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April 30, 2016, 01:08:34 PM *
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1  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community Miner Design Discussion on: Today at 02:58:42 AM
...are you kidding? Perhaps, I misunderstood, or it is true in chip design, but it (what the prof said) makes absolutely no sense in other sciences, like physics, chemistry or biology.
Yeah? In which science you will get recognition for publishing a paper that would effectively say: "we worked hard trying to improve previously published results, but failed"? It is a common problem that gaining a negative knowledge doesn't get you promoted.

The only way to get promoted is to improve or falsify somebody's else results. And falsification may brand you a spoilsport.
2  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community Miner Design Discussion on: Today at 02:16:48 AM
Just tossing this out there to see where the cow pie plops Wink
you said it needs high level pre conditioning of the data the actual sha hashing cores handle and that cpu-type of operation normally is not present in each ASIC. Very true now and in the past but what if say a tiny ARM core or other MC was put inside of each ASIC to do that? That would be very easy to do these days. Possibilities there?
I think that you are still thinking at a too low level.

My reading of Timo Hanke's paper is that it is some high-level algebraic-combinatorial transformation that has to be done only once, very early in the design stage. Once that transformation is done no further software/hardware/logic would be required in the implementation.

Edit: Let me put it in different words. The Bitcoin SHA256D hash can be written as one very long equation with 80*8=640 binary variables. Then the conventional miner changes only 32 of those 640 binary variables (32-bit nonce). Each hashing core would be a hardware implementation of that single very long equation, but for all cores on the chip the other 76*8=608 bits are the same.

Timo Hanke apparently found a mathematical way of reorganizing that computation by changing other bits out of the 640 binary input variables. His transformation seems to be some sort of common subexpression elimination when that very long equation is written multiple times. So in other words the hashing cores in a chip would be no longer independent but would have some shared parts in groups of e.g. 16 for 23.4% total savings versus 16 completely independent cores.

My understanding is that it should be completely possible to explain his transformation with mathematical symbols. Be he had chosen to not publish the details. It is possible that those details could be prohibitively long for normal scientific publication, like hundreds of pages.
3  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community Miner Design Discussion on: Today at 01:05:20 AM
Reading through their whitepaper is answering a lot questions I've been accumulating in the back of me mind on just what a mining chip Wizard is doing behind its curtain. Well, under its hood actually... Ever since Sidehack mention at least passing interest in mebe learning chip design my Muse's cat, Curiosity, has been bugging me about it... Wink

EDIT: Thoughts on from ASICboost on their idea? So far looks like they say they have a different and more efficient use of gates achieved by using a different logic structure/flow than other folks.

Only 1 person I can think of can give me insight as to a 'yesss......' or , 'meh' and and they are not into BTC per se but are Wizard of chip-level data flow the likes I've rarely seen.

Gotta say ever since making a chip was brought up my natural curiosity into everything got me to thinking about what goes on inside a mining ASIC and methinks that paper is answering a some of that.
Firstly: ASICboost isn't any company. It is Timo Hanke, a German scientist who was the only technical employee of Cointerra that was willing to show his face in their marketing video (aside from the CEO). My quick take on the guy: he was forced to work/shill for Cointerra due to some immigration paperwork screwup/problem. His permanent residency and employment seems to be in Germany. The ASICboost publication seems like a quick way to salvage his academic career in Germany. It is also very dirty work, the PDF still has embedded links to website to allow editing the figures.

Other than this the paper is too short on information to make an informed decision. First of all: it has nothing to do with ASICs, it is pure marketing. This is some sort of high-level transformation that could be reproduced in CPU/GPU/FPGA miner. But those are no longer commercially competitive, therefore the reference to the ASICs.

There's only one table (Fig.6) showing percentage gains up to 23.4%. But those seem to be purely combinatorial figures, there's no estimation of saved power or lowered gate counts.

One of my professors at school had an advice for young scientists: If the numbers are good: multiply them by 2 and publish widely. If the numbers are bad: divide them by 10 and hide in the bottommost drawer.

arXiv is a pre-print archive, there's no peer review of the papers published there. The peer review could however happen later.
4  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 29, 2016, 09:43:37 PM
Don't worry, I don't take this personally. The more posts from 2112 I read, the more I get the feeling that he is probably a little bit too long out of the real world ASIC business
That portion agrees with my self-assessment.
and if he ever got to know it, then more from an academic point of view.
This doesn't.

