Novag Aquamarine RISC II 26.6 MHz
|Novag Aquamarine RISC II 26.6 MHz|
|Prozessor||H8/325 (HD6433258) und H8/3214 (HD6433214)||BT-2630||-|
|Prozessortyp||8 Bit, Singlechip||Colditz||-|
|Takt||13,3 MHz (Quarz 26,6 MHz)
"Siglo XXI" Version = 16 MHz (Quarz 16 MHz)
|RAM||1 KB||Display||2x 4-stellige 7-Segmentanzeige|
|Bibliothek||13.000 Halbzüge||Zugausgabe||16 Rand-LEDs|
|Maße||23,5 x 28,5 x 2 cm|
|Stromversorgung||Netz = 9V/0,3A DC (Plus außen!) / Batterie = 4 x AAA|
|Verwandt||Novag Zircon II, Novag Emerald Classic plus|
|wurde ausschließlich in Spanien verkauft|
Introduced by Novag in 1998, this chess computer was apparently distributed only in Spain.
It has a program very similar to the built in previous Novag chess computers, but with a simpler plastic housing. What is most striking about this model is the ostentation of the "supposed" processor speed (26.6 MHz), being indicated in large letters on the box, and even printed on the chess computer case.
For Novag "MHz" possibly was just a marketing strategy: the more the better. In fact, for a long time, Novag printed in the boxes and manuals the frequency of the quartz crystal, instead of the actual system clock signal. So far nothing new. What is surprising with this chess computer, is that was also sold a version with the added "Siglo XXI" (XXI Century), printed on the computer itself, which plays better than the original version (it performs calculations 20% faster). And it's funny that "Siglo XXI" version has a 16 MHz crystal, instead of the original at 26.6 MHz (despite the fact that everywhere 26.6 MHz is indicated)
Some of these computers, internally examined, reported the following data:
|Version||Chip||H8 Family||Quartz Crystal||VCC|
|Original||HD6433258B84F||H8/325||26.6 MHz||5 V|
|Siglo XXI||HD6433214A06F||H8/3214||16 MHz||5 V|
Data reported by Hitachi for that microcontroller family:
|H8 Family||ROM||RAM||Recomm. Max. Clock at 5V|
|H8/325||32 KB||1 KB||10 MHz|
|H8/3214||32 KB||1 KB||16 MHz|
Block Diagram of Clock Signal Generator for this two microcontrollers:
Clock signal in H8/325 is divided by 2 automatically, regardless of Prescaler. Therefore, in computers equipped with this microcontroller, the system clock frequency (Ø) is 1/2 of the frequency of the quartz oscillator. With H8/3214 division by 2 is optional (selected by software). Therefore, the system clock signal (Ø) may be equivalent to the quartz crystal, or 1/2.
Whereof we can obtain this table:
|Version||H8 Family||Quartz Crystal||Divider||System Clock (Ø)|
|Original||H8/325||26.6 MHz||/2||13.3 MHz|
|Siglo XXI||H8/3214||16 MHz||/1||16 MHz|
Overclocking? In the "original" Aquamarine maximum clock frequency recommended by manufacturer is exceeded, but this is possible. The manufacturer (Hitachi) sets 10 MHz as the maximum (recommended) frequency because they certifies that, under these conditions, 100% of the manufactured chips will work fine in a wide range of ambient temperatures. But it's possible that integrator (Novag in this case) decide to select those chips that work correctly even exceeding the recommended clock frequency by a certain percentage. The increase in the "original" Aquamarine is 33%
In any case, these values are confirmed when performing various comparative test between the two computers.
When the same problems are proposed on both computers, logging the time required for each problem, it's confirmed that "Siglo XXI" always solve approximately 20.3% faster.
After performing Reset (ACL) on both computers, we select G5 Level (Mate in 5)
The next position is established, and solving time is counted:
|Aquamarine RISC II 26.6MHz||15min 12sec|
|Aquamarine RISC II 26.6MHz "Siglo XXI"||12min 37sec|
"Siglo XXI" 20.4% faster
In Blitz and Mate Search levels the same result is always obtained: Aquamarine "Siglo XXI" performs calculations about 20.3% faster. But this advantage is not noticeable in long games (with more than 3 minutes per move, for example) because both seem to have the same program, and eventually both make the same decisions with exactly the same valuation per move.
It has been reported about a "normal" Aquamarine RISC II (without "Siglo XXI" printed) with an Hitachi H8/3214, but the quartz crystal incorporated is unknown. Is it possible the existence of Aquamarine RISC II (non "Siglo XXI") operating at 16 MHz?
INSIDE THE CHESS COMPUTER
NOVAG AQUAMARINE RISC II 26.6 MHz
NOVAG AQUAMARINE RISC II 26.6 MHz "Siglo XXI"