The NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) is also Japanese for beauty above all else.
The Sega NAOMI is a development of the Sega Dreamcast technology as a basis for an arcade system board. The first NAOMI hardware was demonstrated in 1998 at JAMMA as the successor to the Sega Model 3 hardware. The use of mass produced hardware allowed for a sharp reduction in the cost of complete arcade cabinets.
The NAOMI and Dreamcast share the same system-architecture. Both systems use the same Hitachi SH-4 CPU, PowerVR Series 2 GPU (PVR2DC), and Yamaha AICA based sound system. NAOMI packs twice as much system and graphics memory, and 4X as much sound memory. Although the NAOMI and Dreamcast operate at the same speed (clock frequency), multiple NAOMI boards can be 'stacked' together to achieve better graphics performance or a multi-monitor setup. The other key difference between NAOMI and Dreamcast lies in the game-media. The Dreamcast typically loads data from a GD-ROM during a game. NAOMI games either use only solid-state ROMs without a GD-ROM, or else load data from a GD-ROM only once at the start of a game to avoid wear and tear on the hardware. The NAOMI system is capable of storing 168 MB of data.
NAOMI boards can be used in special game cabinets (NAOMI Universal Cabinet) where a theoretical maximum of sixteen boards can be used in a parallel processing format.
Unlike most hardware platforms in the arcade industry, NAOMI is widely licensed for use by other manufacturers. Games such as Mazan, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Guilty Gear XX are examples of NAOMI-based arcade games that are not Sega products. An offshoot version of the NAOMI hardware is Atomiswave by Sammy Corporation.
After nine years of hardware production, and with new game titles coming in 2008 like Melty Blood: Actress Again and Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC, NAOMI is considered to be one of the longest running arcade platforms ever and is comparable in longevity with the Neo-Geo MVS.