The F18A provides so much more than just VGA output and flicker free sprites. Here is a summary:
Colors can be redefined with 16 different values for red, green, and blue - in total 4096 different colors. And programs have 4 palettes of 16 colors to choose from.
2) Multicolor character patterns
Characters can have 2, 4 or 8 colors. They can be mirrored in both x and y.
3) Bitmap layer
On the optional bitmap layer pixels can be colored individually in either 4 or 16 colors. The 16 color pixels are twice as wide as normal pixels.
4) Multicolor sprites
Sprites can have 2, 4 or 8 colors (including the transparent background color). They can be mirrored in both x and y, and linked. The number of possible sprites on a line can be defined from 1 to 32.
5) Second character layer
Another layer of characters with 2, 4, or 8 colors and an optional transparent component can be displayed on top of or beneath the sprite layer.
6) Hardware scrolling
The F18A has hardware support for smooth scrolling in all directions, individually for each character layer.
7) 80 columns text mode
The 80 column mode is compatible with the 9938/9958 (except for the limited RAM) and with optional individual coloring (foreground/background) of each character.
8 ) GPU: A 100 MHz CPU is built into the F18A that runs in parallel with the normal CPU and can address video memory only, i.e. it cannot control disk, keyboard/joystick, sound, etc. The GPU is for most parts compatible with the TMS9900 instruction set.
9) Scanline interrupts
The GPU and/or the CPU can execute code when a scanline has been drawn.
Note that there is still only 16K video RAM available. Characters or sprites with 4 colors take twice as much memory as those with 2 colors. 8 colors take 3 times as much RAM. A bitmap layer covering the whole screen takes 12K. So even though there are many colors available, the F18A does not provide any full screen high color bitmap modes.