By the way, he is not the only one who had strange experiences with Apache (now Ansys) tools and these are only niche tools, which you need for a very small part of the overall design flow (sorry for the CAD monkey terms).
This portion show that you've didn't read my post with understanding. I never used Apache, I quoted Hashfast's CEO.

You have of course to do a design exploration of different variants of hashing cores. And if you want a complete picture then you have to do it in different technologies. But I doubt that you have to tape-out all these variants to get to know, which one is the best and should be used in the final ASIC. If you are an experienced CAD monkey Wink you can determine which of your variants is the best with high confidence without silicon, at least relatively to each other. Real silicon results will be +/- 15%, maybe +/- 20%, but not more, otherwise you missed something very important during the design phase.
-15% -20% (or any mention of +%) is pure science fiction. The "very important" thing missed by HyperMega (and others) is that coin miner is unlike nearly every digital chip it will be only operated  overclocked/undervolted, in the regions where digital model don't apply and one has to use the mixed-signal or analog design flows.
And in any case, finally every working mining ASIC will be a layout based on a replicated highly optimized hashing core, because there is no other efficient way to implement so called multi/many core systems.

If I would do a prototyping run like discussed above (based on a MPW run), then I would try to get as close as possible to the final ASIC with respect to performance, die size and packaging concept to be able to pipe clean the complete miner system design including cooling setup, string regulation concept and so on. That does not exclude that you include different variants of hash cores in the prototype.

Anyway you should keep in mind, that the complete prototyping cycle AFTER you have finished the design will take at least 6 months including packaging, measurements and analysis. That is why almost everybody who has “successfully” brought a miner to market skipped this step.
Yeah, I'm slowly getting the "new way" of selling the ASIC design services. There are no plans for repeat business, it is strictly one-time hit-and-run affair.

Personally, I wonder about why Spondoolies' subcontractor designed POST (Power-On Self Test) circuitry into otherwise quite competent ASIC design. Then Spondoolies' software had to explicitly re-enable hashing cores that only failed POST when cold, but hashed fine when hot. No other vendors made such a mistake.

This got be something related to the contract between Spondoolies' and their vendors, like somebody doing excessive sandbagging to cover their asses. I wish somebody familiar with current practices (and not bound by NDA) could post their SWAG (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess).
5  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 27, 2016, 12:21:17 AM
Hypermega: Thank you for a very useful reply to Sidehacks questions vs the snarkasim from 2112. Needing to ask questions about things outside of ones core competency is not a bad thing and should be met with better than Ivory Tower attitude.
It takes different kinds of bait to catch different kinds of fish. A touch of snarky-bait convinced eldentyrell to surface his submarine and post a reply after more than a year of underwatersea navigation. Also a salesperson from some fabless boutique made a post.

On smarmy-bait you'll catch fish like Mr. Kashif. Bitfury folks would be crazy to invite him to their office. After exchanging some PM's with him I'm sure that if he somehow had shown up in my company's office the security would escort him out.

It takes a certain appropriate mix of "school smart" with "street smart" to swim in the ASIC waters and not get eaten by sharks.

I'm actually dedicating this post to all of non-engineers who can't understand all that semiconductor industry jargon. For them I wanted to recommend a book by Feng-Hsiung Hsu from 2002 entitled "Behind Deep Blue: Building the Computer that Defeated the World Chess Champion". He was the lead engineer who designed the chip, but he co-authored this book with some professional writer and the result is a page-turning thriller. There are absolutely no equations. Neither engineering nor chess knowledge is required to enjoy this book.

Obviously the actual technical material and example prices are obsolete. But the book will show the reader how to successfully skate the edge between academia and commerce (in case of Hsu it was Cornell and IBM). His opinion about using commercial "layout services" for repetitive ASICs in my opinion still stands as valid.

Use the above link if you are the person who likes to pay and be treated with respect.

Use the above link if you are OK with reading this book for a price of smile and a wink to your friendly neighborhood librarian.
6  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 26, 2016, 11:50:59 PM
That is definitely not true.  I have a chip I designed and fabbed through Europractice sitting in front of me right now and neither I nor my company have any connection to Europe.

