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Author Topic: Why is Butterfly Labs so secretive?  (Read 6937 times)
BitcoinINV
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October 13, 2012, 02:33:42 PM
 #21

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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enmaku
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October 13, 2012, 02:34:34 PM
 #22

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
 #24

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
 #26

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
BitcoinINV
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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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BitcoinINV
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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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abbeytim
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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
AndrewBUD
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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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scrybe
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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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scrybe
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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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AndrewBUD
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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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BitcoinINV
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October 13, 2012, 03:18:04 PM
 #38


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.

BeetcoinScummer
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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.

"...as simple as possible, but no simpler" -AE
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