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Author Topic: Why is Butterfly Labs so secretive?  (Read 6937 times)
Frizz23
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October 13, 2012, 01:10:37 PM
 #1

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

From, for example, Intel we have this information years in advance: Haswell will be 22nm, then Broadwell with 11nm, then Skymont with 10nm. Do its competitors (e.g. AMD) gain any benefit from this information? No!

I mean it's like back in July 1969, two weeks before Apollo started heading for the moon. Imagine if NASA would have said: "No, we can't tell you how many astronauts we put in that spaceship ... (because with this information the Russians would be able to build their own rocket in just one weeks - and win the race to the moon)". Ridiculous.

So please, BFL - give us something. And not just rendered pictures of a Jalapeno (aka black Apple TV device).




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CRYPTOTASK




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Decentralized
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  Fully scalable dispute system  .......        ✔︎ 
  Low fees, no limits task market .....      ✔︎ 
  Earn money by being a reviewer     ✔︎ 
Follow us & check. whitepaper.
.
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October 13, 2012, 01:14:10 PM
 #2

based on the power dissipation 90nm would be my guess.
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October 13, 2012, 01:30:42 PM
 #3

based on the power dissipation 90nm would be my guess.

I am sick of guesses - I want facts.

So ... BFL ... what you say?

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            █     ██    ███
                   █████
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CRYPTOTASK




.
Decentralized
freelancing market
  Fully scalable dispute system  .......        ✔︎ 
  Low fees, no limits task market .....      ✔︎ 
  Earn money by being a reviewer     ✔︎ 
Follow us & check. whitepaper.
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October 13, 2012, 01:33:37 PM
 #4

Dejavu! As I said over at the BFL forums, BFL are not more or less secretive than any other company working on a new product. We are just spoiled by the openess of other Bitcoin ventures.
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October 13, 2012, 01:38:21 PM
 #5

They wont say anything.. Until they start shipping units out in 2013 sometime.

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October 13, 2012, 02:05:06 PM
 #6

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.

From, for example, Intel we have this information years in advance: Haswell will be 22nm, then Broadwell with 11nm, then Skymont with 10nm. Do its competitors (e.g. AMD) gain any benefit from this information? No!

Sure they do, but they only gain whatever information Intel is willing to let them have. A timeline/roadmap for the future of a well-established product isn't a lot of information, the nm process of a brand-new never before seen product is a hell of a lot of information. If you were running BFL wouldn't you want your competitors to be fully entrenched in potentially inferior processes before you released data about which process you're using?

I mean it's like back in July 1969, two weeks before Apollo started heading for the moon. Imagine if NASA would have said: "No, we can't tell you how many astronauts we put in that spaceship ... (because with this information the Russians would be able to build their own rocket in just one weeks - and win the race to the moon)". Ridiculous.

Except that NASA is a taxpayer-funded entity explicitly designed in such a way that all of their records, discoveries and processes are to be public information (with exceptions made for national security etc of course, it's the government, whaddya expect?). BFL isn't, they're a private company and as such are under no obligation to give you a thing. Hell, what they've given you is already more than what most companies would give you for an unreleased product. Did Apple release PCB renders of the iPhone 5 prior to release? Hell no, they barely gave out STATS let alone pictures of a running device or half the things people are demanding of BFL.

So please, BFL - give us something. And not just rendered pictures of a Jalapeno (aka black Apple TV device).

They've already given you quite a lot. The similarity of their case design to Apple TV doesn't really speak to anything besides perhaps a lack of uniqueness in either Apple's design or a tendency for the industry to copycat successful products, can't say which but I've got a dozen products in my home that look more or less like an Apple TV (including an actual Apple TV).

Here's what it boils down to:

Traditionally when you create something, as a business, you have two ways to secure that invention. Either you patent it, in which case your product and processes become public knowledge in return for granting you a period of enforceable exclusive profit or you keep your data a trade secret and the period of exclusivity lasts for as long as you can keep that secret out of your competitors hands. Many companies choose column A, examples being... well, just about anything you can find a patent or trademark for. Other companies choose column B, one famous example being KFC's secret spice recipe - not trademarked or patented, just flat-out secret. If someone got their hands on it and leaked it to the world it'd be open season on their secret spices.

Column C, chosen almost exclusively by Bitcoin businesses and Bitcoin businesses alone, is radical transparency. Tell everyone everything in as much detail as they'll listen to. Enough data to compete with you, to the point of copycatting a process you'd never have been able to mimic otherwise. You've become used to this for some reason, despite the fact that absolutely anywhere else it's not the norm. Walk into any normal tech company and start making these same kind of demands - you'll be removed by security. I'll never understand how a community that grew up around what is essentially a crypto project decided that having secrets and the right to protect those secrets is a bad thing. I understand you like your software and hardware open-source, but out here in the day-to-day tech world FOSS is the exception, not the rule.

If you don't like any of that, you're welcome to vote with your wallet, just don't buy BFL products if you disagree with their methods. Go support bASIC or AvalonASIC or something, competition is good for the marketplace and I'm sure that while BFL, like any company, would love to have a monopoly, the existence of alternatives drives all competitors to create better stuff. There is in fact something you can do about this if you feel slighted, so perhaps stop whining and just do it.
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October 13, 2012, 02:08:37 PM
 #7

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked
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October 13, 2012, 02:13:58 PM
 #8

I suspect the main reason why BFL is secretive is the fact that time is of the essence with ASICs. First to get ASIC v1 on the market will get the lion share.

I also understand your argument that it's too late now to change anything, but perhaps this info can help competition plan ASIC v.2 or something like that.

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bitmar
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October 13, 2012, 02:15:11 PM
 #9

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.


Maybe because no company sells preorders? Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.
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October 13, 2012, 02:16:51 PM
 #10

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked

BFL has publicly stated that the first run of units to ship are still having their fabrication outsourced. They hoped to have their pick/place, reflow oven, etc in place and running early enough to manufacture them in-house but it didn't work out that way. Likely we don't have pictures of the finished product yet because they don't actually have a finished product in their hands to show us - it's still out at some fab house. Now I'm sure they have a prototype of some kind, but prototypes also tend to be larger and uglier than finished products, usually don't work as well as finished products and almost invariably reveal more copy-able information than a finished product.
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October 13, 2012, 02:17:36 PM
 #11

I like this post:


Quote
Those pictures are the pictures we based the purchase off of. We did not inquire as to the GPS coordinates of their origin and assume that the pictures represent the actual product. If they don't, well then, we will deal with that then.



Hopefully you don't get a pallet full of bricks? They don't even have the machinery to create these units that are shipping in two weeks?

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October 13, 2012, 02:23:47 PM
 #12

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.


Maybe because no company sells preorders? Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

WTF world do you live in? Tons of companies sell preorders. Apple sold preorders on the iPhone 5, nearly every video game that is released comes with the option to preorder... Perhaps Intel specifically doesn't sell preorders but it's not like it's an unestablished crazy upside down concept. Not only do lots of companies sell their products via preorder, but they do so without releasing even as much information as BFL has and with hundreds or thousands of times BFL's preorder numbers.

iPhone 5 buyers, for example, might have liked to know that their maps were going to be shit on iOS 6 but was this info available before they held the product in their hand? No, because Apple kept their mouth shut about that, and nearly every, "feature." Same with the "grip of death" "feature" in previous hardware.

Again if you don't like the way BFL behaves, vote with your wallet and buy from a competitor but for the love of god stop acting like what they're doing is abnormal - the way they're working is the way most businesses work, you're just used to a level of transparency you don't often find outside of Bitcoin. If you want to see Bitcoin adopted outside of its current niche market, you're going to have to get used to the way normal businesses operate.
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October 13, 2012, 02:24:55 PM
 #13

I like this post:


Quote
Those pictures are the pictures we based the purchase off of. We did not inquire as to the GPS coordinates of their origin and assume that the pictures represent the actual product. If they don't, well then, we will deal with that then.



Hopefully you don't get a pallet full of bricks? They don't even have the machinery to create these units that are shipping in two weeks?

Hey look, another one who doesn't read before posting.

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked

BFL has publicly stated that the first run of units to ship are still having their fabrication outsourced. They hoped to have their pick/place, reflow oven, etc in place and running early enough to manufacture them in-house but it didn't work out that way. Likely we don't have pictures of the finished product yet because they don't actually have a finished product in their hands to show us - it's still out at some fab house. Now I'm sure they have a prototype of some kind, but prototypes also tend to be larger and uglier than finished products, usually don't work as well as finished products and almost invariably reveal more copy-able information than a finished product.
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October 13, 2012, 02:26:10 PM
 #14

bfl makes their own hardware so it's up to them to protect their corporate secrets

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October 13, 2012, 02:27:14 PM
 #15

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.



