Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Jan 2006 19:17 UTC, submitted by Jeremy
IBM "In the 1990s, world chess champion Gary Kasparov played two historic matches against IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer. He won the first match but lost the second by just a single point. As a graduate student at Stanford writing a thesis on artificial intelligence at that time, I was fascinated by the match. I'd been a computer hobbyist since the 1980s as well as a chess buff. Over the years I've tried practically every commercially available chess program on every platform, including Sargon, Socrates, Chessmaster, and others. I used TRS 80 and Apple II computers, and then IBM PCs running DOS, followed by Macintosh and Windows systems. Since that time I've wanted a chess computer as powerful as Deep Blue - my own world-champion-level sparring partner."
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umm
by transputer_guy on Fri 27th Jan 2006 22:26 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

After a few pages this article gets pretty boring in talk about high end Opteron PC HW. If I were involved in chess engines I would go straight to FPGA parallel HW development as did the team that was in the news last year at the UAE? show which also had Opteron servers. The HW used for that was Xilinx FPGA based built by Nallatech in Scotland. I don't think it really takes so much general purpose compute power at all except in the sense of post processing the vast nos of candidates the FPGA can grind out.

I would go further, use a simple FPGA RISC cpu core that needs about 1% of FPGA and surround it with move eval engines and do as much reduction locally. These smarter cpu-move engines can then be replicatedd quite a few times per FPGA and what comes out is at a much higher level for the host cpu to analyze. These cpu-move engines would only chugg along at 150MHz or so but reduction has to be done close to where its generated. Such cpus are much closer to the old PPCs used by DeepBlue and the FPGA logic is probably more capable today than those old ASICs too. As the paper says, its the HW-SW synergy that gives the 200M positions/sec, you really don't want to use dumb brute force SW only on massive Opteron farms except that at the end of the day when you shut the thing down, the Opterons still have some use while the FPGA cards are not so easy to reuse.

Not that I play chess anymore

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