For a while TSMC would not let them quote US customers, but that restriction was for that one fab only and it has since been removed.  The only thing Europe-only is the academic discounts.

Europractice's IMEC team in Belgium (the ones who do UMC+TSMC tapeouts, but not GF) are absolutely top-notch, outstanding people.
I'm glad you were able to catch and correct my error. Admittedly I'm nor really familiar with the merchant terms for one-off designs. I always worked either through academia or with the long-term projects that involved purchasing options for masks and wafers.

WIth SHA256D miner isn't any issue of secrecy or intellectual property. Getting into partnership with some academic institution would not be problem at all. That was what Bitfury did with their first chips. Here's a quick example of a subject for a master thesis or a post-doc paper:

Comparison of combinatorial constant-propagation gains versus passive transmission loses through varying unroll factor in digital circuits with high toggle ratio.

That would be about 75% to 90% of work required to optimize a Bitcoin miner ASIC. For particular example Bitfury used unroll factor 2 in his original chip.
7  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 26, 2016, 11:40:31 PM
Yes, but this is not much for a mining ASIC even in 22nm. I guess it should equate to about 10 ... 15 unrolled hash cores, because this 22nm GF node is only a 80% shrink of the GF 28nm node, not a true 50% shrink like other 20nm nodes. But therefore the 22nm masks cost only a little bit more than a 28nm mask set.
This is a perfect example of daft thinking of a CAD monkey. No sane hardware engineer would waste that valuable real estate (50 plots of 3 square millimeters each) to fill it out with identical unrolled cores and try to commercially mine with them. The sane engineer would fill those 3 with as many different interesting designs as he/she could think of and then compare simulated results with actual results to gauge the accuracy of the toolchain. That is the whole point of prototyping.

I understand that some people find "CAD monkey" term offensive. But such proposal as above is equally offensive to the normal hardware engineers. That is why epithet was invented to quickly distinguish a narrow subset of programmers.

And yes, Universities have these tools almost for free, but for strictly non-commercial use. As soon as you want to design something, which could be commercialized directly or indirectly it is illegal to use University licenses for it. If something like this would be discovered by the EDA vendors, you and the University would have huge problem.
This never happens to students or faculty at non-profit schools. It does happen in for-profit schools or maybe at non-profits when administrative staff gets involved in theft or unauthorized resale. In normal schools the and will easily trump the short term commercial concerns.
If you like to get your feeds in the water here, it would be better to cooperate with a IC design service company at least for the first project. You bring the chip concept and architecture, they help you to design, manufacture, package and test it.
From my point of view, it is almost impossible to build up the required competences from scratch, despite you hire some experienced IC designers in your company.
Where is your company located?
I worked for a while for EDA vendor and I start sensing a sales-critter. I'm the last person to try to blame the sales person for trying to earn the commission. In fact I'm still grateful for being invited the celebratory party of one salesman who with single sale funded (pre-paid) college education of two of his kids.

I also remember particular post trade-show dinner party (in Anaheim,CA or Las Vegas,NV) with various EDA industry bigwigs. One thing I remembered was one founder being asked how he got money to start up. His story was that out of school he was reselling used office furniture.  One time they bid several k$ for a closed office of some major US automotive concern (Ford? can't recall anymore). It turned out that the cabinets were filled with Ford's(?) internal paperwork related to hard-to-fix warranty repair problems. They actually successfully blackmailed Ford(?) into buying those cabinets back for some 1M$.

Why I'm retelling this story? People need to learn how to bargain with EDA vendors. Here's a quick example:

So power consumption variance is +-20%, can we infer the same with hash rate then? Since usually more power  means more heat to dissipate.

Most commonly the power consumption of real silicon comes in better (lower) than the predictions from the Apache Redhawk tool we are using. The cooling system in the Baby Jet is massively over engineered, to give some margin, and to support overclocking.