From, for example, Intel we have this information years in advance: Haswell will be 22nm, then Broadwell with 11nm, then Skymont with 10nm. Do its competitors (e.g. AMD) gain any benefit from this information? No!

Sure they do, but they only gain whatever information Intel is willing to let them have. A timeline/roadmap for the future of a well-established product isn't a lot of information, the nm process of a brand-new never before seen product is a hell of a lot of information. If you were running BFL wouldn't you want your competitors to be fully entrenched in potentially inferior processes before you released data about which process you're using?



I mean it's like back in July 1969, two weeks before Apollo started heading for the moon. Imagine if NASA would have said: "No, we can't tell you how many astronauts we put in that spaceship ... (because with this information the Russians would be able to build their own rocket in just one weeks - and win the race to the moon)". Ridiculous.

Except that NASA is a taxpayer-funded entity explicitly designed in such a way that all of their records, discoveries and processes are to be public information (with exceptions made for national security etc of course, it's the government, whaddya expect?). BFL isn't, they're a private company and as such are under no obligation to give you a thing. Hell, what they've given you is already more than what most companies would give you for an unreleased product. Did Apple release PCB renders of the iPhone 5 prior to release? Hell no, they barely gave out STATS let alone pictures of a running device or half the things people are demanding of BFL.

So please, BFL - give us something. And not just rendered pictures of a Jalapeno (aka black Apple TV device).

They've already given you quite a lot. The similarity of their case design to Apple TV doesn't really speak to anything besides perhaps a lack of uniqueness in either Apple's design or a tendency for the industry to copycat successful products, can't say which but I've got a dozen products in my home that look more or less like an Apple TV (including an actual Apple TV).

Here's what it boils down to:

Traditionally when you create something, as a business, you have two ways to secure that invention. Either you patent it, in which case your product and processes become public knowledge in return for granting you a period of enforceable exclusive profit or you keep your data a trade secret and the period of exclusivity lasts for as long as you can keep that secret out of your competitors hands. Many companies choose column A, examples being... well, just about anything you can find a patent or trademark for. Other companies choose column B, one famous example being KFC's secret spice recipe - not trademarked or patented, just flat-out secret. If someone got their hands on it and leaked it to the world it'd be open season on their secret spices.

Column C, chosen almost exclusively by Bitcoin businesses and Bitcoin businesses alone, is radical transparency. Tell everyone everything in as much detail as they'll listen to. Enough data to compete with you, to the point of copycatting a process you'd never have been able to mimic otherwise. You've become used to this for some reason, despite the fact that absolutely anywhere else it's not the norm. Walk into any normal tech company and start making these same kind of demands - you'll be removed by security. I'll never understand how a community that grew up around what is essentially a crypto project decided that having secrets and the right to protect those secrets is a bad thing. I understand you like your software and hardware open-source, but out here in the day-to-day tech world FOSS is the exception, not the rule.

If you don't like any of that, you're welcome to vote with your wallet, just don't buy BFL products if you disagree with their methods. Go support bASIC or AvalonASIC or something, competition is good for the marketplace and I'm sure that while BFL, like any company, would love to have a monopoly, the existence of alternatives drives all competitors to create better stuff. There is in fact something you can do about this if you feel slighted, so perhaps stop whining and just do it.

Wrong ask the States Dept of Justice's there is consumer rights for every state just look them up. If you buy something then they need to tell you what it is. You can not sell a product and say its going to do X, with out backing. It falls under a snake oil type law.

Intel will show prototypes of products with spec's before they are sold, Take apple for instance they take pre-orders on iphones but the product has specs released already.

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October 13, 2012, 02:28:54 PM
 #16

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked

BFL has publicly stated that the first run of units to ship are still having their fabrication outsourced. They hoped to have their pick/place, reflow oven, etc in place and running early enough to manufacture them in-house but it didn't work out that way. Likely we don't have pictures of the finished product yet because they don't actually have a finished product in their hands to show us - it's still out at some fab house. Now I'm sure they have a prototype of some kind, but prototypes also tend to be larger and uglier than finished products, usually don't work as well as finished products and almost invariably reveal more copy-able information than a finished product.

That does not matter they are sent a test batch of chips, they should have proto-types. The factor sends chips to be texted to make sure they do not make 1000's of bad chips.

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October 13, 2012, 02:29:56 PM
 #17

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.


Maybe because no company sells preorders? Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

WTF world do you live in? Tons of companies sell preorders. Apple sold preorders on the iPhone 5, nearly every video game that is released comes with the option to preorder... Perhaps Intel specifically doesn't sell preorders but it's not like it's an unestablished crazy upside down concept. Not only do lots of companies sell their products via preorder, but they do so without releasing even as much information as BFL has and with hundreds or thousands of times BFL's preorder numbers.

iPhone 5 buyers, for example, might have liked to know that their maps were going to be shit on iOS 6 but was this info available before they held the product in their hand? No, because Apple kept their mouth shut about that, and nearly every, "feature." Same with the "grip of death" "feature" in previous hardware.

Again if you don't like the way BFL behaves, vote with your wallet and buy from a competitor but for the love of god stop acting like what they're doing is abnormal - the way they're working is the way most businesses work, you're just used to a level of transparency you don't often find outside of Bitcoin. If you want to see Bitcoin adopted outside of its current niche market, you're going to have to get used to the way normal businesses operate.

Right but they accept pre-orders on a set date... Do you think Apple or a game producer would get away with taking pre-orders with a release date of Oct 28th 2012 and not ship until 6 months later?

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October 13, 2012, 02:29:59 PM
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Why don't you all just chill for a few weeks and there will likely be tons of crap floating around as ASIC's start shipping.  If you don't have patience then you shouldn't be in the BTC game. Smiley
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October 13, 2012, 02:30:59 PM
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Right but they accept pre-orders on a set date... Do you think Apple or a game producer would get away with taking pre-orders with a release date of Oct 28th 2012 and not ship until 6 months later?

You know how many MMO's/video games this happens to?  If you're not happy, don't buy BFL.  If you've already pre-ordered and aren't happy, then contact BFL and ask for a refund.  Everyone that has done that has gotten their money back.
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October 13, 2012, 02:33:17 PM
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Right but they accept pre-orders on a set date... Do you think Apple or a game producer would get away with taking pre-orders with a release date of Oct 28th 2012 and not ship until 6 months later?

You know how many MMO's/video games this happens to?


? So game dev's take pre orders months prior to the game even being finished? I really doubt this ever happens.... I'll bet most take pre orders on games that have a beta released already.


This is not a game though... well it sorta is Cheesy

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October 13, 2012, 02:33:42 PM
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People know they are buying a video game and they have a ERSB rating just for that reason lol. We think we are buying a product that we think will do this. But the company will not show it. Video games do previews at trade shows of new games...... BFL brought there NES when they should have shown the WII.

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October 13, 2012, 02:34:34 PM
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https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked

BFL has publicly stated that the first run of units to ship are still having their fabrication outsourced. They hoped to have their pick/place, reflow oven, etc in place and running early enough to manufacture them in-house but it didn't work out that way. Likely we don't have pictures of the finished product yet because they don't actually have a finished product in their hands to show us - it's still out at some fab house. Now I'm sure they have a prototype of some kind, but prototypes also tend to be larger and uglier than finished products, usually don't work as well as finished products and almost invariably reveal more copy-able information than a finished product.

That does not matter they are sent a test batch of chips, they should have proto-types. The factor sends chips to be texted to make sure they do not make 1000's of bad chips.

And ANOTHER one who doesn't read before posting:

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/content.php/120-BFL-Invests-in-Assembly-Equipment?#comments

"Once the machines are fully installed, we'll be happy to flood you with photos and assembly videos"

Where are this pictures?  2 weeks to shipping and machines is not installed? LOL  Shocked

BFL has publicly stated that the first run of units to ship are still having their fabrication outsourced. They hoped to have their pick/place, reflow oven, etc in place and running early enough to manufacture them in-house but it didn't work out that way. Likely we don't have pictures of the finished product yet because they don't actually have a finished product in their hands to show us - it's still out at some fab house. Now I'm sure they have a prototype of some kind, but prototypes also tend to be larger and uglier than finished products, usually don't work as well as finished products and almost invariably reveal more copy-able information than a finished product.
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October 13, 2012, 02:38:52 PM
 #23

There is a lot of naivety around business practices amongst some members of this forum.

