. Looking forward to your game idea!

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