Cheaply buy out of the bankruptcy the intellectual property that went through that Apache Redhawk simulation with gross errors. Then talk to Ansys to fund a research grant that would establish the reasons for such large errors and ways to correct their products. It is not much of business idea but it is an idea of how to not only get expensive EDA tool for free but also get funding/grant for its use at a research university.
8  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 25, 2016, 04:30:39 PM
If I'm thinking right, VHDL would get me FPGA design, which is probably a good place to start making sure I at least know how to do the basics right with some real-world implementation. It wouldn't directly help me build anything ASIC but it'd be a start. I'd like to have more of a foundation to build on.
This looks like you want to have career as a CAD monkey at a defense contractor. In the USA VHDL is mostly used by those who are paid by Department of Defense (VHDL being an offshoot of Ada, also sponsored by DoD). The civilian industry mostly uses Verilog.

Anyways, learning VHDL or any other hardware description language emphatically isn't learning foundations. This is just a front end, one of many ways of inputting the design into the design workflow. If you have solid foundations, you could pick up VHDL, Verilog, SystemC or any other language in about a week or two of full time work (8hrs/day 5days/week). I know I did just that at my first job. Within first month I started filling bugs against the VHDL compiler (they were quite immature then.)

Overall, learning such a shallow stuff like would be a waste of time and money at a college for somebody who is already working and not looking to extend his childhood. To make the college costs worthwhile you'll need to make their enrollment/intake people really work for you. Here's how to do it properly (I'm assuming that your educational goal is to learn how to design a really good Bitcoin mining ASIC).

Don't mention Bitcoin. Mention the following problem: I have a 28nm ASIC in which the critical path is in the expression temp1 := h + S1 + ch + k(i) + w(i), all values being 32-bit registers. This ASIC works at about 300MHz. On the other hand I know that Intel CPU could execute instructions like mov eax,[ebx+4*esi+offset] at a rate of about 3GHz when still using about 100nm process (Pentium 4 a.k.a. Netburst). There are only two visible additions in the Intel instruction, but more are hidden in the segmentation/paging/caching hardware. I don't want to compete with Intel, I just want to learn how to make my little ASIC run at a real competitive speed. Can your school teach me something that would help me achieve this goal?

I don't know the admission process in your school, is it just a single administrative person or are you going to face an admission committee consisting of a mix of administrative and teaching faculty people? You may also want to visit your school on some "open days" and talk to the prospective professors.

Your original idea (asking for VHDL course) looks exactly like you were trying to fit yourself into some job posting from a defense contractor. It is your life and I can't tell you what to do with it. But in my opinion focusing on minutia is a wrong way to pursue education.
9  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 24, 2016, 04:24:12 PM
I'll see what classes they have on VHDL when I'm talking to enrollment folks this coming week.
And pray tell, how would learning VHDL help with developing efficient ASIC mining chip? How that thought popped in your mind?

Also, possible this line of discussion should shift over to the Community Miner thread, since - and yes I know it's my fault - we're tangented pretty far off topic now.
Or we could maybe invoice Bitfury for shilling services in their thread?
10  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 24, 2016, 04:17:22 PM
Since it's obvious I couldn't find my ass with a map in the chip fab world, how about clarifying a couple of things:

"unpackaged" means the bare die with no carrier? right?

"3mm2" is the die size?

What is "... the required CAD/toolchain" to design (tape out?) something like sidehack was proposing?

We, as a company, have a couple of other chip concepts outside the crypto currency world.
If the cost of the S/W isn't to prohibitive and we knew what we were looking for/pricing we might spring for it.

Thanks in advance.
You won't like my answer, but I have to reiterate what I wrote in response to sidehack. You can't afford to ask stupid questions. If you behave like a time-wasting crank, people will treat you like a crank or crackpot. Both MOSIS and Europractice don't have funds to employ salesforce that could tolerate such inquiries. It is presumed that the prospective customer of theirs is sufficiently intellectually inquisitive to read information on their websites.

Europractice serves only European countries plus some culturally related territories, like ex-Euro colonies or ex-USSR. PlanetCrypto is based in US, so you will only qualify for MOSIS. I referred to Europractice partly because of my background and partly because more of the Europractice's site is available for non-members, before signing off the NDA.
11  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 24, 2016, 05:00:55 AM
Real, no bullshit, prices from slightly out-of-date Europractice access to GlobalFoundries 22nm process:

50 prototype dies, unpackaged, untested

48,000EUR for up to 3mm2 plus 16,000EUR per each additional mm2.