I think you should all get used to tight lips, because if Bitcoin goes mainstream as we hope it will, you will see many more new ventures popping up who are just as secretive.

Companies do not exist to give you information on your timetable, costing them an edge. They exist to make money, and will give you exactly as much as they want to, exactly when they want to.
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October 13, 2012, 02:40:42 PM
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Right but they accept pre-orders on a set date... Do you think Apple or a game producer would get away with taking pre-orders with a release date of Oct 28th 2012 and not ship until 6 months later?

Yes. Yes I do. Missing deadlines is not a new invention unique to BFL or Bitcoin.

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.



Wrong ask the States Dept of Justice's there is consumer rights for every state just look them up. If you buy something then they need to tell you what it is. You can not sell a product and say its going to do X, with out backing. It falls under a snake oil type law.

Intel will show prototypes of products with spec's before they are sold, Take apple for instance they take pre-orders on iphones but the product has specs released already.

Consumer rights mean I can't sell you something with claims and then have the product fall short of those claims. If the final product falls short of claims then I'm required to refund your money if so requested. That's not just law, that's good business and it's what BFL did when their FPGA line fell short of expectations.

They have "told us what it is" within acceptable legal limits. We have specs, we've been told what the products should do and what kind of power consumption we should expect. If the final product falls short of these claims, then I'm sure we'll see a refund option just like we did with the FPGAs. Manufacturers aren't required to prove to you what their product contains, what manufacturing process they used or any of this other nonsense - they're only required to deliver something that does what they claim it will. Specs were available at the time of preorder and the only change since then has been in a positive direction. As for Intel showing prototypes, well frankly they can afford to. When you're pioneering the processes that make the newest fastest smallest chips, the secret is in the process not the final product. The most AMD could do with an 11nm Intel chip without holding it in their hands and putting it under a microscope is say "yeah that looks about the right size for 11nm."
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October 13, 2012, 02:42:12 PM
 #25

Maybe they don't want their ex-wife finding out how much money they are making.
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October 13, 2012, 02:42:52 PM
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Maybe its because BFL is worried they can't deliver on their promises.

They are secretive because they lack confidence in their abilities.
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October 13, 2012, 02:42:56 PM
 #27

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.


Maybe because no company sells preorders? Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

WTF world do you live in? Tons of companies sell preorders. Apple sold preorders on the iPhone 5, nearly every video game that is released comes with the option to preorder... Perhaps Intel specifically doesn't sell preorders but it's not like it's an unestablished crazy upside down concept. Not only do lots of companies sell their products via preorder, but they do so without releasing even as much information as BFL has and with hundreds or thousands of times BFL's preorder numbers.

iPhone 5 buyers, for example, might have liked to know that their maps were going to be shit on iOS 6 but was this info available before they held the product in their hand? No, because Apple kept their mouth shut about that, and nearly every, "feature." Same with the "grip of death" "feature" in previous hardware.

Again if you don't like the way BFL behaves, vote with your wallet and buy from a competitor but for the love of god stop acting like what they're doing is abnormal - the way they're working is the way most businesses work, you're just used to a level of transparency you don't often find outside of Bitcoin. If you want to see Bitcoin adopted outside of its current niche market, you're going to have to get used to the way normal businesses operate.


you have a quite right. I mean companies producing chips.  BFL accustomed us to give evidence of their work, do you  remember  granny making FPGA board? They gave us a lot of pictures to authenticate, now nothing. I am disappointed Wink
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October 13, 2012, 02:43:57 PM
 #28

I did read it, but I feel it still to be wrong. The PCB design has not changed that is the easy part, they should in theory be able to take the ASCI and drop it on a single pcb..... So your telling me they are using a different PCB and a ASIC then the one they are going to release give me a break. The chips are built around the PCB if it be 1 chip or 10 chips, to not have them done by prototype would be a stupid. Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?

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October 13, 2012, 02:50:40 PM
 #29

Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?

Everything about BTC is a gamble.  You shouldn't be gambling any money you aren't prepared to lose...
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October 13, 2012, 02:58:24 PM
 #30

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

From, for example, Intel we have this information years in advance: Haswell will be 22nm, then Broadwell with 11nm, then Skymont with 10nm. Do its competitors (e.g. AMD) gain any benefit from this information? No!

I mean it's like back in July 1969, two weeks before Apollo started heading for the moon. Imagine if NASA would have said: "No, we can't tell you how many astronauts we put in that spaceship ... (because with this information the Russians would be able to build their own rocket in just one weeks - and win the race to the moon)". Ridiculous.

So please, BFL - give us something. And not just rendered pictures of a Jalapeno (aka black Apple TV device).


You are being a bit naive in your assumption that the information about process node does not matter. If it didn't, then why would you be asking?

In the world of Intel and AMD a new process node is developed internally or by their partners (GlobalFoundries is not AMD remember) they have to do a lot of R&D and spend billions of dollars building what are essentially building-sized machines that work on parts at the nanometer level. Because of these lead times it can take 5-7 years for a process node to make it off the drawing board and into prodution, which means when Intel announces details about the technology 1-3 years in advance, they know that it is hopelessly late for AMD to match the technology in the same time frame. Add to that the dominant position that Intel holds, and you have a recipe where Intel can trickle out advances instead of having to scramble, "so who cares about bragging!"

In the case of BitCoin ASIC manufacturers we are talking about a component that can be manufactures on several technologies including the relatively ancient 130nm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/130_nanometer, 10 years since Intel used it for a CPU) all the way up to more modern tech in the 28-55nm range (I'm assuming that the 22nm Intel process is blisteringly expensive.)

So what happens if everyone build their first generation on 130nm? Then it does not really matter, and we are likely to see an orderly stair-step through process nodes as we get closer and closer to the Moore's Law ideal.

But what happens if BFL got access to 28nm (I have no evidence that they have, in fact I doubt they have done anything smaller than 90nm, just a thought experiment) and fabbed their first gen chip with that? Then we have one player that can adjust firmware to scale clockspeed (and hidden hashing cores?) to undercut their competition (or eliminate competitors ROI and drive them out of business), or just to make an insane profit. This has a chance of ending in a monopoly for a while, but more likely it would lead to a vicious race to the bottom that would see negative ROI on all the gear sold today.

We have seen 5 different ASIC projects that are all moving from start to completion in a 6 month period. This means we can assume that the competition can adopt matching technology (on an open market, not creating each process node themselves) in the same timeframe. So if BFL comes out with 200Gh/s chips on 28nm (totally made up numbers), we can expect their competition to match it and atempt to take market share within 6 months. Once the technology can't exceed a Moore's Law rate (due to catching up on more modern process nodes) the prices will start to wall significantly as well until BFL and others are running a 5-20% margin instead of the (assumed but almost certain) 100%-500% they are running today.

Personally I'm hoping it remains too expensive to move to the denser nodes until BTC gets higher, but at some point big players might want in and they will outspend the community in a heartbeat if they see an advantage.

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October 13, 2012, 02:59:07 PM
 #31

Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?

Everything about BTC is a gamble.  You shouldn't be gambling any money you aren't prepared to lose...

They sell SHA256 processors whos talking about bitcoins? Joking. I agree with you meatball, just wanted to show some things people tend to overlook.

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October 13, 2012, 03:01:52 PM
 #32

E.g. in another thread someone asked for the structure size (110, 130, ... ? nm) of BLFs ASICs.

Why is not even this information publicly available? I mean it's only two more weeks until the scheduled launch date.

Because no company is actually required to give you any of this information, you're just spoiled by the radical transparency of most Bitcoin ventures. BFL isn't doing anything that Samsung, Intel et al wouldn't do.


Maybe because no company sells preorders? Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

Go look up the story of the Apple 1...

You are NOT talking about a a mature market, BitCoin is in it's early childhood still.

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October 13, 2012, 03:06:20 PM
 #33

maybe they are afraid of competition

so they dont want to disclose anything
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October 13, 2012, 03:10:22 PM
 #34

maybe they are afraid of competition

so they dont want to disclose anything


100% correct... They wouldn't be spending so much on advertising if this wasn't the case.

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October 13, 2012, 03:13:27 PM
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Wrong ask the States Dept of Justice's there is consumer rights for every state just look them up. If you buy something then they need to tell you what it is. You can not sell a product and say its going to do X, with out backing. It falls under a snake oil type law.

Intel will show prototypes of products with spec's before they are sold, Take apple for instance they take pre-orders on iphones but the product has specs released already.


