Timer and Divider Registers

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FF04 - DIV - Divider Register (R/W)

This register is incremented at rate of 16384Hz (~16779Hz on SGB). Writing any value to this register resets it to 00h.

Note: The divider is affected by CGB double speed mode, and will increment at 32768Hz in double speed.

FF05 - TIMA - Timer counter (R/W)

This timer is incremented by a clock frequency specified by the TAC register ($FF07). When the value overflows (gets bigger than FFh) then it will be reset to the value specified in TMA (FF06), and an interrupt will be requested, as described below.

FF06 - TMA - Timer Modulo (R/W)

When the TIMA overflows, this data will be loaded.

FF07 - TAC - Timer Control (R/W)

 Bit  2   - Timer Enable
 Bits 1-0 - Input Clock Select
            00: CPU Clock / 1024 (DMG, CGB:   4096 Hz, SGB:   ~4194 Hz)
            01: CPU Clock / 16   (DMG, CGB: 262144 Hz, SGB: ~268400 Hz)
            10: CPU Clock / 64   (DMG, CGB:  65536 Hz, SGB:  ~67110 Hz)
            11: CPU Clock / 256  (DMG, CGB:  16384 Hz, SGB:  ~16780 Hz)
 Note: The "Timer Enable" bit only affects the timer, the divider is ALWAYS counting.

INT 50 - Timer Interrupt

Each time when the timer overflows (ie. when TIMA gets bigger than FFh), then an interrupt is requested by setting Bit 2 in the IF Register (FF0F). When that interrupt is enabled, then the CPU will execute it by calling the timer interrupt vector at 0050h.

Timer Obscure Behaviour

Read this page for a more detailed description of what the registers do: Timer Obscure Behaviour


The above described Timer is the built-in timer in the gameboy. It has nothing to do with the MBC3s battery buffered Real Time Clock - that's a completely different thing, described in the chapter about Memory Banking Controllers.