I'm not up to speed, but by my understanding is that access through MOSIS (sidehack is based in the USA) is both slightly cheaper and has somewhat more frequent shuttle runs.

A young, personable individual could do the tape out for free by pretending to audition some EE courses in some local (US or EU) school that has the required CAD/toolchain available in the student's labs. I remember from my student days several groups of people that manufactured prototypes on the side while taking courses. The only time my school objected/prosecuted was when some lamers actually physically took the test equipment out of the lab (in effect stealing). Many people overbooked the computer lab time in ridiculous amounts to run side consulting jobs.

Good luck to you, sidehack, personally.

12  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 11:03:46 PM
If I was looking for a slick salesman to make me empty promises, I wouldn't be asking someone whose opinion and technical expertise I trust. I'm not looking for a guaranteed win at anything. I'm asking if something could be possible and what it might cost to pull off. If you say it can't be done, I'll drop it. If you say it might be possible but not worth the money, I'll drop it. If you think there's a chance it's possible with the right people working on it, maybe I'll start looking for those right people. I don't want salesmen and I don't want monkeys.

The difference between me and someone who gambles on horse races is, I hate gambling and would rather be the horse. Sorry if that freaks you out.
I think it is possible, even fairly easily, without big money outlay. You just need to find somebody familiar with the proper design flow: mixed signal, analog or high-power. Mining chip designed through a run-of-the-mill low-power digital design flow will be rather inefficient because such they assume too low tolerable error rates and too low internal temperatures and switching noise levels.

You'll be best served not by doing standard merchant-commercial fabrication/production but a prototype/research/educational fabrication through MOSIS or Europractice. (for their first chip Bitfury partnered with some small Polish research institution to be eligible for Europractice prices.) Therefore you can summarily ignore all price quotes from this forum, because they were standard merchant terms.

I'm familiar with the relevant design flow, but my experience and my tools are badly out of date for the modern deep-submicron design flows and tools. I also don't want to be like that Boxer horse in Orwell's Animal Farm,  I know that the sweat capital is nearly worthless in semiconductor design and manufacturing. I'm not an expert, but I know the rules of the game well enough to avoid gallant and valiant efforts that are guaranteed failures.

The other handicap you will be facing is that the Bitcoin mining chip design field is unfortunately mostly populated with crackpot wannabes with less than zero experience. How one could get less than zero experience? There are apparently many fraudulent educational institutions offering "chip level repairing" courses. Please google the the term, I don't want to give explicit URL links to some of the "Expert Laptop Repair Training Colleges". So when you are going to contact the actual practitioners in the ASIC field be aware that they were probably already contacted several times by various crackpots. You'll have to be able to show from the start that you did your homework and have some understanding of the reality, not just the bullshit from the sales brochures. You can't afford to ask stupid questions. Make sure that the questions you ask are sane. Don't ask ASIC designer for a chip in QFN package, because you make yourself look like a prospective car buyer that asks "can I get it in darker shade of grey to match my poodle?"
13  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 08:58:22 PM
Right now? Nothing. Not a cent. I could make time, but I currently have no money. Still working on that part. I just want to know if folks who know more than I do think it's possible, and if it is what it might cost to achieve. You're doing a really good job of avoiding what shouldn't be too difficult a question. I know it's going to be an assload of dollars. But comparing to $13 per ASIC, what are we looking at?
Yes, exactly this is your problem: you want to have a guaranteed win at horse-races without investing in horse breeding and having to smell the horse shit.

There's plenty of silver bullet salesmen in the computer industry that will promise you exactly anything that you'll imagine, with no effort, just send them check/coins. Any CAD monkey can drop a SHA256D into a simulator and come up with ballpark figures for a slapdash standard-cell design: Cointerra and Hashfast did just that.

Only in your opinion "shouldn't be too difficult a question". Any serious professional will tell you that it is a non-trivial question.

Basically, you are looking for a slick salesman who will tell you exactly what you like to hear and sprinkle the sales spiel with some technobabble.

Youtube has several comedy videos like that, but they sell turboencabulators to wanna-be motorists.

Edit: Oh, and again a reminder: please don't take every "you" personally. I'm not really writing to "you-sidehack", but to "y'all, youse who support sidehack and other community miner projects".