So, how many cores did Apple say the iPhone 5 has? Graphics Cores? Clock Speed? Look at the spec sheet and tell me please: http://www.apple.com/asia/iphone/iphone-5/specs.html

Oh that's right, Apple does not talk about the inside of the A6 processor, just how it performs

Yeah, go talk to your State AG, or call the BBB and see what they have to say.

BFL has made a good faith effort to provide sufficient information regarding the product that they are producing, the specifications that it operates within, renderings of boards, updates on production facilities, staff, CRM implementation, Chip IP Overview, test methods, and even a couple of statements about what impact their products might have on the network. This is in addition to the already sufficient prior history they have created with their FPGA products.

Seriously? Snake Oil? They have gotten way past that burden already.

Manufacturers are not required to divulge everything about their product, only enough to sell it (and comply with some very specific rules for safety and licensing reasons)

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October 13, 2012, 03:15:42 PM
 #36

Right but they accept pre-orders on a set date... Do you think Apple or a game producer would get away with taking pre-orders with a release date of Oct 28th 2012 and not ship until 6 months later?

You know how many MMO's/video games this happens to?


? So game dev's take pre orders months prior to the game even being finished? I really doubt this ever happens.... I'll bet most take pre orders on games that have a beta released already.


This is not a game though... well it sorta is Cheesy

(I can't believe that I'm using this argument form, but it seems appropriate)

Because... Minecraft

Because... Kickstarter

Because... Duke Nukem Forever (and ever)

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October 13, 2012, 03:16:12 PM
 #37

Right... But if you want to compare BFL to Apple...


Bfl states it spec's... No real pictures or anything.


That's like apple advertising that their new Iphone5 makes phone calls. Without any pictures and asking for $  upfront so they can produce it..

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October 13, 2012, 03:18:04 PM
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Wrong ask the States Dept of Justice's there is consumer rights for every state just look them up. If you buy something then they need to tell you what it is. You can not sell a product and say its going to do X, with out backing. It falls under a snake oil type law.

Intel will show prototypes of products with spec's before they are sold, Take apple for instance they take pre-orders on iphones but the product has specs released already.


So, how many cores did Apple say the iPhone 5 has? Graphics Cores? Clock Speed? Look at the spec sheet and tell me please: http://www.apple.com/asia/iphone/iphone-5/specs.html

Oh that's right, Apple does not talk about the inside of the A6 processor, just how it performs

Yeah, go talk to your State AG, or call the BBB and see what they have to say.

BFL has made a good faith effort to provide sufficient information regarding the product that they are producing, the specifications that it operates within, renderings of boards, updates on production facilities, staff, CRM implementation, Chip IP Overview, test methods, and even a couple of statements about what impact their products might have on the network. This is in addition to the already sufficient prior history they have created with their FPGA products.

Seriously? Snake Oil? They have gotten way past that burden already.

Manufacturers are not required to divulge everything about their product, only enough to sell it (and comply with some very specific rules for safety and licensing reasons)

I already have talked to my  attorney general..... Ask BFL if they talked to the Attorney Generals office see if they will be honest. I am not going to argue the fact with you.

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October 13, 2012, 03:22:40 PM
 #39

I did read it, but I feel it still to be wrong. The PCB design has not changed that is the easy part, they should in theory be able to take the ASCI and drop it on a single pcb..... So your telling me they are using a different PCB and a ASIC then the one they are going to release give me a break. The chips are built around the PCB if it be 1 chip or 10 chips, to not have them done by prototype would be a stupid. Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?

Not sure about this. For a product like this I would imagine that it is more likely for the PCBs to be built around the ASICs. They did say that the same ASIC will be used in the Jalapeno, Single(s) and Mini Rig.

If you look at computer motherboards, everything is designed around the CPU socket and chipset - not the other way round.
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October 13, 2012, 03:22:53 PM
 #40

Maybe its because BFL is worried they can't deliver on their promises.

They are secretive because they lack confidence in their abilities.


FFS

Just because Worried -> Secretive

DOES NOT MEAN

Secretive (very debatable) -> Worried

It could also be:
Secretive -> Annoyed by all the BS
Secretive -> Have business experience where talking too much cased me to lose out
Secretive -> Former Military, and I know what OPSEC means
Secretive -> any other reason under the sun

Your psychic powers are not acceptable evidence, and your argument holds no water.

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October 13, 2012, 03:27:46 PM
 #41

I did read it, but I feel it still to be wrong. The PCB design has not changed that is the easy part, they should in theory be able to take the ASCI and drop it on a single pcb..... So your telling me they are using a different PCB and a ASIC then the one they are going to release give me a break. The chips are built around the PCB if it be 1 chip or 10 chips, to not have them done by prototype would be a stupid. Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?


Right now they get their boards assembled somewhere else, this assembly is likely to include adding the BFL ASIC to the board and passing certain tests. BFL has to but them in cases, attach some stuff to the boards, flash, package and ship.

They want to bring more of it in-house and change the flow to have the PCB's printed, populated, and assembled all in one place. But that is not the plan for the first batch since they don't want to try to learn to ride the bike DURING a motocross event.

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October 13, 2012, 03:31:21 PM
 #42

I did read it, but I feel it still to be wrong. The PCB design has not changed that is the easy part, they should in theory be able to take the ASCI and drop it on a single pcb..... So your telling me they are using a different PCB and a ASIC then the one they are going to release give me a break. The chips are built around the PCB if it be 1 chip or 10 chips, to not have them done by prototype would be a stupid. Why would you take a proto type chip and put it on a pcb design you do not intend on using? So whats to say the chip will work on the pcb you change to... kinda a gamble wouldn't you say?

Not sure about this. For a product like this I would imagine that it is more likely for the PCBs to be built around the ASICs. They did say that the same ASIC will be used in the Jalapeno, Single(s) and Mini Rig.

If you look at computer motherboards, everything is designed around the CPU socket and chipset - not the other way round.

They do not build computers out of FPGA's, that is supposed to be the chip they design the pcb around.
http://kaisemi.com/index.php/home

0% NRE 90,000 USD or so delivers the first batch of chips. Then the price drops, they offer 0% NRE yes that right lol. All you pay for is the first order and they make your chips directly from the specs of your FPGA.

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October 13, 2012, 03:33:29 PM
 #43


I already have talked to my  attorney general..... Ask BFL if they talked to the Attorney Generals office see if they will be honest. I am not going to argue the fact with you.

Please try again, your English was incomprehensible in that middle section (no offense, I don't understand what you are trying to say)

If you have talked to your AG could you give a quick sum-up of their level of investigation/concern/followup?

Thanks

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 13, 2012, 03:38:55 PM
 #44

Ask BFL if they have talked to any Gov officials. I am not the spokes person lol

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October 13, 2012, 03:52:43 PM
 #45

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing. Grin


Quote
They do not build computers out of FPGA's

Many 8bit computers were FPGAs Grin
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October 13, 2012, 03:55:36 PM
 #46

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing.

That's when AMD was the shit Smiley

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October 13, 2012, 04:02:00 PM
 #47

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing.

I seem to remember Pentium 60 - had more bugs. What if the chip from the BFL will have bugs? No one has ever done ASICs at such a level as BFL, is a new technology.  They want to spend a few days only on  testing of their chips.
I found only a few ready-made ASIC to sha256:

http://www.heliontech.com/downloads/fast_hash_asic_datasheet.pdf#view=Fit
http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/index.html
Hardcopy HC210F48-C - ALTERA

All of these chips offer several % of performance which offer BFL.
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October 13, 2012, 04:06:40 PM
 #48

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No one has ever done ASICs at such a level as BFL, is a new technology

I know it has been said before elsewhere, but ASICS are not new technology. Only their application to Bitcoin is new.

There are plenty of companies out there who will make you the desired chip if you have the bucks.
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October 13, 2012, 04:19:13 PM
 #49

Quote
No one has ever done ASICs at such a level as BFL, is a new technology

I know it has been said before elsewhere, but ASICS are not new technology. Only their application to Bitcoin is new.

There are plenty of companies out there who will make you the desired chip if you have the bucks.

ASIC is a very old technology, I know that. BFL offers us a great Performance chips (this is new technology - new level). Many companies have tried to make fast hash ASIC chips but that chips were similar or a bit higher performance than FPGA. Generally, ASICs are only slightly faster than FPGAs, more energy efficient and cheaper to produce, more expensive to design. Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
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October 13, 2012, 04:50:26 PM
 #50

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

Bitcoin will not be compromised
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October 13, 2012, 04:52:45 PM
 #51

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I agree they take out lots of stuff that draws resources from a FPGA that is not needed in a ASIC

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October 13, 2012, 05:03:31 PM
 #52

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm
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October 13, 2012, 06:01:04 PM
 #53

BFL Newsletter:

http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5015fc3486176144c53751877&id=ea153781b9&e=115fdfaa67
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October 13, 2012, 10:05:34 PM
 #54

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

This must be quite old, BFL talks about 1Ghz processor.

