The 2015 International Conference on

Field-Programmable Technology (FPT '15)

7-9 December, Rydges Lakeland Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand

Design competition

FPT 2015 will follow the tradition of previous FPTs of having an FPGA design competition associated with the conference. In bringing the conference to New Zealand, we have for the design competition the New Zealand game, Trax.

Trax is a two player abstract strategy game of loops and lines. It can be played on any flat surface (no board) using identical square tiles with straights on one side and curves on the other.

The rules of TRAX are simple: place tiles adjacent to those already in play such that the colours of the tracks match. The objective is to get a loop or line of your colour while attempting to stop your opponent in their colour. What gives Trax its strategic depth is the forced play rule which allows (or even requires) multiple tiles to be played in a turn.

TRAX was invented in New Zealand by David Smith in 1980 and is now sold and played in many countries.

Challenges for an FPGA implementation:

  • Managing the potentially unlimited size of the playing area
  • Devising a representation of the position that allows efficient play
  • Devising an effective evaluation of a position


  • 19 December, 2014 Pre-registration opens
  • 13 September, 2015 Final team registration for competition
  • 20 September, 2015 Submission of paper (optional, max 4 pages)
  • 12 October, 2015 Notification of acceptance of paper submission
  • 8-9 December, 2015 Competition at FPT conference.

    At least one team member must be present with their FPGA to compete.