14  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 08:32:45 PM
What I'm asking about is the expected cost of one chip assuming the design works and reaches mass production. I know the NRE cost is going to be a varying factor not just because NRE is highly variable but because it'd be a fixed initial cost divided amongst an unknown quantity of individual chips. It's not that I don't understand or am trying to fool everyone. I want an idea of the forest, not individual trees.

So, to be more precise than I at first assumed I would have to be to make the question clear to intelligent people seeking to assist rather than get into semantic arguments - let's say the goal is to design a 20nm ASIC that gets 0.1J/GH somewhere in its operating range; could be bottom clock. Give it about 10W expected power dissipation, fairly standard QFN package. Does someone who knows more about semiconductor design think that's possible? If so, assuming we want to produce 1 million ASICs, what would be an expected TOTAL COST combining production costs and NRE, and what would be expected purely for production costs?
OK, so you are trying to fool yourself.

This is a gambler's approach to design: state the target and then keep shooting until you hit the target or run out of money/ammunition.

You've posted earlier:
I like to think about Lockheed back during WW2, when they were asked to design and build a jet fighter (completely from scratch) and deliver a working model within nine months - a task many considered impossible - and they rolled it out ahead of schedule. That's the kind of stuff that can happen when people are allowed to do their jobs without interference.
Another problem is it takes an awful lot of money.
Please re-read the book that told the story. This time focus on how much money they had to complete the project, what was their profit/loss model, both for vendor (Lockheed) and customer (US Government). Also analyze when was they key milestone: go/no-go for mass production and what was the percentage of NRE spent before that milestone, that is before they knew if their plane could fly.

Getting back to the mining chip: how much money+time+effort would you/could you spent on simulation of possible designs?
15  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 07:47:09 PM
Okay. Well I know it's possible to see below 0.2J/GH on 28nm because two or three outfits have done it. From what I understand, 16nm still pulls from something 20nm which actually limits the effective gains from further shrinkage. If it's possible to get about 0.1J/GH out of a more mature (and likely much more cost-effective) process like 20nm, it might be possible to build a compromise miner, with (compared to 16nm) low initial cost and moderate long-term operating cost. Proportionally there's a huge difference between 0.1 and 0.07 but if the 0.1 costs about 1/2 to 1/3 the 0.07 it could still come out ahead, like we're seeing with cheap S7 threatening the viability of higher-cost more-efficient chips.
You are using the word "cost" incorrectly. The "cost" in the semiconductor manufacturing industry has two parts:

2) production costs

I don't know if you are trying to fool yourself or really don't understand the difference.

Only fools or ruthless salesmen or CAD monkeys would claim that total 28nm NRE costs are lower than total 20-14nm NRE costs. This relation may be true for just some step of NRE, like mask-making. The actual proper "NRE design" (conceptual, architectural, simulation and parameter optimization) do not depend on the fabrication node but on the thoroughness of the design.
16  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 06:56:17 PM
Say, question. Do you think it's possible for a 0.1J/GH-order chip to be manufactured on 20/22nm node, and at what cost compared to 14/16nm?
I don't know. The last time I had looked at the actual CMOS transistor models was for BSIM3->BSIM4 transition which only covers processes down to 23/28nm . Edit: I looked at , this was year 2000. Further work all the way to 2013 extended the coverage to the 20/22nm processes.

My hunch is that the performance of the mining chips could be greatly improved by using a design flow that actually matches the requirements of the mining chip (huge error tolerance margins, ultra deep pipelining) as opposed to the design flows that are the most commonly used on the fringes of the ASIC industry that deal with hit-and-run customers. And that is regardless of the process node and the feature sizes.

It isn't money that prevents the actual knowledgeable people and companies from working with the coin mining vendors. It is something else, but I don't know what.
17  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Bitfury: "16nm... sales to public start shortly" on: April 23, 2016, 05:09:07 PM
Fabb'ing a chip to tape out (in qty's of 250,000 minimum) is about 2 million. Don't see that happening anytime soon.
This is an example of grammatically correct semantic nonsense.

At "tape-out" the quantity of manufactured chips is zero. At "tape-out" the chip only exist as a "blueprint". It is conceivable that the total cost to tape-out will be zero or nearly zero, if the chip designer can use existing licenses and resources to design the mining chip.