Regards


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October 13, 2012, 10:09:25 PM
 #55

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

What you need to understand is that this table does not show how many hashing cores can be placed on a chip.

The XC2V2000 for example only has 10 thousand slices. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~1000 slices and does ~1Gbps [16], so by putting 10 cores per FPGA the whole chip would do only ~10Gbps.

On the other hand, a 180nm ASIC of small size (50mm^2) has about 10 million gates. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~20 thousand gates and does ~2Gbps [21], so by putting 500 cores per ASIC the whole chip would do ~1000 Gbps.

Tada! There is your 100x difference. Roughly what BFL is promising (Single 832 Mhash/s vs. Single SC 60 Ghash/s.)
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October 13, 2012, 10:15:14 PM
 #56

based on the power dissipation 90nm would be my guess.
I am going to take a blind guess...and say 65nm to 55nm. Though people say it is too expensive...this is what I imagine to be the case. Time will tell all tales...Wink

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October 13, 2012, 10:37:14 PM
 #57

Maybe its because BFL is worried they can't deliver on their promises.

They are secretive because they lack confidence in their abilities.

I think [speculation?] it is because they are having problems with their first batch which keeps increasing the delays and drawing the process out. Their window of opportunity keeps shrinking as BFL_Josh stated the issues keep eating through the padding of time they originally estimated their first deliveries.

Actually, they have pretty much said so in context of sourcing parts for their first batch. A competitor forced them to upgrade the hardware and everything that goes along with that. (Power/Heat issues apparently cropping up as well as parts sourcing issues)

They also briefly mentioned paying for expedited fabrication/shipping of the chips. (If I recall correctly)

There is a story that remains half-told as to why they would have to shell out the extra cash for that. I am not out to seed doubt, it just means like any other company they have issues that should be resolved with any new creation. It is expected.


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October 13, 2012, 10:43:36 PM
 #58

maybe they are afraid of competition

so they dont want to disclose anything


100% correct... They wouldn't be spending so much on advertising if this wasn't the case.
I'll have to agree. I am thinking along the same lines.

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October 13, 2012, 10:56:34 PM
 #59

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

What you need to understand is that this table does not show how many hashing cores can be placed on a chip.

The XC2V2000 for example only has 10 thousand slices. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~1000 slices and does ~1Gbps [16], so by putting 10 cores per FPGA the whole chip would do only ~10Gbps.

On the other hand, a 180nm ASIC of small size (50mm^2) has about 10 million gates. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~20 thousand gates and does ~2Gbps [21], so by putting 500 cores per ASIC the whole chip would do ~1000 Gbps.

Tada! There is your 100x difference. Roughly what BFL is promising (Single 832 Mhash/s vs. Single SC 60 Ghash/s.)

+1
Insightful

Very few (including BFL) are talking about how many hashing units they have in each chip. Understandably so...

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October 13, 2012, 11:00:48 PM
 #60

I demand to know what color socks each employee wears. Until I have photos of each employee's foot next to a driver's license, I will assume that BFL is a scam.

I'm just going to keep repeating "it's an Altera HardCopy" because I haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about.
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October 13, 2012, 11:43:13 PM
 #61

I demand to know what color socks each employee wears. Until I have photos of each employee's foot next to a driver's license, I will assume that BFL is a scam.

Yeah,what HE said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also,what kind of cars do they drive??? So I can understand how long it takes them to get to work & how much gas they use!!!!!!!!!!!

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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October 14, 2012, 12:45:42 AM
 #62

I think BFL appreciates the art of trolling.

Just look at how worked up they have y'all in here.

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S." - President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933
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October 14, 2012, 12:57:21 AM
 #63

I demand to know what color socks each employee wears. Until I have photos of each employee's foot next to a driver's license, I will assume that BFL is a scam.

Funniest thing I've read all day, and man did I need a laugh today Grin
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October 14, 2012, 01:00:56 AM
 #64

Ask BFL if they have talked to any Gov officials. I am not the spokes person lol

No, I'm asking you if you filed a complaint, and what the status of that complaint is.

I'm not going to interrogate a vendor on something that I don't think is an issue. They have passed the bar for Snake Oil, I was wondering how loud the AG's office laughed, or if they just told you to contact them if BFL failed to ship.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 01:02:54 AM
 #65

I think we all need to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGWEI390Pe8

 Cool

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October 14, 2012, 01:09:13 AM
 #66

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing. Grin


Quote
They do not build computers out of FPGA's

Many 8bit computers were FPGAs Grin

That was the Pentium 60 and 66. (additional trivia, too many chips failed at 66, so they released at 60Mhz instead, lead times on the 66Mhz chips were bad for a few months)

(IIRC) It was an actual mistake in an x87 multiplier and was the trigger that caused Intel to add microcode update capabilities to the Pentium 75+

That is a great example because BFL et. al. face a similar risk. What if you get 60Gh/s of rejects when the ASIC comes back from the foundry?

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 01:12:41 AM
 #67

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing.

I seem to remember Pentium 60 - had more bugs. What if the chip from the BFL will have bugs? No one has ever done ASICs at such a level as BFL, is a new technology.  They want to spend a few days only on  testing of their chips.
I found only a few ready-made ASIC to sha256:

http://www.heliontech.com/downloads/fast_hash_asic_datasheet.pdf#view=Fit
http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/index.html
Hardcopy HC210F48-C - ALTERA

All of these chips offer several % of performance which offer BFL.

That was a cutting edge process at the time. All the BFL ASICs appear to be happening on process nodes that are 7-10+ years old, so the chances of a technology failure are low. Since everyone has done a prototype run (I think) at this point, the chances of a fundamental logic error are fairly low.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 01:19:33 AM
 #68

I demand to know what color socks each employee wears. Until I have photos of each employee's foot next to a driver's license, I will assume that BFL is a scam.

Yeah,what HE said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also,what kind of cars do they drive??? So I can understand how long it takes them to get to work & how much gas they use!!!!!!!!!!!

+1

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 01:31:38 AM
 #69

  Never invest what you can't afford to lose.
 Unhappy with BLF ? Ask for a refund and buy elsewhere.
Stop crying about info or delays, as the promise date is'nt even met.

I bought from BLF (preorder) and I'll take it when it will arrive at my doorstep...  whenever !

Happy to buy from BFL !
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October 14, 2012, 01:34:01 AM
 #70

Im sure they laughed at me just like Inaba did or as they call him BFL_Josh. Same way people said I was bullshiting when I said I talked to the S.E.C lol
I call Shennanigans!


Kinda felt like you were calling me out so have at it, and yes I have been contacted by My attorney general. Once again another closed investigation lol


Edit: forgot to add A federal agent added a note to it aswell.... guess which one lol





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October 14, 2012, 03:34:56 AM
 #71

Quote
Companies like Intel are selling products that are available in stores, people do not have to ask questions to find out whether their products work. just buy.

I seem to remember Pentium75 and Pentium90 couldn't add two floating point number together without crashing. Grin


Quote
They do not build computers out of FPGA's

Many 8bit computers were FPGAs Grin

That was the Pentium 60 and 66. (additional trivia, too many chips failed at 66, so they released at 60Mhz instead, lead times on the 66Mhz chips were bad for a few months)

(IIRC) It was an actual mistake in an x87 multiplier and was the trigger that caused Intel to add microcode update capabilities to the Pentium 75+

That is a great example because BFL et. al. face a similar risk. What if you get 60Gh/s of rejects when the ASIC comes back from the foundry?
Just make them into Little Singles? Wink BTC

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October 14, 2012, 04:34:05 AM
 #72

Im sure they laughed at me just like Inaba did or as they call him BFL_Josh. Same way people said I was bullshiting when I said I talked to the S.E.C lol
I call Shennanigans!


Kinda felt like you were calling me out so have at it, and yes I have been contacted by My attorney general. Once again another closed investigation lol


So they are required to respond to the AG's office by 10/20. How is that case closed? I'm interested to see what the response is. I'm betting it will be a rehash of information that is already released along with their existing statements as to the utility and performance of the product.

FYI, just because this was sent does not mean that Josh or anyone else we have contact with at BFL has direct knowledge of it. In our company the Finance and Legal guys would handle it without anyone that produces for he company being bothered by it.

Thanks for going all out with the photos, it helps a bunch! I eagerly await a response in a week or so.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 09:17:15 AM
 #73

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

What you need to understand is that this table does not show how many hashing cores can be placed on a chip.

