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Hydra: a FPGA-based chess computer

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Guy Macon, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Guy Macon

    Guy Macon Guest

    The Hydra chess computer looks like it is going to be the
    new world computer chess champion, and it is getting close
    to being the best chess player, human or computer.

    What does this have to do with embedded systems? Hydra is
    FPGA-based, not PC-based - carrying on the tradition of
    Deep Blue and swinging the pendulum back to hardware.

    From what I have been able to gather, The Hydra chess
    computer runs on 8 Alpha-Data PCI ADM-XRC Xilinx Virtex-EM
    V405E-V812E FPGA Cards.

    It was programmed by Chrilly Donninger in two languages;
    C for the high-level behavioral prototyping and specification
    language and Verilog for the low-level RTL implementation
    language. Chrilly has also been working on a computer that
    plays a good game of Go using pattern recognition and possibly
    cellular automata.

    (The Hydra project was originally known as the Brutus project.)

    http://www.alpha-data.com/adm-xrc.html <-- FPGA board
    http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=221 <-- Brutus
    http://www.hydrachess.com/ <-- this website isworthless junk
    Guy Macon, Aug 16, 2004
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  2. Guy Macon

    Neil Bradley Guest

    This always has fascinated me, but I've never dug down deep into the details
    of what makes one version of a chess program better or worse than another.
    How is this an improvement over deep blue, other than moving the computation
    and data moving to specialized hardware that does similar things to code? Is
    it only speed, or is there also an algorithmic advantage?

    Neil Bradley, Aug 16, 2004
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