They have several Tier-1 customers to satisfy using all the production capacity they can throw into that. Everyone else pays a premium to get shoehorned into that.
This is an example of salesman bullshit or more precisely somebody's believing and repeating salesman's bullshit.

How do new productions lines come online and get calibrated? By manufacturing super-complex secret designs of Tier-1 customers? No, they are calibrated by manufacturing waferfulls of repeated testing structures for which the fab has a complete detailed precise models to be able to test and calibrate the production line. After testing those test chips are simply scrapped.

Note that in a mining chip is much closer to the fabrication test structure than the typical highly complex chip from a large customer. Therefore mining chips could be profitably manufactured on the production line that is not yet calibrated enough to profitably manufacture very complex designs.

I stress "in theory" because for some reason none of the mining chip designers seems to be able to enter a proper technological partnership with any of the fabricators. This isn't an issue of money, because from my past experience I know of no-budget student projects that had in effect priority access to the new fabrication processes only on the condition of mutual sharing of the design and test data.

If not money, then what is the obstacle? I don't know. Certainly not intellectual property, because SHA256D miner is banal and trivial in the scale of the things that nowadays get manufactured in CMOS.

My guesses go towards some non-technical issue related to the psychology of the mining chips vendors/designers.
18  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Mining (Altcoins) / Re: Innosilicon's A4 Dominator, 1.2W/Mhs 14nm ASIC and miner, open for Partners on: April 21, 2016, 11:11:07 PM
What is a "data hall"? Have seen that posted on btctalk a lot. Don't you all mean "data center"?!

Google search did not come up with much..first result to "what is a data hall" comes back with this link: why do some of you say "data hall" when it appears it is really "data center"?

Sorry to hijack this thread but it has been buggin me for a while.
It is a of Swedish word that means the same as what you've quoted.
19  Bitcoin / Mining speculation / Re: Advice On Bitcoin Miners. on: April 15, 2016, 03:01:45 AM
That is a very very intersting theory and I will be looking into that more. But you are very far from the path we are going down.. It has nothing to do with any kind of re-generation or selling.

to be honest in london if there was serious money involved then yes there most likley would be guns.. But in scotland, people still run about the streets with swords like braveheart. Smiley

I would be very interested to find out what this film was called. I will do some digging into this!


Scottish Security
I'm sorry, I don't remember any more details for the movie. I had to look up names "O&Y" and "Canary Wharf", that was over 20 years ago.

If you are not averse to learning from the movies, then watch the recent comedy "Unfinished Business" with Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco. It deals (amongst other things) about the issue of how to distinguish a genuine business opportunity from just being a fluffer. Although the movie is sold as a comedy, in my opinion the drama part is much better.

20  Bitcoin / Mining speculation / Re: Advice On Bitcoin Miners. on: April 15, 2016, 01:03:25 AM

I know for fact that there is no intention of "flipping" the buisness or factory.. Infact they recently signed a deal worth almost 20 million with a company in the far east. unfortunaly I am unable to say what they produce or where they are located for obvious reasons.

As for security companys yes I have heard of this, and it happens a lot more than you would think,  But in this country right now if you have a source of free electricity most people are opting for weed farms. (even though they are 100% illegal here) thats where the "big guns" are making there serious money..

I know there is no intention of the factory being sold, I have known the owner for 18 years and watched him build it from the ground up. So I would be very very surprised if something like this was on the cards..

Man, it is a standard price negotiation strategy. There was even a feature film (can't recall the title) explaining all this on the example of Olympia and York redeveloping Canary Wharf, which was industrial area turned into office/residential spaces.

More recently estate agents invested into Jason Statham's movie Hummingbird/Redemption to create traffic around some rather underpriced locations in London to spruce them up for sale. And quite successfully. If somebody knows London and watches the movie they can recognize the location where Bitcoins were mined (light industrial use?) and later on the property was sold.

Obviously, I don't know neither the actual location nor the persons involved. But this is a speculation subforum, and I can recognize speculator's hand when I see one. Bitcoin has this great advantage (compared to anything expressly illegal) that no real guns are required to defend them and the investment amounts are comparatively small.

Edit: spelling and quoting fixes
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