The XC2V2000 for example only has 10 thousand slices. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~1000 slices and does ~1Gbps [16], so by putting 10 cores per FPGA the whole chip would do only ~10Gbps.

On the other hand, a 180nm ASIC of small size (50mm^2) has about 10 million gates. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~20 thousand gates and does ~2Gbps [21], so by putting 500 cores per ASIC the whole chip would do ~1000 Gbps.

Tada! There is your 100x difference. Roughly what BFL is promising (Single 832 Mhash/s vs. Single SC 60 Ghash/s.)


it is easy to say in theory, try to do this in practice  Wink
more gates = more heat = lower frequency
more core = more heat = lower frequency
you can not use gates and cores as you like Smiley Sometimes, in some operations less gates at a higher frequency will give better performance than many gates at low frequency.
From what gives BFL: working frequency, energy consumption, they must use the 90nm process technology or below. (http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/ST/hash/sha-3/Round2/Aug2010/documents/papers/SCHAUMONT_SHA3.pdf) .

ASIC 90nm technologies and lower are very expensive, so if they gathered enough money, they have a chance of success of course.
(http://www.design-reuse.com/articles/12360/fpgas-and-structured-asics-low-risk-soc-for-the-masses.html
http://www.dz.ee.ethz.ch/?id=1592 -> http://www.dz.ee.ethz.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/dz/files/asiccostestimator.xls  ->  ASIC cost estimator)
The standard ASIC designs are still in 130nm, although this technology has more than 10 years. This is why the current FPGAs are often better than the ASIC. Of course, this is changing. (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/eda-designline-blog/4375159/Will-your-next-ASIC-ever-be-an-FPGA-#164386). That is why I wrote (a few posts up) that BFL is entering a new level of technology. BFL creates a very ambitious project,  creates a "FAST HASH ASIC" fastest ever existed. It's very exciting to watch how they create such an ambitious project with such a small budget Smiley it is amazing LOL  Shocked

 
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October 14, 2012, 09:34:42 AM
 #74

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

What you need to understand is that this table does not show how many hashing cores can be placed on a chip.

The XC2V2000 for example only has 10 thousand slices. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~1000 slices and does ~1Gbps [16], so by putting 10 cores per FPGA the whole chip would do only ~10Gbps.

On the other hand, a 180nm ASIC of small size (50mm^2) has about 10 million gates. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~20 thousand gates and does ~2Gbps [21], so by putting 500 cores per ASIC the whole chip would do ~1000 Gbps.

Tada! There is your 100x difference. Roughly what BFL is promising (Single 832 Mhash/s vs. Single SC 60 Ghash/s.)


it is easy to say in theory, try to do this in practice  Wink

Actually, yes, it is easy to do and has been done. To continue my example, a 180nm ASIC with 10+ million gates at 350MHz+ was done 13 years ago by Intel with the Pentium III 500E: 180nm, 28 million gates, 500MHz, at a tiny 13 Watt(!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_III_microprocessors#.22Coppermine.22_.28180_nm.29

I personally estimate BFL developed at 65nm, which is only $500k in NRE costs: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0 By all estimates, they have at least $1.5M+ of preorders (85+ Thash/s), so yeah they can afford 65nm.

If you don't believe that BFL can do at least as good as that, then please put your money where your mouth is by betting on http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665 (I did with 50 BTC). You could double your money if you are right.
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October 14, 2012, 09:45:54 AM
 #75

Nobody produces ASICs to achieve several times better performance than FPGAs, there are other advantages.
Gibberish.

I wrote - several times faster. ASIC may indeed be faster than FPGAs, but this is not so big difference. This is the difference of approximately to 100%, no  1000% and more.  BFL offers us about 500% faster ASIC than existing FPGA.

I found an old comparison table:

and newer:
http://www.heliontech.com/fast_hash.htm

What you need to understand is that this table does not show how many hashing cores can be placed on a chip.

The XC2V2000 for example only has 10 thousand slices. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~1000 slices and does ~1Gbps [16], so by putting 10 cores per FPGA the whole chip would do only ~10Gbps.

On the other hand, a 180nm ASIC of small size (50mm^2) has about 10 million gates. The table shows a SHA-256 core takes ~20 thousand gates and does ~2Gbps [21], so by putting 500 cores per ASIC the whole chip would do ~1000 Gbps.

Tada! There is your 100x difference. Roughly what BFL is promising (Single 832 Mhash/s vs. Single SC 60 Ghash/s.)


it is easy to say in theory, try to do this in practice  Wink

Actually, yes, it is easy to do and has been done. To continue my example, a 180nm ASIC with 10+ million gates at 350MHz+ was done 13 years ago by Intel with the Pentium III 500E: 180nm, 28 million gates, 500MHz, at a tiny 13 Watt(!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_III_microprocessors#.22Coppermine.22_.28180_nm.29

If you don't believe that BFL can do at least as good as that, then please put your money where your mouth is by betting on http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665 (I did with 50 BTC). You could double your money if you are right.

what you wrote does not bring anything to the discussion. Do not compare CPU with ASIC. Do not compare Intel with BFL. Gbps <> Ghash / s (http://Http://www.sisoftware.net/?d=qa&f=cpu_vs_gpu_crypto). It was a old comparison of the old ASIC to old FPGA. ASIC technology is now better and also FPGA technology. FPGA technology is more advanced than ASIC technology.
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October 14, 2012, 10:04:19 AM
 #76

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665
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October 14, 2012, 10:18:57 AM
 #77

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665

You trying to say that a typical 65nm ASIC is "several times faster" than a typical 45nm FPGA? what order of magnitude is the difference? I think many of us are interesting your observation. Do you know what is avarage costs of production  65nm ASIC?



"You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes"
See how I signed table Smiley 

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.
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October 14, 2012, 02:00:45 PM
 #78

I just don't get these people that have such a hate on for BFL.  If you don't like what they're doing or think they're shady, just go elsewhere with your business.  Every company under the sun is crazy secretive.  Go to Coke or Pepsi and ask for their formula and see what you get. 

If another ASIC company is giving you more info than BFL and you trust them more, then by all means, spend your money with them.  Just cut it out with all these frigging "BFL is Cthulu!" posts arleady, I'm getting tired of reading them.
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October 14, 2012, 02:11:24 PM
 #79

I just don't get these people that have such a hate on for BFL.  If you don't like what they're doing or think they're shady, just go elsewhere with your business.  Every company under the sun is crazy secretive.  Go to Coke or Pepsi and ask for their formula and see what you get.  

If another ASIC company is giving you more info than BFL and you trust them more, then by all means, spend your money with them.  Just cut it out with all these frigging "BFL is Cthulu!" posts arleady, I'm getting tired of reading them.

Who hate BFL ? and why ?
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October 14, 2012, 03:06:08 PM
 #80

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665

You trying to say that a typical 65nm ASIC is "several times faster" than a typical 45nm FPGA? what order of magnitude is the difference? I think many of us are interesting your observation. Do you know what is avarage costs of production  65nm ASIC?



"You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes"
See how I signed table Smiley 

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 14, 2012, 03:59:11 PM
 #81

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665

You trying to say that a typical 65nm ASIC is "several times faster" than a typical 45nm FPGA? what order of magnitude is the difference? I think many of us are interesting your observation. Do you know what is avarage costs of production  65nm ASIC?



"You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes"
See how I signed table Smiley  

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

OMG ! Smiley
These data are historical, now the difference is less because the FPGA is growing faster than ASIC. FPGA technology is more advanced and more popular than ASIC. These are not my words, but experts in the field. ASIC technology has great potential but is very expensive and very risky
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October 14, 2012, 08:08:59 PM
 #82

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

OMG ! Smiley
These data are historical, now the difference is less because the FPGA is growing faster than ASIC. FPGA technology is more advanced and more popular than ASIC. These are not my words, but experts in the field.

No, FPGAs are not more advanced. The best technology for both FPGAs and ASICs is 28nm today. I would love to hear a quote from your "experts". I could help you clarify how you misunderstand their words.

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

You are one centimeter away from understanding my point. Let me try it this way. If you know that ASICs are more power efficient, that means they do more work per Joule (or per Watt if that makes it easier for you to understand). Therefore, when comparing a 10 Watt ASIC chip to a 10 Watt FPGA chip, you can guess the ASIC chip will accomplish more work, right? So if an ASIC is 100x more power efficient than an FPGA, the 10 Watt ASIC chip will perform 100x more work than the 10 Watt FPGA chip. In other words it will be 100x faster. That's it.
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October 14, 2012, 09:23:45 PM
 #83

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

OMG ! Smiley
These data are historical, now the difference is less because the FPGA is growing faster than ASIC. FPGA technology is more advanced and more popular than ASIC. These are not my words, but experts in the field.

No, FPGAs are not more advanced. The best technology for both FPGAs and ASICs is 28nm today. I would love to hear a quote from your "experts". I could help you clarify how you misunderstand their words.

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

You are one centimeter away from understanding my point. Let me try it this way. If you know that ASICs are more power efficient, that means they do more work per Joule (or per Watt if that makes it easier for you to understand). Therefore, when comparing a 10 Watt ASIC chip to a 10 Watt FPGA chip, you can guess the ASIC chip will accomplish more work, right? So if an ASIC is 100x more power efficient than an FPGA, the 10 Watt ASIC chip will perform 100x more work than the 10 Watt FPGA chip. In other words it will be 100x faster. That's it.


I do not want to talk about the obvious and fundamental. You just lost all credibility. This conversation does not make sense.  Not at this level.
It is obvious that you can do ASIC 100x faster than  FPGA and can do FPGA 100x faster than ASIC. Not the point. The conversation is about the real possibility of the implementation of ASIC several times faster than the current leading FPGA chips (like Artix-7, Kintex-7,Virtex-7,Spartan-6), having a small budget. Do you know a company that did it? I not found any example.
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October 14, 2012, 10:25:23 PM
 #84

I do not want to talk about the obvious and fundamental. You just lost all credibility. This conversation does not make sense.  Not at this level.
It is obvious that you can do ASIC 100x faster than  FPGA and can do FPGA 100x faster than ASIC. Not the point. The conversation is about the real possibility of the implementation of ASIC several times faster than the current leading FPGA chips (like Artix-7, Kintex-7,Virtex-7,Spartan-6), having a small budget. Do you know a company that did it? I not found any example.

Yes! The table you quoted was showing multiple ASIC implementations from multiple companies that significantly outperformed FPGAs. You rejected that argument, thinking one cannot replicate a small ~300MHz logic unit (20k gates) many times across the die area, but I pointed out to you this is possible by giving the example of a CPU with 10+ million gates running at 500MHz. Then you buried your head into the sand saying "Do not compare CPU with ASIC". A CPU is an ASIC. Maybe a better example to convince you would be to talk a GPU, where shaders occupy most of the die area and are precisely that: a small logic unit replicated many times across the die area.

Perhaps another way to show it to you is as is. In your table:

  • The FPGA in [16] has a die size of 317 mm^2. Most of the space is occupied by slices, but let's be really conservative and say only half the die area is occupied by slices, or 150 mm^2. So they did 1Gbps by utilizing about 30 mm^2 of the die area (150 mm^2 * 2120 slices / 10752 total slices on the chip.)
  • On the other hand the ASIC in [21] which I managed to track down was a reference to http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/cast_sha256.pdf is a SHA-256 core doing 2Gbps by utilizing only 0.25 mm^2 (PDF says exactly 250040 um^2).

So, obviously the chip doing twice the work in 1/120th the die space provides a building block that can be utilized to make a full-size chip that significantly outperforms FPGAs. Don't say again that "FPGAs progressed faster than ASICs", this is not true I have already pointed out that they both top out at 28nm today, so the comparison of FPGAs vs. ASICs made at the time your table was composed is still valid today.

Also I already showed here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  that manufacturing at 65nm costs only $500k which is clearly within reach of BFL's financial resources.
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October 14, 2012, 10:51:12 PM
 #85

Jeez, dont you have pms?

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October 14, 2012, 10:55:08 PM
 #86

Is the die feature size something that can be easily checked on a production chip?

Could someone just open a chip's casing, look at the die with a microscope, and say "oh, that's 130nm", etc?

Or is this size below the limit of what's observable optically without being limited by diffraction, and would require a SEM or somesuch to "see"?

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October 14, 2012, 11:24:03 PM
 #87

I do not want to talk about the obvious and fundamental. You just lost all credibility. This conversation does not make sense.  Not at this level.
It is obvious that you can do ASIC 100x faster than  FPGA and can do FPGA 100x faster than ASIC. Not the point. The conversation is about the real possibility of the implementation of ASIC several times faster than the current leading FPGA chips (like Artix-7, Kintex-7,Virtex-7,Spartan-6), having a small budget. Do you know a company that did it? I not found any example.

Yes! The table you quoted was showing multiple ASIC implementations from multiple companies that significantly outperformed FPGAs. You rejected that argument, thinking one cannot replicate a small ~300MHz logic unit (20k gates) many times across the die area, but I pointed out to you this is possible by giving the example of a CPU with 10+ million gates running at 500MHz. Then you buried your head into the sand saying "Do not compare CPU with ASIC". A CPU is an ASIC. Maybe a better example to convince you would be to talk a GPU, where shaders occupy most of the die area and are precisely that: a small logic unit replicated many times across the die area.

Perhaps another way to show it to you is as is. In your table:

  • The FPGA in [16] has a die size of 317 mm^2. Most of the space is occupied by slices, but let's be really conservative and say only half the die area is occupied by slices, or 150 mm^2. So they did 1Gbps by utilizing about 30 mm^2 of the die area (150 mm^2 * 2120 slices / 10752 total slices on the chip.)
  • On the other hand the ASIC in [21] which I managed to track down was a reference to http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/cast_sha256.pdf is a SHA-256 core doing 2Gbps by utilizing only 0.25 mm^2 (PDF says exactly 250040 um^2).

So, obviously the chip doing twice the work in 1/120th the die space provides a building block that can be utilized to make a full-size chip that significantly outperforms FPGAs. Don't say again that "FPGAs progressed faster than ASICs", this is not true I have already pointed out that they both top out at 28nm today, so the comparison of FPGAs vs. ASICs made at the time your table was composed is still valid today.

Also I already showed here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  that manufacturing at 65nm costs only $500k which is clearly within reach of BFL's financial resources.

If BFL had 65 nm process they would be talking about it since that would probably be smaller than any competitors, its this secrecy that makes me think they are starting with the largest die size. The other reason to start with largest die size is because you then have ways to continue selling asics in the future. For example, a year after their first asic sells, they can they say cell 65 or 90 nm.. then after that go even smaller. This would give their business longevity and room to grow, while maximizing profits.
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October 15, 2012, 08:19:31 AM
 #88

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665

You trying to say that a typical 65nm ASIC is "several times faster" than a typical 45nm FPGA? what order of magnitude is the difference? I think many of us are interesting your observation. Do you know what is avarage costs of production  65nm ASIC?



"You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes"
See how I signed table Smiley  

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

OMG ! Smiley
These data are historical, now the difference is less because the FPGA is growing faster than ASIC. FPGA technology is more advanced and more popular than ASIC. These are not my words, but experts in the field. ASIC technology has great potential but is very expensive and very risky

Just because the underlying process technology changes does not mean that the ratio between logic and control in FPGA is less efficient than ASIC. I can find articles dating back to 2003 that claim that FPGA is faster than ASIC, but when it comes down to it they are talking about "typical" ASIC in order to allow Xilinx and Altera to look better.

more flexibility == needs more gates == less efficient == ASIC is better if you can afford to spin the silicon.

This is not in question is it? The Virtex 7 has 6.8 billion transistors, and can simulate an ASIC with up to ~20 million (24M in some reports) gates. This means that Xilinx is burning ~340 transistors per gate.

It's also $30k each for that FPGA, but the same number of transistors from NVIDIA are in the GK110 (essentially a gigantic ASIC) for far less.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 15, 2012, 10:07:18 AM
 #89

You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes

The observation I made from this table is still valid to this day. I was comparing one of its 180nm ASIC with a 120nm Virtex 2 FPGA (180/120 = 1.5x feature scale difference). Today, you would be comparing a 65nm ASIC (presumed process node for BFL ASIC) against the 45nm FPGAs that all other Bitcoin mining vendor use (Spartan6 LX150), that's a 65/45 = 1.4x feature scale difference. So in both cases the power efficiency of FPGAs over the ASICs (that I am comparing them with) is the same, because power efficiency is directly inversely proportional to the square of the feature size.

One more time: please put your money where you mouth is if you are so convinced of yourself: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=665

You trying to say that a typical 65nm ASIC is "several times faster" than a typical 45nm FPGA? what order of magnitude is the difference? I think many of us are interesting your observation. Do you know what is avarage costs of production  65nm ASIC?



"You bring that table to attempt to prove your point, then find out it proves you wrong, so you retract it saying it is old and does not apply anymore?  Roll Eyes"
See how I signed table Smiley  

You do not proved anything except that ASIC is more energy efficient. I know it. Conversation is whether ASIC can be "several times faster" than a similar FPGA.

FFS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array
"Historically, FPGAs have been slower, less energy efficient and generally achieved less functionality than their fixed ASIC counterparts. A study has shown that designs implemented on FPGAs need on average 40 times as much area, draw 12 times as much dynamic power, and are three times slower than the corresponding ASIC implementations.[22]"

40 times less area * 3 times faster = 120x at the same process node

It's really simple guys, every logic block and interconnect needs a bunch of transistors to control them, but on ASIC you just lay the circuit down as you want it to run. Because of this you have far more transistors actually performing the work rather than controlling internal functions.

So even though the underlying features are the same at a given process node, FPGA suffers a disadvantage in area and speed, but makes up for it with flexibility. ASIC is locked in function, but very, very fast at execution.

OMG ! Smiley
These data are historical, now the difference is less because the FPGA is growing faster than ASIC. FPGA technology is more advanced and more popular than ASIC. These are not my words, but experts in the field. ASIC technology has great potential but is very expensive and very risky

Just because the underlying process technology changes does not mean that the ratio between logic and control in FPGA is less efficient than ASIC. I can find articles dating back to 2003 that claim that FPGA is faster than ASIC, but when it comes down to it they are talking about "typical" ASIC in order to allow Xilinx and Altera to look better.

more flexibility == needs more gates == less efficient == ASIC is better if you can afford to spin the silicon.

This is not in question is it? The Virtex 7 has 6.8 billion transistors, and can simulate an ASIC with up to ~20 million (24M in some reports) gates. This means that Xilinx is burning ~340 transistors per gate.

It's also $30k each for that FPGA, but the same number of transistors from NVIDIA are in the GK110 (essentially a gigantic ASIC) for far less.


Τι στο διάολο είστε παιδιά μιλάμε.Χάσατε μου μετά την 3η θέση.Η ελληνική όλα μου.

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Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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October 15, 2012, 04:53:37 PM
 #90

I do not want to talk about the obvious and fundamental. You just lost all credibility. This conversation does not make sense.  Not at this level.
It is obvious that you can do ASIC 100x faster than  FPGA and can do FPGA 100x faster than ASIC. Not the point. The conversation is about the real possibility of the implementation of ASIC several times faster than the current leading FPGA chips (like Artix-7, Kintex-7,Virtex-7,Spartan-6), having a small budget. Do you know a company that did it? I not found any example.

Yes! The table you quoted was showing multiple ASIC implementations from multiple companies that significantly outperformed FPGAs. You rejected that argument, thinking one cannot replicate a small ~300MHz logic unit (20k gates) many times across the die area, but I pointed out to you this is possible by giving the example of a CPU with 10+ million gates running at 500MHz. Then you buried your head into the sand saying "Do not compare CPU with ASIC". A CPU is an ASIC. Maybe a better example to convince you would be to talk a GPU, where shaders occupy most of the die area and are precisely that: a small logic unit replicated many times across the die area.

Perhaps another way to show it to you is as is. In your table:

  • The FPGA in [16] has a die size of 317 mm^2. Most of the space is occupied by slices, but let's be really conservative and say only half the die area is occupied by slices, or 150 mm^2. So they did 1Gbps by utilizing about 30 mm^2 of the die area (150 mm^2 * 2120 slices / 10752 total slices on the chip.)
  • On the other hand the ASIC in [21] which I managed to track down was a reference to http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/cast_sha256.pdf is a SHA-256 core doing 2Gbps by utilizing only 0.25 mm^2 (PDF says exactly 250040 um^2).

So, obviously the chip doing twice the work in 1/120th the die space provides a building block that can be utilized to make a full-size chip that significantly outperforms FPGAs. Don't say again that "FPGAs progressed faster than ASICs", this is not true I have already pointed out that they both top out at 28nm today, so the comparison of FPGAs vs. ASICs made at the time your table was composed is still valid today.

Also I already showed here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  that manufacturing at 65nm costs only $500k which is clearly within reach of BFL's financial resources.

ok, I'm not going to argue who is right. I am not an expert in this field. I base on the press releases and offers of companies that produce ASIC. You Suggesting that  production of 65nm ASIC costs about $ 500k from this thread (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91173.msg1003326#msg1003326) -> only NRE costs.  Friedcat  is not authority for me.
BFL's offers us very high perfomance ASIC chip they must use the ASIC prototyping with multi-FPGA chip partitioning ( to 96 million gates max, without prototyping cost would be several times higher), it is not cheap,  500k$ will cost only mask Wink
As I wrote before there is no sense to continue this discussion in this forum. Maybe on some other forum someone will be able to answer.
 
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October 16, 2012, 02:14:10 AM
 #91

Τι στο διάολο είστε παιδιά μιλάμε.Χάσατε μου μετά την 3η θέση.Η ελληνική όλα μου.

I love Google Translate:
What the hell are you children milame.Chasate after my third thesi.I all my Greek.

I still have no idea what it means, but I think I've been insulted.

Cheers!

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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October 16, 2012, 03:32:50 AM
 #92

Τι στο διάολο είστε παιδιά μιλάμε.Χάσατε μου μετά την 3η θέση.Η ελληνική όλα μου.

I love Google Translate:
What the hell are you children milame.Chasate after my third thesi.I all my Greek.

I still have no idea what it means, but I think I've been insulted.

Cheers!

 Cheesy Here is what was it meant to say:

"What the hell are you guys talking about.You lost me after the 3rd post.Its all greek to me."

If the translator didn't get it correct, I'm sorry  Embarrassed

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
scrybe
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October 17, 2012, 03:25:51 AM
 #93

Τι στο διάολο είστε παιδιά μιλάμε.Χάσατε μου μετά την 3η θέση.Η ελληνική όλα μου.

I love Google Translate:
What the hell are you children milame.Chasate after my third thesi.I all my Greek.

I still have no idea what it means, but I think I've been insulted.

Cheers!

 Cheesy Here is what was it meant to say:

"What the hell are you guys talking about.You lost me after the 3rd post.Its all greek to me."

If the translator didn't get it correct, I'm sorry  Embarrassed

I love how much info there is available now about FPGA and ASIC technology. A few hours of reading and I've taken my geek to a whole new level. I'm even toying around with getting an FPGA to play with. Granted I do own a book by Jon Stokes...

No worries on the translator, our future robot overlords obviously have no long term plans for Greece.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
BTC/TRC/FRC: 1ScrybeSNcjqgpPeYNgvdxANArqoC6i5u Ripple:rf9gutfmGB8CH39W2PCeRbLWMKRauYyVfx LTC:LadmiD6tXq7gFZvMibhFUZegUHKXgbu1Gb
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October 17, 2012, 03:41:16 AM
 #94

Τι στο διάολο είστε παιδιά μιλάμε.Χάσατε μου μετά την 3η θέση.Η ελληνική όλα μου.

I love Google Translate:
What the hell are you children milame.Chasate after my third thesi.I all my Greek.

I still have no idea what it means, but I think I've been insulted.

Cheers!

 Cheesy Here is what was it meant to say:

"What the hell are you guys talking about.You lost me after the 3rd post.Its all greek to me."

If the translator didn't get it correct, I'm sorry  Embarrassed

I love how much info there is available now about FPGA and ASIC technology. A few hours of reading and I've taken my geek to a whole new level. I'm even toying around with getting an FPGA to play with. Granted I do own a book by Jon Stokes...

No worries on the translator, our future robot overlords obviously have no long term plans for Greece.

I used Bing to translate to greek  Roll Eyes

http://www.bing.com/translator/

See if it transalates back to what I really said  Cool

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
scrybe
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October 18, 2012, 03:07:50 AM
 #95

Quote
What the hell are you guys talking about. you lost me after the 3rd place all my Greek.

You used a colloquialism at the end that it didn't understand, but it did better at reversing itself than Google did.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
BTC/TRC/FRC: 1ScrybeSNcjqgpPeYNgvdxANArqoC6i5u Ripple:rf9gutfmGB8CH39W2PCeRbLWMKRauYyVfx LTC:LadmiD6tXq7gFZvMibhFUZegUHKXgbu1Gb
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October 18, 2012, 03:11:43 AM
 #96

Quote
What the hell are you guys talking about. you lost me after the 3rd place all my Greek.

You used a colloquialism at the end that it didn't understand, but it did better at reversing itself than Google did.

I've had much better luck with bing,than anyother translator for whatever reason  Undecided

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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